The following are recent putting tips from my Facebook page:
There comes a point in your putting when your stroke is good enough, and the reads you make are good enough, that you should be sinking putts. If you are not, check to see whether it’s because you don’t feel the ball falling into the hole before you start the stroke. I don’t mean visualizing the ball falling in, but feeling in your body the impact of the ball on the bottom of the cup liner.
To avoid getting a sore back when you practice putting, use just one ball. That way, you have to get out of your crouch after every putt, to stand up and go get your ball.
If you’re just missing makable putts, I’ll bet it has more to do with speed than line. If you can hit your putts from twenty feet in so they all roll at the same speed when they get to the hole, you have that much more clarity about how to pick the right line, and confidence that that line is the right one.
I found my blade opened on the backswing, but wasn’t always closing. This made me miss putts to the right. I started hooding the putter, just a bit, on the way back to keep the blade square. It works.
One of the questions surrounding putting is whether to charge to putt or let it die into the hole. The pros can die the putt at the hole because they play on greens that are flawless and true. Our greens aren’t that good, so we have to hit the ball a bit harder.
A 40-handicapper and a scratch golfer have the same number of two-putt greens in a round of golf. Records bear this out. The scratch golfer, though, will have three fewer three-putt greens and three more one-putt greens. A word to the wise: It is much easier to learn how to putt like a scratch golfer than to swing like one.
I would much rather leave a 20-foot putt dead on line and two inches short than burn the edge of the hole and leave it four feet past. Ben Crenshaw once said that for him, any putt outside eight feet is a speed putt.
I think it’s important on the green that once you have found the starting line and feel the speed, you stand over the ball and forget about the hole completely. Just hit a straight putt the same as you do on your living room carpet. Thinking that there is more to do than that this point is a major reason why you miss putts you should be making.
The reason you rarely miss a three-foot putt on the practice green is that you don’t care if it goes in or not. The reason you miss them when you play is that you do.