Putting can be a cure for a bad game of golf, make up for poor shots and be a foundation to a better game. Let me touch on a few key thoughts that can help you.
In the recent match play championship, Tiger Woods got off to a slow start, but at the end, he was on fire, making 6-8 birdies per round. He said it took him a couple of days to get the speed right on his putts.
In my opinion, getting the first putt close is the key to good putting and limiting your 3-putts. When you warm-up for a round of golf, hit a good share of 20 to 30 foot putts to get a feel of the speed. This is especially important on a course you have not played in a while.
During a round of golf, the speed can change. If you play early, there may be dew on the grass that will slow the ball. As the day warms the speed can pickup. Is one hole in the shade and the others in the sunlight? At the end of the day, the grass has grown and possibly the dew has returned. There is a lot of information for us to process.
So now we’ve got the ball in the “make-it” zone of 5-feet or closer. Speed is still important, but I think a solid putt and the path of the putter moving toward the target is most important.
You may have slight flaws in your stroke that you should know about. By using video or some new electronic devices that analyze your stroke you can try to fix the flaws, or at least deal with them. Certainly a PGA Golf Professional can help you with both the flaws and potential fixes.
A very common fault I see in average golfers is lack of follow-through on putts. This is usually caused by the back swing being too long, then trying to slow the club through the hitting area. This is usually called deceleration so be sure your follow-through is longer than the backswing. Have a short enough backswing to afford a good follow-through.
Watch the good putters and you’ll see this. Putting and short game are often rusty as we come out of winter, so drop a few ball on the carpet, work on the stroke and give the cat some exercise chasing the golf ball.