The Basics Of Improving Your Putt

By: Tony B

Too many people spend hours at the driving range, trying to tweak and master their drive, but what good does that do anyone if they cannot get the ball in the hole on the green. A 196 yard Par 3 on which you hit the green is meaningless if it takes 3 putts to sink the ball - a bogie is a bogie. It takes a deep understanding of the game, the mechanics of golf and a respect for the shear importance of the short game to ensure that your putting game is as successful as possible.

It's no secret that people have trouble with their putting game. If you visit your nearest golf club and watch the people there putting, you'll notice the two most common mistakes in any putting game:

The putter is being pulled back and yanked through the motion.

Their head is lifted from the club as soon as or before the club makes contact with the ball.

These two common flaws sound like mistakes when you write them down and discuss them, but on the green, you probably make the exact same mistakes and may not even realize how often you are doing so. Watch a successful putter in the PGA. Tiger Woods' putting game starts with a single stroke that smoothly follows through, the takeaway and follow through exactly the same length. They keep their heads down throughout the shot and wait to listen for the ball dropping into its cup. The only time you should ever lift your head from a putt is if it is a long putt of more than 15 yards and your stroke is one-hundred percent complete.

The key to finding success in your putting game is not in simply overcoming these simple flaws though - it is shocking just how hard that can be. You must practice regularly and step back to ensure that you can quiet your mind - removing every extraneous thought from it carefully and focusing intently on your breathing.

In addition, you must be able to learn how to read the greens successfully. This takes careful, repeated observation of the greens while playing. If you are good at the art of putting, you will never be content with your own shot - you will watch everyone that goes before you to look for shapes in the green and curves on the ground.

Practicing Your Putting

You should practice putting as often as possible. One good way to do this is by creating a corridor through which you can shoot your ball. Set two clubs down on the green, about 6 feet away from the hole. Place them parallel to each other and facing directly toward the hole and try repeatedly to punch the ball directly between the clubs.

Use this opportunity to measure your backswing and follow through and ensure that you have the right measurements and length on your shots for each stroke. This also lets you work on your alignment to see where you should be standing to make a straight shot.

Ideally, if you create a good form and practice your putting regularly, you can overcome some of the most common mistakes people suffer from on the greens. This will vastly improve your putting game and almost always lower your score significantly.

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