Let's get you holing more putts with these simple technique improvements and drills from Women & Golf instructor Lauren Blease.
Putting is one of the most important areas of the game, yet the majority of golfers definitely under practise it.
Here’s how to improve your technique and we give you some simple drills that will help you to sink more putts.
Concentrate on the basics for greater consistency
The ball position should be slightly forward of centre to create an upward movement with the stroke. Your feet should be as stable as possible so that your body doesn’t move, and feel strong, as if nobody could push you over at address.
Standing correctly is vital to rolling the ball on a good line to the hole.
Left image below - Bend your knees slightly, tilt from your hips and allow your arms to hang down, so your shoulders can rock back and forth creating a pendulum motion. Your eyes should be over the ball so it's easier to see the line of the putt.
Right image above - If you stand too upright then your eyes won’t be over the ball and this will make it difficult to align yourself. There will be too much rotation in the putter, creating an inconsistent start line. Your arms will also tend to control the swing, making distance control harder.
Definitely no wrist break
Keep your wrists stable and ensure you don’t break them during the stroke.
A drill to prevent this is to put a ruler or tee peg in your watchstrap or glove. You will soon know if you break your wrists, as you will be able to feel it!
See this drill in action:
Line up before putting up!
Once you have a solid technique, you need to line up, and to do this correctly it’s important to be able to read greens. If you don’t send the ball in the right direction, it won’t drop into the hole.
Whenever you approach a green, find its high point, as this will be the starting point when working out which way your putt will break.
Once you know this, look at your putt from behind the ball to get a general idea and then move to the low side to get a better understanding of the break. It is really important that you focus on the last section of the putt, as this is where the majority of break will come from.
For more clarity, it is helpful to stand behind the ball and visualise the line that the ball will take and pick a point just in front of the ball where you want the ball to start. Line up the ball with the chosen point by using the line that is already on most golf balls, or draw a line on the ball yourself.
Practice makes perfect
Once you have mastered your technique and lining up, you can then start the fun part of practising, which is gaining a better feel for greens. Here are a couple of drills:
- Place the flagstick 3 feet behind the hole. Begin at 15 feet and hit putts from different angles to the hole. The aim is to hit the ball past the hole but not past the flag. Continue until you are approximately 30 feet away.
- For short putts, rather than putting to a hole, put a tee in the ground and putt to it. This will help to focus your mind on something small, so when you are on the course, the hole will seem huge. Once you feel confident with the short, flat ones, try hitting some putts on a slope.
Here's why the second drill could really build your confidence before heading out onto the golf course:
Read those greens
A great drill is to set up as shown. The aim is to putt the ball from one tee around the other and into the hole. This will help you to visualise how much a putt breaks and get a mental image in your head of the ball curving without aiming at the hole all the time.
Hopefully, with these simple tips and drills, you'll gain more confidence and hole more putts on your next round.
The above Instruction article was taken from the Sept/Oct 2018 issue of Women & Golf magazine and the video was filmed at Foxhills in 2018.
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