To play your best golf you simply have to putt well. While there are many different ways to stroke a putt there are a few absolutes that will help any golfer.
1. Reaching the hole on makeable putts. We’ve all heard the old adage “never up, never in”...so true. While the adage is true for all putts it may be unrealistic to think you will reach the hole on every putt, every distance, but it would be great if you made it a point to reach the hole on all makeable putt. The distance of what you consider a makeable putt will vary with you ability level. For a novice player it may be 4 feet, for an intermediate player it might be 6 feet, for an advanced player it might be 10 feet. You can pick your own distance, once you do, then commit to hitting every putt that distance and closer with enough speed to go past the cup. Once you are comfortable at you makeable distance you can increase it a little. As you do this more and more putts will fall!
2. Aiming the face of the putter. Alignment in putting is crucial. If you are not lined up properly you are sure to miss the putt. Here’s an interesting experiment: choose 10 foot straight putt on the practice green. Get directly behind the ball so you can see the line clearly. Put a coin down directly on that line. Now stand over the ball as if you are about to putt, don’t putt it, but check to see if the coin appears to have moved. With almost all golfers the coin will appear to move. The point is you cannot perfectly see the line when you address the ball. It’s like firing a rifle. If you’re looking straight down the barrel it’s easier to see the perfect line and target. If you held the rifle to the side you wouldn’t at all be accurate. My point is that the only way to insure perfect alignment is to do it from behind the ball. Determine your line, then line the lettering on the ball to the target. Now address the ball and trust that the lettering on the ball is correct. Most Tour players are doing this and it really works!
Jay Morelli, PGA is the Director, The Original Golf School at Mount Snow, Vermont.JMorelli@mountsnow.com