"Drive for show, putt for dough." Have you ever heard of this saying? Im sure anyone who has played with me has heard me mumble it during my round. A sobering quote that sticks to me like glue. I say this because I believe putting is the most important part of the game. Its the part of your game that can bandage any type of round, good or bad. I know most of you reading this probably don't count your putts... so the next time you go out to play a round I encourage you do so, as it can be a shocker! Here are a few simple tips that are a part of my routine which help me with speed control and getting the ball to go on the line it's supposed to go on. Ha!
1. Have the same pace of stroke while going back and through your putt. Remember, tempo is a big factor in deciding whether this putt is going too short or too long.
2. Hit your putt with your shoulders. Yes... physically use your shoulders to hit your putt! By doing so, it eliminates any wristy action. If we are hitting putts with our wrists, the tempo of our stroke wont be smooth enough. Being wristy is one of the many ways to rack up those 3 putts. It also leads to a lot of face rotation (the ball will most likely start left of where we are aimed, thus leading to probably lots of confusion and wondering how it all happened.
3. If you need to simply build some confidence with those darn short putts, do I ever have the drill for you! In fact its part of my putting routine. It requires at least 5 balls. I call this the Ladder drill. Simply place your first ball a foot from the hole. Then space the remaining balls each a foot apart going back in a straight line. Your goal is to make all of them as fast as you can! If you miss one you have to replace the ball you missed and the one you hit before. You master the drill when you get all 5 in a row at the same time.