Warm Up Your Putting Now To Lower Your Golf Score This Season
By Joe Park
There’s nothing like ripping a long and straight drive off the tee, then hitting the green with your approach shot to walk off the green with a bogey or worse yet a double bogey. Did you know the quickest way to drop some strokes is with a great short-game, your putting and chipping. These two shots can be mastered by any golfer. Your putter is the single most important club in your bag and is responsible for almost half of your score. You can become a great putter with proper practice. Here are some fundamentals to work on.
1. PROPER SET UP
Correct posture is where your eyes are directly over the ball and your arms hang under your shoulders with a slight bend at the elbows. Your weight should be evenly distributed between the heel and the balls of your feet. This will help give you a stroke that is consistent and repeatable. You might find this posture hard to obtain because your putter is too long. To check this, get into this set up and then slide your hands down the shaft to where it is comfortable. Make sure your eyes are directly over the ball. Then check to see where the putter grip is. The grip should be where your hands are comfortably with this set up. Don’t be surprised if your hands are down a lot lower on the grip than what your used to. Did you know that the standard length for a putter is 35 inches so it will fit in your golf bag? Consider asking your Golf Professional if your putter is the proper length for you.
2. Strike the sweet spot. Put band-aids on your putter.
No matter what kind of putting stroke you have, a straight back and through stroke, or an arc stroke you must strike every putt squarely on the sweet spot. This allows your putt to have the right speed and direction. One way to practice this is to put a couple of band-aids to the left and right side of the sweet spot about 1 inch apart on your putter face. This will provide feedback of where the sweet spot is. If you strike the band-aids the ball will only travel half the distance. Tour players strike the same spot on the putter over and over again. This is why they are so consistent.
3. Practice making putts with just your right hand.
To get the feel for a solid putting stroke place your left hand behind your back (visa-versa for left) and practice making some putts with just your right hand. This will give you the feel for a solid putting stroke and teach you to release through the putt.