We spend around 33% of our shots on the putting green, so working on a really solid routine WILL lower your putts per round. By knowing that you’ve prepared for every putt as best you can, will definitely increase confidence and you’ll be surprised at how many more putts you hole.
Here’s my suggestion for the perfect Pre-putt Routine:
1. Become a good reader of greens
It’s easy to get sloppy about this, but it doesn’t take long. While your playing partners are putting, make sure you walk round the putt to see the line from all angles. It’s amazing what you don’t see when you just look at the putt from behind the ball.
2. Learn how to visualize.
Once you’ve made your judgment to what the ball is going to do, COMMIT to it. Jack Nicklaus said he never missed a putt in his mind.
Indecision is a big reason that putts are poorly hit. Committing to your line, even if it is the wrong one, will result in a better putt. Start to see the ball rolling on that line to the hole and see it going in the cup. For me, this is the most important step. You need to create the belief that you WILL hole the putt.
3. Feel the putt with your practice strokes.
With each practice stroke, imagine the ball leaving the putter and following that exact line you’ve imagined and rolling into the cup. This will tell your body how hard you need to hit it to keep it on that line. Trust is the most important part of putting. Make the same number of practice strokes for each putt, so every putt feels the same, whether it’s to win the club championship or not. Give every putt the same level of attention.
4. Pick your spot
Now you know exactly what the putt is going to look like, pick a spot about 6 inches in front of the ball on the line the ball needs to start on.This can be a mark on the green, a blade of grass or whatever you can focus on 6 inches in front of the ball. You’ll notice some of the top players holding the putter up to the ball and their target line and closing one eye. This is what they’re doing (find their spot). Starting the ball on the right line is crucial.
5. Address the ball and align the putter to your spot.
Poor alignment is the biggest cause of missed putts, especially short ones. If your putter’s not aligned to the spot you determined in the previous step, you’ll be relying on luck to see it go in.
Make sure the ball is in the same position between your feet every time.
Ball striking is crucial in putting and if you’re inconsistent with where the ball is in your stance, your ball striking will be inconsistent and so will your putts per round.
6. Keep your eye on the back of the ball and strike it with the center of the putter
Give it a good roll. This should be your only swing thought.
7. Accept the outcome.
So what if you 3 putt? Dwelling on it is not the way go. If you went through the steps above and hit the ball solidly, you hit a good putt. Tell yourself you are a great putter and believe it!
Stick to this routine and I’ve no doubt you will see improvement.
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