3 Easy Tips To Start Making More Putts TODAYby Dave Nastalski
Everybody has had those moments in their putting careers when they feel like nothing is falling. Perhaps it lasts a round or two, or several. It's devastating, embarrassing, and you feel helpless on the putting green. You've tried everything from some of the best putting aids, self help books, Youtube videos and even putting lessons from the pro. Nothing seems to work to shake the demons. Sometimes it helps the most just to get back to neutral and get back to to the basics. Let's start with a clean slate!
I promise you..if you get these three things right, you'll get yourself back on track in no time!
1. Back to the Basics (GASP)
Grip, Alignment, Stance, Ball Position. While I can't make specific recommendations to your game without seeing your stroke, it's a pretty good idea to try to get back to "neutral" when things go awry with the putter (or any club for that matter).
- The Golf Grip - no matter what, should be arranged to have the palms opposing on another. Imagine a spear going straight thru the back of each hand pulling them together around the club. I know, a bit grotesque but you'll never forget that image! We should hold the putter softly; about a 3 on a scale of 1-10. And for the putting stroke, many believe the grip should rest a bit more in the palms vs. a traditional golf grip in the fingers.
- Alignment is probably the single most important element to the setup. If the foundation is cracked, guess what? The house crumbles when it storms. Think of your round of golf as the hurricane (some might say that's EXACTLY what their round of golf feels like 😂),
- Stance pertains to width, hip and knee hinge, and distance from the ball. Everybody is different here based on their tendencies and desired compensations, but a basic stance puts the eyes on top of the ball (or slightly inside) and feet about shoulder width apart. You should feel comfortable, balanced, and athletic.
- Ball Position - much of this is personal preference. As a neutral position guideline, you can place the ball a touch forward of center and monitor its roll. Theres a really cool way of doing this with just a sharpie, golf ball, and your phone. Draw a vertical line on the ball and place it down in front of a face-on camera. Turn the camera to slo motion and roll a couple putts. Watch the vertical line turn end over end in the replay. Alter your ball position forward and back 1/2 ball until you find the most pure roll. The golf ball will always hop, skid & bounce, then roll. But, the goal is to find the ball position that tends to get the golf ball rolling the soonest.
2. All About The Pace, Baby
Find a good beat with a nice rhythm. Think nothing else for the time being other than matching the beat to the stroke. This rhythm should stay the same from 3ft to 100 ft, and will help you clear your mind of any mechanical thought. A basic rule of thumb for altering distance is to change the stroke length, not the acceleration (or deceleration) of the putter head. This is how the best putters in the world do it!
3. Now Line Up The Face
The face tells the putt where to go. In fact, it's over 90% responsible for the start direction of the ball. If you're missing short putts especially, the face should be where you look to make the biggest gains. Work on a chalk line, a ruler, and with a Navigator Putting Aid
Until next time,