Want to gain a unique competitive advantage in golf? Perfecting your putt is the secret to lowering your handicap, not just at our golf course in Georgia but at any course, anywhere. Putting is nearly 40 percent of the game at virtually every level of play. That’s why diligent practice will improve your performance and enhance your green reading, speed control, and confidence. We recently asked our Head Golf Professional, Keith Kelly, for some helpful tips and guidelines on putting, including the importance of practice and how to best accomplish it. Here’s what he has to say:
Something most players try to avoid is practicing putting, but it is one of the most important aspects of golf to score well. If you hit every green in regulation and two putt every hole, then putting will be half of all the strokes you make to shoot 72. So, imagine if you have more than 36 putts and don’t hit every green in regulation. Your score will go up greatly. So having the correct technique and practicing can be the quickest way to lower your handicap.
When putting, make sure you are holding the putter in the palms of your hands. This will help eliminate the turning of the face at impact. Make sure you use your shoulders to move the putter back and forth, and not your wrists. This will help you control speed much better when putting. Then it is a matter of practicing certain drills to improve your confidence and speed control.
Three drills I recommend are listed below:
First drill – Put four tees around the hole about three feet away. Putt three balls in a row into the hole before moving to the next tee. Once you have putted from all four tees, move on to another hole on the putting green. The goal is to do this at all the holes on the putting green in less than 30 minutes. Once you do this, you can back it up to five feet instead of three. This will give you confidence on short putts around the hole.
Second drill – Put two balls at five feet, two balls at 10 feet, and two balls at 15 feet. Start at the five-foot putt and try to get it within a foot of the hole with the first ball. Then back up to 10 feet and try to get it within a foot of the hole. Then back up to 15 feet and try to get it within a foot of the hole. Then putt the 15-foot second ball, the 10-foot second ball, and the five-foot second ball. Move to the next hole once you can get all six putts within one foot of the hole.
Third drill – Line up a putt from 10 feet. Once you are all set, close your eyes and hit the putt. Before opening your eyes, make a prediction of what the ball did. Was it short or long, or did you miss it left or right? This will help develop your feel while keeping your head still and not having to look up at putts.
You should dedicate at least three 30-minute practice sessions a week if you really want to improve at putting. You will not believe how quickly your scoring will go down if you do.
For more helpful golf tips, we’re happy to help. Our friendly golf pros offer private and group golf lessons for people of all ages and skill levels. Moreover, playing our award-winning Weiskopf/Morrish-designed course is an enjoyable activity you’ll not soon forget. We invite you to experience it for yourself — call the Pro Shop to arrange lessons or book your tee time online today.