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Putting - Your Key to Better Scores

Conservative or Aggressive - which are you on the golf course? Putting is a very key area where the proper approach, either conservative or aggressive, must be attained.

I wrote recently about being conservative on your tee shots to assure that you get the ball in play to not cost your self a shot. Let me address a couple of areas where you can improve your score by the proper approach to putting. Distance control is the key to good putts.

In practice, address the parts of your putting that have problems. Are you ok with short putts? Not so good with long putts? Find a putting green with a variety of putts available: flat, small breaks, large breaks, and long putts.

Short putts are the ones you should make often. I like the idea of rolling the ball to the hole -- don't slam the ball into the hole. Make a couple of good, similar practice strokes to get a good feel of the break. To allow the proper direction, be sure you take a short enough backswing to allow a good follow through.

For putts longer than about 10 feet, use the approach of getting the ball close. In your practice, take kite string and create a circle around the hole the size of a large garbage can lid. This should be your target, to get the ball close on long putts.

As with the short putts, learn the feel of taking a short enough backswing to allow for a good follow through. Stand a bit more open and taller on long putts to have a good view, and to let the arms swing more freely.

When on the golf course, pay attention to the other players and if you arrive early, watch other players putt. Do the greens “look“ fast or slow today? On the greens use your imagination to prepare for each putt. As you play each day, you need to have open expectations, as each putt and each golf shot is a unique adventure.

Stay calm, be confident, you can do it.

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