Do you want to improve your putting?
As an instructor I have been certified in the AimPoint Green Reading methods and teach more putting hours than the average instructor. In my experience with thousands of hours perched on a putting green I have come to some valid conclusions about golfers and their inability to putt well. The majority of golfers that I watch on the putting green will practice by throwing three balls down on to the green and start rolling them randomly at a hole. This practice method is wonderful for killing time but does nothing to improve your putting. Putting is a combination of many factors that are intertwined and there is no one area that should be ignored. Most golfers that I see who do not putt well do so because they cannot start the ball on a proper line to the hole and they cannot roll the ball the specified distance. In this first part of a three part series on putting I will discuss the first two factors. Putting well is a combination of these six factors:
- A putter that is custom-fitted to you
- Creating a stroke pattern that starts the ball on line
- Being able to roll the ball a specified distance
- Understanding slope and the ball’s position on that slope will effect the roll of the putt
- A proper pre-shot routine that is repeatable
- A practice routine that is designed to work all on aspects of putting
Custom Putter Fitting
A putter should be fitted to the individual and not bought off the shelf. A putter that is custom fitted will have the proper length, lie angle and the correct amount of loft on the face of the putter. You should choose a design that allows you to aim it properly and the overall weight of the putter should fit your stroke. You have two choices in putter heads. One is a blade and the other a mallet. Your stroke will be better suited to one or another.
The putter heads pictured above are from Edel Putters who custom fit all their putters. Certain putter heads are more likely to assist your ability to aim the putter head more precisely. The two mallet heads pictured on the left are designed for a stroke with less arc whereas the four blades pictured to the right are designed for a stroke with more arc.
Starting the ball on the intended line
In order to improve your putting you must be able to start your ball rolling on the intended line. To do this I never practice my putting without an Elevated Aimline which is pictured below.
The Elevated Aimline consists of two 14″ needles connected with 40′ of elastic string. I place one needle on the Aimline behind the ball and another on the Aimline accounting for the correct amount of break. As an example if I have two feet of break from right to left I would place the end of the Aimline 24″ to t he right of the hole. I stroke putts insuring that the ball begins rolling under the string line. When practicing with the Aimline I will do so with uphill, downhill and sidehill putts. I practice these putting on these various slopes from these distances:
- Under five feet
- 6′ to 10′
- 10′ to 20′
- Beyond 20 feet
In Part two I will discuss how to roll a ball a specified distance and how the ball reacts to rolling across a slope.