Putting accounts for approximately 40% or more of your total score in a round of golf! With this fact in mind, the single most important club to concern yourself with when attempting to lower your handicap is the putter. The four common ingredients among all good putters are as follows:
2) Ability to read greens
4) Ability to start the ball on the intended target line.
Because it is an entire topic all by itself, green reading will be discussed in a later newsletter.
Touch is a skill that can be learned and acquired. The easiest way to develop touch is playing the forty foot game. To play this game, use five balls and hit forty foot putts with different variations. Hit up hillers, down hillers, right to left and left to right putts. Changing the terrain will challenge your pace, and this is the first requirement to developing touch. By having five balls, you should begin to develop the proper speed control for each condition. Teach yourself this ingredient first!
Aim is our next big ingredient. I am adamant about using the aim line on my golf ball but I know it is not for everyone. If the line on the ball does not work for you, use the spot alignment procedure. The target line is the most important line in all of golf, and it must be established from putt to drive. The spot alignment procedure is a technique when you are trying to locate a spot no more than 6 inches in front of the ball at which you want to aim your putter face. Try to roll the ball over this spot on its journey to the hole. One technique, spot alignment or using the aim line, must be utilized in order to make putts. As the old saying goes, “If you cannot aim the arrow then do not worry about the Indian.”
The final key ingredient is starting the ball on its intended line! Quiet hands, wrists, and forearms are essential. There should be absolutely no flipping of the wrists, and you should keep forearm rotation to a minimum. Be careful what you read in various golf publications concerning any opening and closing of the clubface in the putting motion. Strokes come in different sizes and shapes! The law of the machine states that a machine with the least moving parts is less likely to break down. Therefore, if you do not need to move it, do not move it, and if you do need to move it, move it as little as possible. The less hand, wrist, and forearm activity you have increases the chances of having your clubface square at impact. This is important to your ball starting on its intended line.
Can you really roll it? Use 32 putts on 18 holes as your magical number and chase your dream. Next month’s tip will focus on sand magic.