Putting essentials

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Practice for most amateurs is hitting a basket of balls at the range once a week, going through your irons and woods before heading home after an hour of mixed results. Putting practice is either neglected completely or amounts to rolling a handful of balls 15 minutes before your tee time. This is completely the wrong approach.

Working on and maintaining a sound putting stroke is the fastest route to lowering your scores. I am not telling you to adopt a Tour pro's attitude and spend hours on the putting green every week. But investing just a little time at home or the course in your set-up and stroke will shave three or four shots off your round. I'll show you how to do it.

1. Get the basics right

 

Everyone's putting routine and stroke is slightly different, but however you do it, getting the fundamentals right is crucial if you want to hole your fair share. Things we take for granted like stance, ball position and alignment can all slip if you don't work to maintain them.

Putting Essentials

Balance Point:
Your weight should be through arches of your feet. You can practise by standing on an umbrella or a shaft and keeping your balance. This ensures your centre of gravity can remain fixed and therefore the strike on the blade has a greater chance of being consistent.

Ball below left eye:
This ensures the leading edge of the putter is in the centre of your stance, helping you hit up on the ball slightly for a great roll.

 Focus point

Putting Essentials

Your eyes have great dominance over where the blade strikes the ball. This is crucial when the margins are so small in putting. If you're looking all over the ball throughout the stroke, your strike point is bound to change. To keep it constant, focus on the same point every time. This might be a dimple, a blade of grass, or a dot on the ball. Don't watch the blade as these wondering eyes will hinder your impact point.

 

NEXT: 2. Get your grip right >>