Putting Fundamentals – Be King of the Greens
Putting is arguably the most difficult shot in golf. Whereas you can tee the ball up how you like it before every drive, the same does not apply when putting. Every putt you face during a round of golf will be different.
However, putting is the easiest shot to practice as you can do it in the living room at home if you wish. Yet it is often the shot which causes people most pain during a round of golf. If you want to become king of the greens, what are the putting fundamentals you need to have in place?
The first thing you need to get right and feel comfortable with when putting is the grip. The most common grip for righthanded players is to place the ‘lifeline’ on your left hand on to the putter grip, near the top of the club. The thumbs should be flat on the top of the grip and the palms of the hands facing each other. The back of the left hand and palm of the right hand should be facing the target.
This may feel awkward when first put into place but the more you use it the more accustomed to it you will become. If you find a slight variation works well for you, then by all means use it, the grip is not set in stone.
When taking up position to hit a putt, make sure your eyes are over the ball. Your feet, knees, hips and shoulders should be parallel to the target. Roughly 75% of your weight should be on the front foot and the ball positioned 2 inches inside the front heel.
Getting the above putting fundamentals in place is crucial before you do anything else.
Do not rush your putt. Many players make the mistake of stepping onto the green, seeing they are first to putt and feel as though they need to play it quickly. Reading the putt is essential and if you fail to try and line up the putt properly, you are highly unlikely to succeed.
Think about whether the putt is uphill or downhill, if it is going to break to the right or left and how much speed you need to reach the hole. This cannot be rushed.
If you are first to play, the other players will use the time you take to read your putt to try and read their own. This is something you should also be doing if you are not first to play. Do not stand by and just watch others read their putt and play the shot. Work out your own putt while you wait.
When you have made your decision on what you need to do, commit to the shot and play the putt with conviction. You have done everything you can, so stay confident and believe you are the king of the greens.