Eight ways to improve your putting
By T.J. TOMASI
Here are eight actions you can take that will improve your putting, and not one of them involves the stroke itself!
1. Take care of direction at address by standing behind the ball to pick out the line on which you want your putt to roll. You fix your direction with your aim, then concentrate on producing the distance with your stroke.
2. Be realistic in your expectations and don’t get mad or make continuous changes in your putting stroke just because you miss. Fifty percent of all the putts you miss are not your fault. These misses are due to imperfections of the green that you can’t always see, like footprints, spike marks, etc. Remember, the best putters in the world on perfect greens make about 50 percent from 8 feet.
3. For short putts where you can see into the hole, pick a spot on the cup liner and putt to that. This will increase your accuracy since you’re putting at a smaller target. Aim small, miss small.
4. On breaking putts where you can’t see the cup liner, aim to the break point, allowing for the pull of gravity down the slope.
Once you have determined where the putt begins its break to the hole, that should be your new target.
5. Stand on the arc of the putt, not on the target line, when you read a breaking putt.
6. Read all your putts from three vantage points: from behind the ball, from midway between the hole and your ball on the low side of the break, and from behind the cup.
7. When you read putts, look for the drainage patterns. The architect builds in slopes to route the water, and they also route your putts.
8. On breaking putts, visualize the ball going in the side door, as it does in the photos below.