Putting Like A Pro

By: Jonathon Hardcastle

Putting is one of the most crucial aspects of the game of golf. It's often said that we 'drive for show, and putt for dough', and this is certainly the case on the professional circuit. Given that greenside play can account for up to 50% of all strokes on the scorecard, it is essential that you minimize wasted strokes, and improve the quality of the strokes you do make to reduce your score and your handicap.

One of the best forms of improving your overall score is to take a logical approach to each hole you play. When putting from long range for example, it is sheer madness to go for the hole with every single shot. It is far better to try and aim your putt within range of the hole, to allow for a guaranteed putt on your next stroke. Ultimately this means that you're increasingly the likelihood of two-putting, which is certainly a prudent approach. Alternatively, you can try and aim for the hole and hope you get lucky, but more often than not you'll end up short of smashing it far beyond, which will render a three-putt card-wrecker more likely.

When actually putting, it is important to adopt a strong and stable stance. This will provide a firm foundation upon which you can maintain a consistent swing. Start by fixing your stance shoulder width apart across the ball and bending at the waist. Make sure to keep your arms and wrists straight, forming a triangle shape with your chest. Then, it's a case of turning through your shoulders, rather than putting with your arms, which can lead to inconsistency. Of course, you should take care to restrict the scope of your shoulder turn in relation to the distance of your putt, and aim to follow through as far as your back-swing. Again, this will help to maintain consistency and develop a rhythm, which is so essential for improving your stroke.

As far as putting is concerned, you should really focus on planning each hole, and practicing your routine to develop a consistent stroke. Developing consistency will ultimately improve your accuracy, and will lead to better scores all round to reduce your handicap. Putting really is the key to unlocking that great scorecard, and if you take the time to improve your stroke, you will see the results quickly reflected in your scores.

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