It’s that time of year, it’s cold and dark when you go to work and the same when you come home, it’s cold and wet and not great for any golfer. You’re probably thinking why should I go and work on my game when it’s no fun, or are you one of the few who still venture out to the range in the cold and beat balls out of habit, not really knowing if it’s actually helping you?
Well, read on and you will find that helpful practice can be done at home, whilst watching the golf or your favourite film! That’s right, practice your putting this winter and you will reap the rewards next time you play.
You may or may not know but I use the very latest in technology to help improve putting, I use the SAM Putt Lab and high speed cameras to help technique and analyse the roll on the ball. This enables me to correctly pin point what needs to be worked on to help you hole more putts and lower your scores.
This month I wanted to talk about the importance of getting roll on your putts. Every golfer is looking for the next way to lower their handicap, the best way to lower your handicap is to make more putts from 8 feet and in. I know, easier said than done!
The best players in the world make around half of their putts from 8 feet; amateurs only make about a third of their putts from the same distance. To make more short putts, you need to learn to roll the ball.
When you roll putts, the ball skids less after impact; therefore, you experience better distance control and the ball takes its true break. Your goal is to minimize the skid and get the ball rolling end-over-end as soon as possible. I have made a video that shows that on a 10 foot putt, the ball can skid as much as 4 feet before it starts to roll. When the ball skids too much, the ball will roll through the break and miss the hole. Your miss may be caused by too much skidding rather than misreading the break on the green.
Click the video below to see the effects roll has with the wrong putter
Not rolling the putt efficiently can be down to poor technique or an equipment problem. A non-fitted putter can lead to a poor setup position, which then can produce inefficient mechanics.
Technique can be worked on with two or three putting sessions. One question I normally ask is have you had your clubs fitted, and nowadays I’m pleased to hear that more golfers see the benefit of having clubs fitted to help their game. But it’s always the putter that is left out, it’s the most used club in the bag and it’s the part of the game that impacts your score the most.
I see too many players at every skill level using putters that are too long for them to start with, non-fitted putters will lead to poor setups. We should look at the lie angle, an incorrect lie angle can create tension in your forearms. 90 percent of the success comes from an optimal setup, a fitted putter helps you achieve this.
Lastly, there are three basic head designs to match your stroke – face balance, toe balance and heel balance. We need to ensure the putter head design matches your stroke.
So getting back to how you can make practice worthwhile in the winter, my advice to you is to take your putter home and practice hitting putts using the drill below.
How to practice at home – Putting
Put a line around the ball (only on half of the ball), I would recommend you use a tool for this, (you get a free one of these if you don’t already have one, when you book a putting course with me).
Once you have the line on the ball position the ball so that the line is aimed at the target (practice a 8 to 10 foot putt). Aim the putter along this line towards the target and hit the putt. You are looking to get a solid tidy (not wobbly) line for the whole of the putt. This will give you an idea of whether you are getting a good roll and are hitting the putt on your intended line.
I promise that if you practice this over the winter you will see the difference on the course. If you are finding it difficult then please get in touch with me, I can help.
If you want to find out what putting stroke you have and if your putter is the best one for you then please contact me by clicking HERE or call me using the number below.
Manston Golf Centre