Instructional Tip - Diagnosing Your Putting By George Conner
Successful putting requires a golfer to possess 3 specific skills. Accurately predicting how the ball will break during the putt, delivering the ball to the hole in the proper amount of time (speed) and then starting the ball on the chosen line. Poor putting is nothing more than a lack of skill in one or more of these areas. If you are struggling with the putter, missing too many short putts, 3 putting from longer range, your first step is to understand why.
Here are 3 “must dos” to get a handle on what skills you are lacking.
Keep pertinent statistics on your rounds of golf. This does not mean counting how many putts you have in a round. The total number of putts is probably the most meaningless statistic you could keep. Rather, keep track of 3 putts, putts made inside 5 feet, 10 feet from 10-20 feet, and average distance left after putts from outside of 20 feet.
Take yourself through an assessment. On the putting green and with the help of a friend, go through your normal on course routine (I hope you have one) on 5 short putts, 5 medium length putts and 5 long putts. Once you make your read, tell your friend where you are going to start the ball and have her or him verify it.
After each putt, confer with your friend to see what happened. Did it go in? Did it miss? In either case measure all 3 skills. Did you start it on line? Did you give it the proper amount of time to reach the hole? Did you accurately predict how it would curve?
Going through a number of putts from different lengths this way will start to highlight which skill is causing the most trouble. Now you know where you need to spend your time!