For many golfers, what’s holding them back from breaking 100, 90, or 80 comes down to their short game and I’m specifically talking on the green.
Here are 3 very easy putting tips that can help get you over the hump and closer to lowering your scores:
#1: ROLL vs. HIT. When you hit the ball you are creating problems with distance control. Okay, yes you are physically going to touch the putter face to the ball thus creating a hit but I’m specifically talking to the mental part of the putting stroke. By approaching the putt and thinking how far to roll the ball you are already one step closer to a more controlled stroke. Many times when golfers think hit vs. roll they will create a jumpy stroke and leave it well long or well short. The ball can also hop and therefore lose the controlled and smooth stroke you need to improve your putting. Thinking about the ball roll will also help you think in terms of distance. Each rotation of the ball is important for accurate distance. Try this mental trick and you’ll see your putts end in the hole or well within distance to make a simple second putt for finish.
#2: SHORTEN YOUR TARGET. Aim small, miss small… just like the quotes from both American Sniper and The Patriot. Regardless of the length between the ball and the hole you’ll be trying to read the slope and undulations to find the right path. Once you’ve determined what you think is correct look for a spot closer to the ball that is within your immediate peripheral vision once standing ready to putt. There may be a shadow to aim for, a longer piece of grass, a mark, or something that can keep you focused. This spot you will target should be within 1-3 feet of where your ball is currently sitting. Aim for the shorter target and let the ball roll.
#3: NO TAP-INS; NO GIMMES. I hate to admit this because we all do it, but quit picking up your ball for a gimme and quit walking up to tap the ball in without properly setting up and executing a good stroke. Why? Because you’re just as likely to have an Ernie Els 2016 Masters episode as the next guy or gal. A wasted stroke is a wasted stroke. Make each putt count and give each putt, regardless of distance, the same amount of attention. By making a conscious effort to sink a two footer as you do a 25 footer you will continue to practice and save strokes. There is nothing more frustrating than missing a putt within one or two feet. Read the green, determine a path, take a good stance, and roll the ball into the hole. When it comes time for competition gimmes aren’t allowed so why hold yourself short.
What other easy putting tips do you recommend to your fellow golfers to help lower their scores from the green?