There’s no reason that you can’t become a great putter. It’s the part off the game that requires the least amount of physical strength and it has the shortest swing of the club head.
Lately my putting has been very good. I’ve been sinking a lot of putts in the 10-15 foot range. It’s a range that I struggled with most of the season but I’ve figured out some things that work for me.
I work on speed with a few simple speed drills. The first drill is from Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent. It involves putting to the fringe. I pick a spot where I’m between 10-15 feet from the fringe and putt to it. As the putt is rolling to the fringe I try to feel whether it’s going to be short, long or right on. Is amazing how much this begins to tune your sense of speed. I do this for a few minutes then move on to the next drill.
A straight line
Recently focusing on this thought has greatly improved my accuracy. I try to think of all my putts as straight line putts.
Obviously not every putt travels in a straight line. But they have to come off the putter face in a straight line. The thought is to pick my line, then allow gravity and the green contours to bring the putt to the hole.
I started doing this because I realized that I was compensating for the break. That would result in pulled or pushed putts. I even make the straight line shorter in my mind’s eye and constrain it to 6 inches in front of the ball and six inches behind it.
At first it felt a bit weird putting like this, but by trusting that gravity and the contours of the green would take the ball to the hole, these ideas have really simplified my putting stroke. One of the other benefits, besides making more putts has been that I’ve become a better green reader. I trust that the slope of the green and gravity will both do their jobs and it frees me up to hit a purer putt.
Give these ideas a try and let me know if they work for you.