Woody's Corner June 2017

By now you have played enough rounds of golf to get a pretty good feel as to where your game is at. How many fairways you hit off the tee, how many greens you hit from the fairway and how close you chip it when you are just off the green. But how many of you know how many putts you have per round?
If you two putt every green, then you should have 36 putts per round. That is a significant part of your total score.
Now let me ask you, when you go to the range to practice, what club do you swing the most? The driver? 7 iron? How about your hybrids? How about your putter??
I spend quite a bit of time at the range and for the most part it is rare that I see anyone on the putting green fine tuning their putting stroke. Probably because it is much more fun smashing a ball out over the net (or trying to at least) then it is to try and make a 5 foot putt. Or maybe putting is boring, because we don’t know how to practice it. So let’s take a moment and talk about some things you can do on the putting green to not only make it more interesting, but also to help improve your score!
When putting, it is imperative to keep your head still until after the ball is struck. It is equally important to keep the lower body still as well. If you find you are pulling putts most of the time, there is a good chance your lower body is not staying still. Here is a simple drill to help check it. Before you stroke your next practice putt, take a wedge and lean it against your back leg. The head of the wedge should be on the ground and the grip end should be leaning against your leg just above the back of your knee. Go ahead and stroke the putt. If you turn your lower body toward the hole when you putt, the wedge will fall. You will more than likely miss the putt on the left side (right side for lefties). By turning your lower body, you will cause the putter ahead to swing outside to in, thus causing a pull.
Another good drill is to make sure the ball goes on its intended line when you initially strike the ball. Pick a spot about 2 feet in front of your ball. At that spot place a couple of tees in the ground about 3 inches apart to form a “gate”. Practice your stroke until you can get the ball through the “gate” without hitting either tee. As you get more confidant, narrow the “gate” to 2 inches. If your putt is to stay on line to the hole, then the first foot or two is critical to achieving the proper line.
If you give yourself some games or challenges on the putting green, there is a good chance you will practice your putting more often. Hey, if putting makes up about half your score, doesn’t it deserve some attention???

Woody Boyer
(717) 319-8501
woodyboyer@yahoo.com

 

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