The amateur golfer usually doesn't realize how many strokes your putts add to your game. If you can consistently 2 putt on every green, it can take 10-12 total strokes off of your score. This could make a career 100 golfer break 90. It's a massive game-changer. There are lots of things you can do to improve your putting game both physically and mentally. In this article, we're going to go over a few tips that you can take to the putting green and sharpen your skills.
1. Finding your stroke
It's important to have a consistent stroke when putting. If you keep switching up how you swing your putter then it will be very hard to read greens and calibrate your stroke power. Finding your comfortable putting stroke also allows you to lift your eyes from your ball and focus on looking at the hole. Most great putters don't have their head down when putting, it's up and focused on the hole and the line that they are trying to hit.
2. Reading Greens
Getting better at reading greens is arguably the most important part of sharpening your putting game. The best way to get better at reading greens is repetition, but there are a few other things to take into account.
One tip that gets overlooked is to read with your feet. This means walking with momentum and feeling how the green feels under your feet. This will give you an idea of how fast or sluggish the greens may feel. Another way to read with your feet is to stand over the ball like you are about to hit it and look at the elevation of your feet and the ball. If the ball feels lower than your feet, then there will be a right break. If your ball is elevated above your feet, it will break left.
When you have a line for your putt, try and make an insurance line read. This means that you should have 2 lines for your putt that you believe are the two best chances for your ball to go in the cup. When you have this in your mind, it gives a little bit of room for error and should set you up nicely in case your putt does not land.
3. Deep Putts
Something that a lot of golfers struggle with is aiming straight at the cup when taking a deep putt. This can force overhit putts, or cause worry of leaving it short. Something that helps people with this problem is picking a larger area near the cup and aiming for that. It takes the mental pressure off of hitting the cup from far away and will usually set you up nicely for a 2 putt. You have to realize that your goal is to take strokes off of your current game, and not sinking every single putt you have. Play it safe and conservative on the greens and you will see a drastic change in your score.
4. Putting Drills
There are endless drills you can do to improve your putting so let's just go over one of the most important ones. It's called the circle putt drill. You take 8 golf balls and put them in a circle about 3 feet out from the hole. These are putts that you should be making consistently. Doing this before your round will get your stroke calibrated and warmed up.
Another drill to try is to put two tees in the ground at each end of your putter. putt balls through the gate of tees to get used to having a straight follow-through and hitting the ball on a straight line. after enough repetitions muscle memory will take over and you should have a straight and consistent putting stroke.
These are just a few amateur tips that will bring your score down if done correctly. Putting seems like the easiest aspect of the game but it is far from it. Hitting bombs off the tee don't mean anything if you can't finish the hole with your putter!