During summer and fall 2020, there has been an increase of golf players all over the world. Perhaps this is because this enjoyable sport doesn’t really involve physical contact, which is ideal nowadays. Additionally, playing golf allows participants to exercise, have fresh air, and enjoy the outdoors.
If you’re just starting golf, you probably know it’s not just simply hitting the ball. In fact, you must train, familiarize yourself, and master different golf techniques. One of these is putting.
1. Why is putting important?
Putting is different from the usual golf swings players do, since all you have to do is to let the ball roll. This means you have to hit the ball slowly. Putting is also considered the golfer’s last shot.
However, you might think it’s easy to do, especially since it’s the last shot. Even if it’s the last shot, it’s easier said than done. For one, there can be various factors like the terrain that can hinder you from making the shot, hence a failed putt may cause you the match.
To help you out, here are some ways to improve your putting:
2. Know how to calculate distances
To improve your putting, you should know how to accurately judge the distance. This implies that you must have good spatial recognition, which is why it’s a must that your vision is excellent. If not, you can always wear glasses.
For a good spatial recognition exercise, try to select a target on the ground, then fixate on that image. Next, try closing your eyes. With your eyes closed, point to the target. If you’re way off, don’t be discouraged. Good spatial recognition doesn’t come overnight. In fact, most players can be depth deficient, which means they consider the hole closer than it is.
If this is the case, you can use a stroke gained calculator. This calculator helps you improve your putting by recording previous shots, allowing you to determine if you’ve improved your spatial recognition, which in turn will motivate you to take the next shot.
3. Apply the three-foot putt exercise
To be truly confident about your putting skills, expert golfers advise practicing the three-foot putt. In fact, professional golfers, like Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, use this as a part of their warm-up.
The 3-foot putt involves you standing 3 feet away from the hole. Next, as much as possible, try to sink 100 balls in the hole in a row. If you’re up for the challenge, you can even set up some tees. This exercise is important as you’ll subconsciously see the ball roll into the cup, allowing you to gain confidence.
If 3 feet is no longer a challenge for you or if you’ve already sunk 25 in a row, try moving backward like four or five feet. It’s said that consistently performing this routine will improve your putting skills by up to 80%.
Here are some essential drills that can also help improve your putting:
Hit three to six golf balls from various distances away from the putt. If that’s no longer a challenge, increase the number of golf balls.
To make yourself comfortable with three feet away from the hole, try rehearsing this movement several times. That way, you’ll also develop good muscle memory. Also, try mixing it up by changing the angles relative to the hole. You can also try practicing uphill or downhill putts.
4. Use your hands
One common mistake beginner golfers make when they putt is they heavily rely on their shoulders and arms as they putt. This action results in inconsistency since you’ll be swinging from the wrong end of the club.
Instead, when putting, try using only your hands, as this won’t generate as much power compared to your shoulders. Also, when putting, gravity is your friend, so you don’t really need that much power behind the shot. Your hands and gravity are all the force you need for a successful putt. Additionally, don’t forget to adjust your hand’s force and also consider the terrain when you’re putting from a distance.
The tips mentioned in this post would only prove to be futile if you don’t take the time to go out on the golf course. Hence, always practice—besides, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect.
Also, don’t be discouraged if it takes you two or three times to putt. In the same way as Friday Night Lights, golf should be enjoyable. Furthermore, once you master this crucial skill, you’ll be the master of the green in no time!