Published: 06:00, 05 March 2021
Our final session focuses on putting. For this you’ll need a large towel, two tee pegs and a set of practice sticks (or garden cane).
Putting, much like every other part of the game, is a personal thing. We are constantly being told that in order to be a good putter we must have the perfect set up and stroke when, in reality, as long as the ball is always coming off the club face at the desired speed and on the desired line then that is all that matters.
Chris is Head PGA Professional at Sittingbourne & Milton Regis Golf Club and owner of the CW Golf Studio, has been a PGA Professional for 23 years. During the course of this six-week programme, he will share with you some of his most popular drills and routines that he has found, through his coaching experiences, to benefit all golfers irrespective of their golf handicap or age.
How you putt is really up to you. Take the grip, for example. If you were to turn up at a European Tour event and take a look at how every Pro holds the putter, you would see that there are a plethora of styles, grip thicknesses and methods being used. They all share the same aim though - to hole as many putts as possible. If you can be a consistent putter you’ll be a good putter, no question!
Whenever I work on putting with any student, initially I only focus on three things at address. Eyes over the ball (this enables you to clearly see if the putter head is travelling on the path you intend), ball towards the lead foot (ensuring that the club head is on a slight upswing at impact promoting a good roll) and arms hanging naturally (to help promote a nice ‘pendulum’ style of stroke). Other than these three elements, I pretty much let the student find their own way.
Without question, one of the most important elements to the putting stroke is tempo. Without good tempo and rhythm we struggle to find consistency. Whenever you are putting, try to visualise a metronome and cultivate the feeling of an even tempo and resist the temptation to hit the ball. That’s why we call it the putting ‘stroke’ and not hit! To help with this, try the following simple drill.
Find a nice flat piece of ground or carpet, set up the practice sticks parallel to each other, pointing towards the hole (or intended target) and a fraction wider than the putter head width apart and place the two tees just beyond the end of them to act as the gate that you are trying to hit the ball through. Now take your bath towel and tie a knot in one end to create a weight. Hold the other end and now take a number of practice strokes without stopping, all the time ensuring that the knot moves in time with your hands. If the knot starts jumping around all over the place it shows us that your stroke is uneven and, most likely, inconsistent.
Once you are comfortable with this, take hold of your putter and replicate the sensation. Hopefully you will feel that he putter is never being forced through the stroke. From this point if you wish to vary the length of the putt you simply need to adjust the length of your stroke. Give it a go and see if it helps. Remember, it’s a putting stroke, not a putting hit.
That brings us to the end of our six sessions. Hopefully it has given you a few simple ideas to focus on, which will increase your enjoyment of this fantastically frustrating and annoying but ultimately brilliant and satisfying game. Please feel free to contact me at the CW Golf Studio at Sittingbourne & Milton Regis Golf Club if you want to learn more.
Let’s hope this is our final lockdown and we’ll be out on those fairways from March 29 for good!
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