Picture this situation in your head for a second. The day is sunny, a light breeze can be felt grazing your skin and it is a perfect day to play golf. You head to the course under the expectation of crushing it. So far, so good. You hit a couple of decent shots in, and all of a sudden you reach the green. As much as you want to keep that score soaring high, you wind up with a double bogey.
You are left wondering what happened. You already know what did. You let your putting game fall by the wayside. Then you wind up asking yourself: “How can I improve?” Here we are going to tell you 5 tangible small steps you can take to make short putts your newfound forte.
Get Into the Right Mindset
As vague as it may seem, thinking poorly of yourself when it boils down to putting is in itself one of the reasons why you are “bad” at it. Negative self-perception will lead to reinforcing bad habits, and that will ultimately lead to bad putts.
The best way to go about it is to be relaxed, and with a predisposition to learn from every time you reach the green. In this way, if you need some extra shots to get the job done, you won’t sweat it. Besides, with this way of thinking, you increase the likelihood of learning from your mistakes and being able to pinpoint more precisely what adjustments you need to make next time.
Try to have more fun while golfing, and the results will come in their due time.
Practice Makes Perfect
You know how the old saying goes. The real issue is not practicing conscientiously. Whenever you see yourself making mistakes, use them as feedback to make the proper adjustments.
A good thing to have into consideration though is not to overanalyze anything. Micro adjustments are good, but only to a given extent. Whenever you visualize yourself doing something, try to think of the expected final action as a whole, not in micro parts.
Also, whenever you are to adjust your setup, think of moving big muscle groups, like for example, turning your core muscles on to remain stable, moving your shoulders in a pendulum motion. Remember, in this case, simplicity is KEY.
Keep Yourself Fit
This piece of advice does not apply only to golf, but life in general. You will improve vastly, and will perform daily mental activities much more proficiently if your body is healthy and fit. It is perfectly reasonable to skip a gym day once or twice, but when it becomes a habit, it will definitely affect your golfing too. Why? Very simple. If your body acquires a certain level of strength at which it is used to perform, and that part goes neglected, your strength outputs will fluctuate alongside your putting abilities. Here is what you will need:
- Strong core muscles that don’t give in to certain unfavorable positions.
- Powerful shoulders that will have be able to motion the putting stroke with good consistant speed.
- Strong forearm muscles that can hold the golf putter steady.
- Stamina so you don't get to tired after hours of playing.
Since putting is a type of skill that mostly requires fine motor skills, proper balance, and general strength, overall fitness is paramount. So you can take this situation to transform your body for the better. Check out these videos here to get some ideas.
Take as an example Rory McIlroy. He has claimed several times that hitting the gym has helped him improve his game substantially. If he could do it, so can you.
Draw a Line on the Golf Ball and Use It
As simple as it may sound, one of the best ways to pick the right line for your putt is simply being able to visualize it more clearly. It is no good to stand on top of the ball, only to hit it, and have it go in the opposite direction as intended.
By using this simple method, you will be able to trace a rather pristine line from behind. Here is how to do it properly.
One caveat though. Once you make up your mind about what line you are going to use, commit to it. Don’t change it while you are on top of it. Commit to the chosen line, and results will surface.
Hit the Ball with a Square Face
This item is crucial. Most of us usually struggle with this. We tend to hit putts with a closed face or with an open face. As you may already know, that ends up altering the trajectory of the ball, preventing it from maintaining the desired line. Hit it with a square face, and the ball will follow.
How can you do this? If you have 4 tees, you can create 2 rows that are separated from each other. The row that is closer to you is going to be used to place the ball between the tees as the “starting point,” and the second row will be some inches farther away. What you want to do is hit the putt with a square face. The row placed ahead will force you to hit it straight.
Another drill that can help you putt the ball much better, is to put a golf ball between your dominant wrist and the club. This will force you to hit it whilst minimizing any sort of wrist movement.
Follow these drills, and you are going to be playing how you want to.
Making Putt Shots Better
All in all, golf is a sport of precision. If you manage to put the pieces together, the puzzle takes form. Here we hope that with these tips, you can assemble it at a faster, and steadier pace. What matters is that you enjoy the process.
Here at back2basics.golf, we guarantee you that we can provide you with the training products that you need to become the golfer you aspire to be.