Have a successful summer on the greens with these 7 great tips
7 Ways To Hole More Putts THIS SUMMER!
1. Speed control
Getting good, consistent speed control is the key to holing more putts and eliminating three-putts. Ideally, if you don’t hole your first putt, you want the ball to finish around 18 inches past the hole – that is the perfect speed. A great drill to help improve your distance control is to create a three-sided box of tees around the hole starting from 18 inches beyond it. Try and hole your putts but make sure that if you don’t, the ball finishes inside the box within that perfect 18-inches past zone. This will really help to groove your speed control.
Video: PING Heppler putters review
2. Focus on strike
The quality of ball striking is just as important on the greens as it is in the long game as it’s crucial to get a good roll on your putts. Place some blue-tac on the heel and toe of the face of the putter whilst you’re practising, as this will force you to focus on centre strikes. Practise putting like this and you’ll start striking your putts out of the centre more often on the course.
3. Adapting your game
A great way to hone in your feel for the pace of the greens pre-round is this five ball drill. Firstly, putt uphill and use your first ball as a marker then try and get each ball to finish just past the previous one. Repeat this drill downhill and only finish once you’ve successfully completed it. It is harder than you think! This will improve your feel and should help you with speed control and avoiding three-putts during your round.
4. Set the basics
Your putter needs to be the right length to help you find a sound address position and consistent stroke. PING studies show that 8 out of 10 golfers use the wrong length putter. To ensure a good address position, you need your eyes to be directly over the ball so you’re not standing too far away or too close. You also want perfect alignment, and a good way of ensuring that is to use a putting mirror or just a club or an alignment stick. Ideally your back should be slightly leant over and knees ever-so-slightly bent.
5. Fast greens
We’re bound to encounter speedy greens this summer so it’s important that your feel is on point otherwise three-putts could creep in. A drill that improves both your feel and touch on the greens is simply to practise your putting with just your right hand on the grip. This is something we see plenty of touring professionals do whilst they’re warming up. Do this on long putts in particular, as it really helps improve the release and flow of your stroke. Once you’ve got both hands back on the grip, your feel and touch should be exactly where you want it to be and putting will feel much easier.
6. Holing out
Every golfer needs to work on holing out as the short putts are crucial if you want to shoot lower scores. A good drill to narrow your focus is to aim at a small spot within the hole. To do this, place a tee peg in the back and centre of a hole and putt from 3ft away. Make sure your ball is hitting the tee peg in the centre of the hole every time, so when you head out to the course the holes will seem huge and inspire confidence, especially when you know that you were holing them dead-centre on the practice green. Try and hit the tee peg five times in a row and work your way back gradually from 3ft to 6ft.
7. Grip pointers
Which type to go for?
When choosing your putter, it is vital to pick the right grip as a PING study showed on the impact of pistol grips vs straight grips – a pistol grip is one where the butt end slightly leans towards the player. The data showed that the pistol grip delivered the face more neutral-to-closed than the straight grip, which delivered the face ever-so-slightly more open. The pistol grip also delivered the putter face more neutral-to-toe-up than the straight grip, which was more upright at impact. This goes to show how crucial it is to getting fit with the right putter grip when you pick out your flat stick.
There are plenty of different ways to hold the putter and no true correct method, so it is important that you find the right grip for what suits you best. Something that is essential in your grip, however, is a light pressure. This is often overlooked but the best putters often talk about having a soft grip. Your grip pressure should be around 5/10 and this helps improve feel, fluidity and the flow of your stroke.