Sharpen Your Short Game
This Article Features Photo Zoom
I’m here to share a few of my favorite tips and drills to help get your short game back on track, especially if you haven’t been playing much golf lately. To get started, check out the picture to the left. Notice how my eyes are closed? That’s not a mistake.
In addition to good fundamentals, better putting requires you to stay relaxed in order to produce a smooth motion.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. All great putters have a solid setup, which in our case, means setting up to the ball in a comfortable and athletic position. In the photo above, notice these few key points: The ball is positioned slightly forward of center. This will help me catch the ball on a slight incline, thus helping the ball roll faster with an end-over-end roll. My head is centered and square to the target, and my hands are slightly in front of the ball. This slight forward-press position also helps me make a solid pass at the ball and hit the center of the putterface.
But, you may be asking, “Which arm should drive the putting stroke?” The reality is it’s both. The left arm is the puller, and the right arm is the pusher. The key is to use both arms in unison to prevent the hands from collapsing through impact. If you do that, the putterhead will outrace the hands (see top left photo, opposite page), and you’ll have inconsistent results. But, if you manage to keep the hands working in unison, the upper body will become more engaged in the stroke, and it’s likely your wrists won’t collapse, and smoother strokes will be easier to attain. I like to use a golf ball between my wrists as I practice, as a handy reminder.
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