Could your putting benefit from new practice techniques?
As a PGA teaching professional, I’ve helped over 1,000 players — from beginners to Tour pros — to improve their putting performance. Each improvement session starts with an in-depth interview learning about their history, present tendencies, and future goals. We then move into the nuts and bolts of good putting and check setup and stroke tendencies using video technology and SAM PuttLab. This collected data will assist to develop a road map to improved putting.
While it’s been an honor to help teach so many players in my career, I’ve learned a lot along the way, too. Here are a few of my secrets to putting success:
Putter Fit — First and foremost, an important factor is making sure the putter fits the player correctly. This includes observing putter head design, balance, toe hang, length, lie, loft, weight and grip. Each player receives specific practice drills keying on one or two areas of improvement. Remember, it takes 60 repetitions for 21 days to make something a habit! Keep at it.
Five ‘Must-Knows’ — I believe there are five key factors in improving your putting: First, you must understand the basics of green reading. Second, you must be able to aim your putter correctly. Third, you must be able to start your golf ball on your intended line. Fourth, you must have the correct ball speed and fifth, you must have a confident mindset. Use these areas to evaluate your putting game after your round. Find out what area or areas were causing the misses and develop a practice plan.
The Four-Step Process for Improvement — Lastly, try this four-step process to improve your putting. 1) Plan out your putt by read- ing the green and visualizing the golf ball rolling down your intended line and disappearing into the cup. 2) Next prepare yourself for the “feel” by making two or three realistic practice strokes. 3) Once your confidence factor has reached 100%, lock your eyes and stroke the putt. 4) Lastly, evaluate the ball roll. If you make the putt, give your- self some positive feedback. If you miss the putt, immediately return to the preparation stage and correct the feel of the stroke.
Remember, improved technique and putting practice will pay off in lower scores and greater golf enjoyment!
Travis Becker, is two-time PGA Teacher of the Year in Wisconsin, and Director of Instruction & Club Fitting at Ironworks Golf Lab, Beloit, Wisconsin. Visit www.ironworksgolflab.com.