Many brilliant ball strikers never made an impact on the professional tour because they could not putt well enough to win tournaments. What’s that old saying, “drive for show and putt for dough”. The same can be said for us weekend amateurs. The main difference is the amount of money that is at stake. Mainly for us weekend amateurs it’s just a round of refreshments and our pride that is at stake rather than millions of dollars.
We can be safe to say a couple of things. First is that putting is an individual and comfort driven activity. If you look at the players on the professional tours you will see long putters, short putter, mid-length putters, blade and mallet style putter heads. You will see a wide variety of ways in which the player grips the putter, from the claw grip to the left hand low style to the conventional grip to anything in between. Second is that the successful putters on tour have very little head movement, their eyes stay focused and their head remains still after the ball has been struck by the putter head.
I would venture to guess that the average weekend amateur takes very little time practicing their visualization and focusing skills. The average weekend amateur golfer can make tremendous strides in their game by taking the time to really understand what it means to read a green and to visualize a putt. The average weekend amateur can also cut strokes from their score if they develop their focusing skills, especially when putting. If you three-putt 5 or more holes per round then developing your focus and visualization skills will pay dividends immediately.
The other thing to remember is that when you reduce the number of three-putts from your average round your confidence level will soar. Whether you struggle with the 40-foot lag putts or you yip the short two-foot putt, a stroke is a stroke. The object of the game is to turn three strokes into two strokes.
Reading the green correctly will also help to cut down on your number of putts. Be aware of your environment. As you approach the green to putt observe if the green is sloped back to front or if there are ridges in the green. These two things can give you a general idea of how the ball is going to break. Also, be aware if there are any major bodies of water nearby or if you are playing in a mountainous area where the mountains or water are located in relationship to the green, these two things will also effect speed of the putt as well as the break of the ball.
If we improve on a couple of items related to putting we can reduce our scores and increase our enjoyment on the golf course.