Working on your putting game

The easiest way to shave a few strokes off your score is to improve your putting. Most golfers have a tendency to be inconsistent due to poor distance control, this is easily improved with a few subtle adjustments.

The first adjustment is in the grip, many golfers use the same grip for putting as they use for the full swing. The grip for the full swing allows the wrists to hinge throughout the swing; this wrist action is not desirable for the putting stroke.

The putting stroke is a movement of the hands, arms, shoulders and putter moving as one, the shoulders simply respond to the movement of the hands and arms. The club should be a little forward of center and the ball directly below the eyes.

The club should swing back and forward equal distance with no attempt to hit the ball, the ball is struck simply because it is in the way. The putting stroke should feel like a pendulum.

An incredibly simple and effective drill is to use two balls as a reference point by placing them about 18 inches apart. Stand in the middle of the balls and swing back and forth equal distance using the balls to determine the length of swing both ways. Hit three balls with this guide and see that they finish in the same place.

To alter the distance of the putt simply move the guide balls closer together or farther apart. This is a drill that golfers of all levels should use every time they practice putting (which of course should be more than twice a year)!

Terry Gingell is a PGA Professional. For information regarding private and group lessons, call Terry, 690-7970.


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