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liminating Three, Four or More Putts/By Carl-Van Vallier, PGA

조회 수 5653 추천 수 0 2012.05.17 10:27:32

Have you ever found yourself standing on the green scratching your head because you just three, four, or more putt? Golfers suffer feelings of frustration, helplessness, and even anger when their putting lets them down.  Today I am going to explain how to consistently setup for a better putting stroke, define your putting style, create a putting swing that fits your style and give you a practice routine to become a better putter.

Setting Up for Putting Success

Here is a simple and repetitious routine for setting up for your putt.

Pick up the putter with your left hand. (Picture 1)

Cover the left thumb with your right hand. (Picture 2)

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and bow to your opponent (the golf ball). (Picture 3)

Then flex or bend your knees slightly. (Picture 4)

I am often asked what to do with the elbows when putting and I recommend one of two methods: leaving your elbow out (Picture 5) or tucking them into your hips (Picture 6) either one is acceptable depending on preference.

“Stoke” or “Pop” - Defining your putting swing style

I help my students determine their style of putting  by having them toss and/or roll several golf balls to a hole from about 30 feet away. What I usually see is they will either have a longer, smooth style and roll the ball to the hole (like a bowler), or I will see them toss the ball to the hole with more of a short, stopping finish.

As we see with our student, she is a roller of the ball (Picture 7). Therefore the best putting swing for her would be “stroke” style. This is typically a longer, smoother style of swinging a putter that relies on the shoulders, arms, hands, and putter to move like one unit when gauging distance. (Picture 8)

If we had determined that she was more natural or comfortable tossing the ball, she would subscribe to more of a “pop” style putting swing.  This is a swing that allows for a very subtle or slight “pop” or “release” with the hands and putter to gauge distance.  Typically this type of putter swing is more compact or has a shorter finish.

Both styles have their advantages and disadvantages but it is best to determine which one works best for you. 

Practice for distance control

Once you have determined your putting swing style, I prefer students to break putting practice into two parts: short and long putts.

I like to call the first part of your practice 5-foot free throws because I want you to measure a 5-foot distance from the hole, then place a ball marker, tee, beverage, or some other marker so you ensure that you stay 5 feet away from the hole.  This practice is about making short putts, but when you miss one it should be within 12 inches of the hole.  Practice 5-foot free throws for at least 10 minutes a day and you will make more putts and build your confidence.

The second part of your practice will be long putting from distances of 30 feet away or further.  The point of this practice is to build a feel for long putts by watching your golf ball roll to a complete stop after you hit it.  This type of practice helps your hands and eyes associate the feeling of hitting your putt with how far the ball rolls.  It is something that is overlooked by many golfers and is one of the easiest ways to learn distance control.  Add this to your practice and you will roll your putts closer to the hole and make more of those long shots.

If you would like to arrange a putting lesson, you can contact me at cvanvallier@kempersports.com or call Olivas Links at 805-677-6770.
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