Hands up if you want to knock five shots off your average score in less than 4 weeks? Wade Hooper, PGA Golf Professional, shares his tips to become the best putter at your club with 5 quick ways to improve your putting!
If you want quick results then putting is the place to find it and I would love to give you some ideas on how to not only get fast results but long lasting results.
You could be any age, any gender or any culture. Putting definitely does not discriminate as there are really only two main aspects to being a good putter and that is LINE and SPEED. If you master these two areas I guarantee you to save at least five shots real quick.
So let’s have a look at five ways quick ways to improve your putting and we can make it happen:
- Simple Stroke
Our first step to becoming the best putter at your club is to develop a simple and repeatable stroke which allows us to deliver a square club face at impact and to also control the speed of the golf ball.
Golfers who struggle to control both speed and line often have too many moving parts in their putting stroke, where as the ultimate stroke we are looking to train mostly uses the shoulders and arms to move the putter with almost no use of the wrists at all during the stroke.
I often get my students to picture a Y shape using their arms and the putter shaft and try and maintain the Y shape during the stroke. This is something you can practice from home particularly with a mirror in front of you to check your form. The first step is to develop a simple repeatable stroke.
- Speed Control
Now with a simple no fuss stroke we can start to focus on controlling our speed which is a major reason why we have too many three putts due to the fact we can’t get the first one close enough to the hole. How can we technically gain greater control of our speed?
The answer is through two factors:
Factor 1- stroke length even both sides.
I will show you a great drill to practice in the fifth step to becoming a better putter which demonstrates the importance of keeping the length of your stroke the same on the backswing as you do on your through swing.
Factor 2- consistent stroke tempo
If you are able to imagine a putter that swings evenly on both sides at the exact same tempo each time, then we can predict that each putt will roll out to the same distance each time. Training this key element to speed control can be improved very quickly.
- Club face alignment
One key reason why you may be missing too many short putts is due to the inconsistency in your club face alignment. When playing with less than average putters I notice how often the putter face rarely points where it should be, particularly when it comes to the short makeable putts. How can we gain control of our club face alignment?
First step is to spend a moment to read the putt and then commit to the point you would like to start the putt. Secondly, using a line on your golf ball I strongly encourage you to use it to help line up to your aiming point.
Third step is to try your best to place the line on your putter in line with your aim point using the line of your golf ball. At first this may feel and look like too much mucking about, however, with a little bit of training this will be come a quick, easy and effective routine that will save you shots.
- Pre shot routine
The pre shot routine is the absolute gold nugget when it comes to being the best putter you can be. Trust me. Watch the best players in the world, male and female, you will see patterns! I encourage you to take note next time you’re watching and what you will notice is how much their eyes are focused on the target during their pre shot routine.
A good pre shot routine will improve your club face alignment, your speed and also your ability to perform when a little bit of pressure comes your way – when you need to make a short one to win the money.
A good pre shot routine is one that is simple and repeatable and has a lot of focus on club face alignment and practice strokes that help gain a feel for the speed.
Practice a few putts with your new routine on the practice green and then commit to using it on the course and you will be surprised how quickly your confidence will grow particularly on the short ones.
- Practice drills
So that’s enough theory, the only way we are going to get results ladies and gentleman is to get out to the practice green and have some fun practicing! (yes that’s right practicing can be fun) My two favourite drills designed to improve your speed and line:
- Speed drill
You will need ten ball’s and three tees for this drill
Find a relatively flat part on your practice green and place a tee in the ground and then another tee one putter grip length either side of that tee.
Now place a ball close to the middle tee and make a stroke using the equal distance tees to help control the length of your backswing and through swing.
Without looking up to see the result hit all ten putts and immediately you will gain a feel for whether the putt went longer or shorter. After hitting all ten putts look up and notice how close your grouping is, if there is a quite a range between your grouping then try the drill again and again and your speed will improve dramatically!
- Alignment drill
Find a flat straight putt from five feet and place down two alignment sticks or a five and six iron will do the trick. Using your pre shot routine I want you to line up every putt properly and see if you can hole 20 putts in a row. This drill is so simple yet so effective to help boost your confidence on those short ones.
Let’s sum this up so you can head to the practice green with clarity on how to become the best putter at your club.
Firstly, we need to develop a putting stroke that mainly uses the shoulders and arms to move the putter ( not the wrists, legs or hips). Secondly, we need to keep our putting stroke even on both sides of the ball with a nice smooth tempo to encourage good speed control. Thirdly, we need to put a little more attention into the alignment of our club face during our pre shot routine. Lastly things will not change unless we do just a little bit of quality practice, even if it’s spending a few extra minutes on the green before you hit off will help.
I hope you take just a small amount of time to do some practice so that your confidence grows and sooner, rather than later, you’re the best putter at your club and five shots better off as a result.