Do you want to improve your putting? Part Two
In my last blog I talked about getting a putter that is custom fitted to you and how to practice getting your ball to roll on the intended line. Here is this blog I will discuss two more factors:
1) How the ball’s position on a slope will effect it’s roll
2) Rolling the ball a specified distance
The Position of a Ball on a Slope In putting we always have two objectives to reach. We want the ball to roll a specified distance and in a certain direction. To better understand how to control your distance you need to know how its’ position on the green in relationship to the flag will have an effect on how it rolls. Your putts can roll in one of three directions or in a combination of these:
- up a slope (ball will roll slower and have less break as it rolls against gravity)
- down a slope (ball will roll faster and have more break due to gravity)
- across a slope (ball will again roll faster and have more break due to gravity)
A downhill putt will certainly have more break to it than an uphill putt
As an AimPoint Certified Instructor I have been privileged to proprietary information that is utilized by the best players in the world. We have learned that there are multiple factors that have an effect on the amount of break in a putt. They are:
- The speed of the green’s surface (commonly referred to as Stimp)
- As the distance that the ball rolls increases so will the amount of break
- The position of the ball to the uphill slope of the green will increase or decrease the amount of break
What have we learned from the AimPoint Green Reading method is that you always want to keep your ball in a position that will allow for an uphill putt with a slight right to left break if you are a right-handed putter and a left to right break for a left-handed putter. The ball resting slightly above your feet is an easier putt for you than the ball below your feet.
Once you have determined the amount slope that you have and your golf ball’s angle to the slope you now have to control the velocity of the golf ball as it rolls. This will be accomplished by controlling the amount of stroke taken and the speed of the stroke. I often work with a metronome in order to have my students make the stroke in the same time regardless of the length of a putt. My experience has shown me that better putters have a a pattern of 72-77 bpm (beats per minute) from their takeaway to impact. I will have them putt various length putts to the metronome bpm that works best for them. Whether it is a 10 foot putt or a 40 foot putt I want to establish the same bpm pattern (tempo). In this manner we establish a rhythm that will assist them in controlling distance. To further control distance you will need a stroke pattern that you can execute is a consistent manner. What works well for my students is a ratio of a backstroke that is longer than the through stroke. I often put three beads on my Elevated Aimlines to help facilitate this motion. In the picture below Luke Donald has a through stroke that is slightly shorter than his backstroke. Luke Donald working on his stroke with an Elevated AimLine and a mirror
In Part Three I will discuss a proper pre-shot routine that is repeatable and a practice routine that is designed to work all on aspects of putting. I will share some of my 12 putting drills which will improve your putting performance.