Do you want to improve your putting? Part Three
I have held off completing this portion of the blog as I just completed a trip to Omaha, Nebraska with fellow instructors/friends to work with the renowned short game instructor/coach, James Sieckmann. James works with players on all the professional tours and has wonderful information in the short game and putting arena to share. I validated some information and learned some things that I will write about in the months to come.
In putting like much of the game of golf the set-up to the ball which includes the pre-shot routine are paramount to success. It is important to put yourself in the same position each time you make a stroke in order to create a greater probability of success.
When we are preparing to get into our set-up position to putt you have completed your read of the putt and decided on your AimLine. My preference is to do the following:
- Set the putter face on the ground behind the ball and insure that it is aimed at your AimPoint. The ball is in the correct position relative to the “sweetspot” on the putter face and that it is properly soled
- Place your hands on the grip and assume your balanced position so that your posture is stable and you have the proper stance width in a balanced position. Insure that the ball position relative to your front leg as well as the distance from the ball to your toe line is consistent. You want your eyes to be over the ball or slightly inside it (See the pictures below)
In the image above Rory McIlroy has his putter face aimed correctly, eyes over the ball with attention paid to the distance from his toeline to the ball. This is a position that Rory would want to repeat each time.
When practicing your putting it is important to do so on a regular basis and to create a putting practice routine that is includes all aspects of putting. My routine has the four elements in it that can be interchanged from one session to the next. When I go out to practice I always begin in this manner:
- I will practice my set-up routine with alignment rods to insure that my ball positions as mentioned above are correct and that my posture is balanced over the ball. I want to feel stable and anchored.
- Standing on various slopes I will take my digital level and feel the slope under my feet and then measure the percentage of slope with the level to verify that the percentage of slope incorrect. I use this number in my AimPoint green reading to determine the AimLine of each putt.
- I will read various putts from 3’to 40′ and then stroke them on the appropriate AimLine so that I may work on getting the ball started on line and rolling the proper distance.
- I may work on some putting drills and then play some putting games so that I have to compete against myself. When I do this I only use one ball and get only one opportunity to perform. In this manner it is similar to what happens on the golf course.
I have decided toe expand this to Part Four which will include my Putting Games. Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss any of this.