Putting is the maker or breaker of your game and all it requires is some basic confidence and technique!
The trouble with putting for most golfers is confidence! Putting was so easy when we were young as we gave ourselves no barriers to tell us different...Now as we get older and make more putts (mainly bad ones) we create false barriers which make us believe that putting is harder than what it really is!
The truth is, putting is very simple as long as you don't over complicate it in your mind! It doesn't require many techniques like the rest of your game...just a little basic confidence and technique on the green will make your handicap lower with ease.
You see, to putt successfully you need to be in the right frame of mind, to know that you can make that easy putt. There are no secrets when it comes to putting...there are no special tricks either...if you want that ball to go in the hole then you had better start thinking that you can put it there. If you don't, you might aswell just hit and hope that some magical force is going to put it in for you!! which in my experience of playing...Harry Potter just aint going to show up and help you too often!
If you want to make a putt then know you can make it before you take it!
Now Your overall game, whether your on the 1st hole or the 18th is going to challenge your confidence every step of the way and will be a vital key to whether you end up using 2 to 3 strokes on the green or 5 to 6!
Control your overall mind frame throughout your game (whether you're playing good or bad) and you will see your putting improve!
Now with confidence being controlled by you at last, there are some basic putting techniques you should apply to every hole you're on to make sure that you sink it like you know you can.
The most important putting technique is reading the green, properly aligning yourself and then feeling confident that when you're ready to make your putt...the ball is going in the hole.
To align yourself correctly when putting is simple and here's what I like to do to make sure I have the confidence that my ball is going in the hole every time...
Now before taking your putt, you want to crouch down behind your ball to see what kind of green you're playing on. If you only give yourself a birdseye view of the green by not crouching down, you are going to struggle to make your putt. This is the first vital key to your alignment - whether you need to align yourself a little left, or right depending on the slope.
Take it in for a minute and walk to the other side of the hole, looking at your ball from the holes view. This will tell you whether you were reading the green correctly from one side of the hole or if you've just noticed a little more slope than what you first thought. Now with that going through your head, take a walk to either side of the green inbetween your ball and the hole and crouch down again to see if you are playing uphill or downhill...this is the second and last part to knowing how much power you are going to need to sink your putt.
If you know that you are playing downhill a little and it drifts to the right into the hole, then you can make a judgment that slowing the speed of your putt and hanging it to the left of the hole a little is going to be pretty close. Depending on the degree of the slopes and distance of your putt you need to make a confident choice on how you should putt...Nobody is going to make this choice for you so decide and be confident in your decision so that once you actually swing your putter, you know the ball is going where you want it to go!
Now when you go back to your ball, Align yourself and putter behind the ball as you think correct based on what you have just done.
Keep your putter in your hand making sure that you don't move the head off angle to what you've just thought correct and crouch down behind the ball with the club still in your hand so it's now laying flat on the floor infront of you aimed at the hole as you think best. This is where you can finally see whether you have chosen the best alignment. If you're a little off then twitch your putter a little until the head is how you think correct. If you are confident in your set up then take hold of your putter again making sure you don't move the head offline and set yourself back into your comfortable putting position. Now you should feel very confident that you have aligned yourself correctly after reading the green and can now simply make your putt.
When making a putt I always keep my wrists and arms sturdy and use just my shoulders to move the putter which keeps it online all the time. Also the distance I am pulling the putter back, I follow through the same distance to make sure I have a good clean contact with the ball everytime.
If you use this putting technique on every putt you make...whether you're 6 inches away from the hole or 30 feet, you will see your putting improve and your handicap lower.
Remember...Never! rush into making a putt without being properly aligned and confident that you are going to sink the ball. As you gain more confidence in your putting you can be sure to see the rest of your game improve aswell.
To a lower handicap