What have you been up to this week?
I hope you have been staying safe and hopefully it won’t be long until I get to see you all practicing again at Windmill.
This week we’re back on putting. Firstly because the weather has been a bit damp and secondly because it’s one of the most important parts of the game. Unfortunately for a few years putting was one of the weaker parts of my game. If I could encourage just one person to get the putting fundamentals correct it would give me great satisfaction because as soon as I had a “back to basics” putting lesson I was back on track instantly.
The super-simple practice drill I’m sharing with you this week will help you understand a few of the basics required for putting and was something I did for hours as a kid learning to play the game. This drill will require your putter and a wall as well as a ball and alignment stick or spare club.
Firstly we’re going to look at the setup. You’re going to stand into posture by bending from the hips and tilting forward towards a wall. Then make sure that the top of your head is pressing against the wall and your eyes are facing straight down towards the floor (and the ball).
Try not to push hard into the wall, just gently rest your head against it. By tilting forward to a good position you’re giving yourself a chance to let your arms relax under the body and create a pendulum motion. Having your eyes straight down over the ball will help you see a straight line toward the hole out of the corner of your eye.
I see a lot of people stood too upright when putting and then they have to look down their nose to see the ball. This can cause problems with seeing the line and with the stroke itself.
Alignment is the next step. Try to ensure that your feet are parallel with the wall and then if you have an alignment stick or spare club place it under your armpits parallel to the target also. One thing I have struggled with when putting is in body alignment.
Lots of people worry about the line on their putter and the line of the feet but neglect the line of the arms, shoulders and hips. This is very often the case with full shots as well as putting and can be one of the reasons for missed shots all over the golf course.
When you’re in a good set up you can start making some small putting strokes without a ball. Try to create a good rhythm, like a pendulum, and gradually make the strokes longer keeping the same tempo.
An important thing to note here is that you are keeping your head still. If you have a tendency to move your body and head when putting it’s likely you will miss the middle of the putter face causing inconsistent strike and direction.
Try to keep your head still post-impact and imagine the ball rolling towards the hole without having to look up and see it. In most putting lessons I give, the pupil gets excited and wants to see where the ball has gone before it’s even left the clubface!
Try practicing your stroke with your eyes closed to get a feeling of rhythm and this will help you relax. Remember, putting is all about feel. If you can get comfortable in your setup and with your stroke now, when you get on the golf course you can trust it, relax and hole more putts!
Like I said I can’t wait to see you all practicing again on the driving range and on The Mill and hopefully that will be in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions or would like me to look at your putting set up please feel free to send some pictures or videos. Send them to email@example.com and I’ll give you some feedback as soon as I can.
Cheers & Stay safe!