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Playing Golf

The Art Of Putting
by Tim Henry

The majority of the game of golf is putting - pure and simple.

It looks so easy - rolling that little ball into a nearby hole. But mastering the skill has threatened many a golfer's sanity.

Here are a few tips to help improve your putting skills.

• Use just one ball when you practice your putting. This is closer to what a real game is like. You tend to concentrate better this way than if you have a bucket of balls to keep digging into. And be sure to practice your putting daily.

• Putting isn't all in the wrists. When you're putting, the palms of your hands face each other. This prevents one hand from dominating and ensures that both work together for you.

• Make sure you're totally relaxed before you strike the ball. Loosen up your muscles so they feel flabby and jelly-like. Never tense up your muscles when putting!

• Make your back and follow through strokes the same length.

• Keep your putter face square by weakening your left hand and strengthening your right.

• Rely less on your wrists and more on your shoulders when putting.

• Keep that left wrist firm.

• Relax your knees a little. Don't lock up.

• Your heels should be shoulder-width apart.

• Gary McCord advises that on curved putts, keep your feel parallel to the line you've chosen, not parallel to the hole.

• As you make contact with the ball, you want to accelerate the putter. Keep the putter grip moving toward your target.

• It's better to miss a putt by sending it beyond the hole than by having it come up short. Finishing off the shot will be easier.

• Practice your putt at home on your carpet when the weather is bad or you can't get to the golf course.

• Find a putter that works well for you and stay with it.

• Have something at stake at every hole so you become accustomed to putting under pressure.

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