As we all know, putting can make or break your round. How many times have you hit more greens in regulation than usual and shot a high score because of too many missed putts?
For this very reason, I started to use a long putter that has helped improved my scores and confidence on the greens.
The most common putting flaw in poor putters is too much wrist action, which contributes to loss of control of the putter head before making contact with the ball.
Long putters help control wrist action by anchoring the putter to your sternum.
Here are some keys to making the long putter work for you.
1) Position your left hand with the thumb on the butt of the club with the knuckles facing forward.
2) With your index finger pointing down the shaft, place your right hand on the shaft as you would a conventional grip.
3) Your left elbow should be pointing toward the target.
1) Your feet, knees, head and shoulders should be parallel to the target line to ensure proper alignment.
2) Your eyes should be directly over the ball, which will lead to a more flowing stroke.
3) The hands should be positioned slightly in front of the ball.
1) The body must remain completely still, with the arms and shoulders performing a pendulum motion.
2) Remember to keep the putter head low to the ground at all times.
3) Keep your head steady until the ball is well on it way toward the hole.
THE THOUGHT PROCESS
1) I like to think of having very soft hands during the stroke, with the left hand gently holding on to the end of club.
2) The right hand will control the pendulum movement of the putter head.
3) The pressure in the grip has to remain consistent throughout the stroke.
1) Using the long putter helps alleviate back pain, as a more upright position at address helps ease stress on the lower back.
2) Any jittery motions that may occur with a conventional putter are minimized with the more fluid-flowing long putter.
3) Nervous energy is easier to contain with the hands working at two separate parts.
1) Drop several balls in a circle each 2 feet from the cup. With the same steady motion, stroke each ball smoothly into the hole.
2) Practice hitting putts the entire length of the green to work on distance control. Experiment with different length strokes but maintain the same motion with each putt.
3) Always make sure to accelerate through the ball.
Long putters range in length from 46 to 50 inches and retail anywhere from $80 to $300. Be sure to try many different types of long putters before making a decision.
Most golfers will happily invest hundreds of dollars into a new driver but cringe at the thought at spending that kind of money for a putter.
Trust me, it’s the best investment you’ll make. Putting accounts for 40 percent of your score. Don’t be afraid to invest a little money in a putter that’s right for you.