by Bill Mory, PGA
The winter is a great time to get to know your putting stroke and improve consistency to make more putts next summer. Try some of these ideas that I know it will make a difference.
- Putt in front of a mirror using an alignment stick to check posture, eye position and alignment. You eyes should be over the ball or slightly inside of the target line.
- Get to know your stroke. Do you putt using your wrists, your arms, your shoulders or a combination of two or three? Due to the tremendous green speeds on tour, most professionals putt using mainly their arms and shoulders. Although some, like Brandt Snedeker use their wrists. If you generally putt on slower greens you may want to use your wrists and arms a bit more. Whatever stroke gives you the best feel and touch is the one to perfect. Decide and stick with it!
- There are a couple of putting practice devices that can really help in the off-season. The first is a Putting Stick. You place the ball as pictured to the right and putt the ball up the stick. This device not only helps with alignment, but also with your path and putting the ball down the target line. If you don't have a putting stick you can use a yard stick and try to putt the ball so that is stays on the stick until it reaches the hole. The second device is a simple alignment stick or reflector stick which you can pick up at Home Depot for $2. Align the stick with the point at your target and line up your putter face at the opposite end. Putt the stick toward the target. When you strike the stick in the center of the putter face with a square face, the stick will move straight toward the hole. If you're off center or have the face open or closed at impact you won't make solid contact and the stick will go to one side or the other.
- Finally, download a free metronome app on your phone and find out what tempo is best for your putting stroke. We all have different rhythms and tempos in life and so will your putting stroke. Find your tempo and set it on the metronome. When you practice turn on the metronome for the first minute or so of the practice session and try to maintain that tempo throughout your practice.
Spend 15 minutes 3-4 days per week and you'll be amazed at how much more consistent your putting stroke will become.
All the best,
Bill Mory, PGA