Timbered Putter Golf

Putting Practice

I love my Golf Practice Mat and I know it has saved me strokes around the green, but makeing two-putts or better should be a major focus both while practiing  and on the course.  Hopefully the article below will get you thinking about making putting a priorety.

     If you shot even par the way it’s drawn up your shooting to the green and allowed two-putts. Two putts x 18-holes equals 36 shots on a standard par 72 golf course.

Short putts and long putts can have a drastically different stroke even though your using the same club. From an 18-inch tap-in to a ninety foot snake of a double breaker.

Short Putts – on a short putt your just trying to get the ball rolling on line to the hole. At a short distance your less concerned with the break of the green and often times you can take the break out of the equation. If you saw “Lefty” in the 2009 FedEx Cup – you know what I’m talking about. Phil was striking the ball pure and ramming it into the back of the cup with authority.

  • The most important part of making short puts is keeping the club face square to the putting line.
  • Keep your putting stoke as short as possible – especially your back-swing (this will lower the chance of changing your club face angle)

Long Putts - When you have a long putt your stroke can be looser and longer. I like to put on an arc on my long putts because I find it easier to get my tempo right.

A golfers nightmare is leaving a thirty foot putt ten yards short or blowing it by the whole by ten feet.  Of course you want the best read you can get, but remember that distance is the most important element of a long putt.

It makes sense to read the speed of the green and your desired distance first. After all, your putt will break differently based on speed. Most three putts are not a result of miss reading the break, but of distance control or feel. If you miss a 90 foot putt two feet to the right – it still leaves you with a two-foot putt.

For Long puts on fast greens:

  • Hopefully you have spent some time on the practice green to get used to the speed
  • First determine how fast your willing to put the ball
  • Then determine how much the putt will break

Reading the green:

  • As you approach the green from the fairway take a look at how it was built. Is there a high side? Is there water to one side? Greens are constructed to drain so try and pick up how the golf course architect intended the water to flow.
  • Once your on the green look at your putt from both sides (in front and behind the hole)
  • Determine the speed based on up-hill or down hill, texture, grain, and moisture.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed, just pay attention and let your subconscious do the math.
  • Take into consideration where you would like to be for a two putt. A short uphill straight putt is usually the goal.

Addressing the putt:

  • I like to mark a line on the ball and point along my desired putt line. I see the pros do it, so I figure it’s good enough for me. I just started this year and it has added a lot of confidence and it keeps me from second guessing my line as I make the putt.
  • I like to take a few practice putts while looking up at the hole (or my line. This has really helped with the pace of my putts and hitting the right distance.
  • Then I step up to the ball, square my putter face on the ball and execute the putt. I try to keep my hands relaxed and repeat my practice swing.

Remember speed kills – so this should be your biggest concern on long putts.

Also, Putting is something that you can practice at home, in your backyard, or even at the office if you have a cool boss. Consider getting yourself a golf putting mat and spending a few minutes a day working on your practice putting green.

I didn’t discuss different putting grips and styles because putting is a very personal thing. I prefer an interlocking grip and putting on an arc swing path right now, but I’ve tried a few over the years.