By Mike Passmore, Simply Great Golf Academy, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
The foremost mindset of great putters is to make every putt they attempt with a proper combination of pace and direction.
Here is the order of sequence of how great putters think:
1.) Make the putt.
Great putters have the attitude that they are going to make every putt they attempt – even a 60-footer!
2.) Putt with a “distance attitude” of the ball finishing past the hole and within 18 inches, if missed.
A putt that finishes short of the hole never has a chance of going in! Finishing within 18 inches past the hole gives a very high percentage of making the next putt and not “3-putting”. Great putters generally pre-determine a pace for the ball to finish 6 inches past the hole on a fast downhill putt, 12 inches past the hole on an average putt and 18 inches past the hole on a slow uphill putt.
3.) Match the aim with the “pre-determined pace”.
Great putters study the slope and grass height of the putting green for each putt and combine that information with their pre-determined pace (of the ball finishing 6, 12 or 18 inches past the hole. Then, they visualize the roll and curve of the ball to determine the “aim point”.
4.) Get set.
Great putters are very consistent with orienting themselves to the club, ball and target following the G.A.S.P. principle sequence – G = Grip, A = Aim, S = Stance, P = Posture.
5.) Match the swing to the putt.
Great putters use their eyes and experience to help them sense the length and speed of the pendulum swing they will need to match the putt. They set up across from their ball, look at the hole, then look back down and make 2 “feel swings” (also known as practice swings) or a continuous swing back and forth twice before they attempt the putt.
6.) Practice putting.
Consistency is the trademark of great putters. They practice a lot – the key for consistency! They make sure to spend enough time on the practice putting green of the golf course they are about to play to familiarize themselves with the speed and slope of the golf course’s putting greens.