Fix My Putting: Where to Start
That's the real question. You know you need to putt better. Sooner rather than later is preferable. But what is stopping you from bettering your putting?
I can't afford it... It doesn’t make sense… I don’t know where to start.
I hear it all the time. Players come in lost. Messages not knowing what they should do. This week, I'm going to help you figure out what is stopping you from putting well and what you need to do to fix that.
What Am I Looking For?
First, you need to stop and figure out what the real problem is. Do us all a favor when you do this. Don’t dig too deeply.
All you have to do is write down some of your observations about what is happening to your putting on the course.
Where does the ball stop relative to the cup? Is it hard to stop the ball near the cup? Are the problems more evident on uphill or downhill?
As we keep working backwards, consider how the ball is getting there. Most putts have some slope or break to them. Is left to right harder than right to left? Do you miss a particular breaking putt all the time?
The last part is the club and ball interaction. Does the putt start in the direction you are intending? Does it bounce or roll off the face? Is it hit solidly? If not, is it on the toe or heel? High or low on the face?
Why Am I Starting Here?
Did you notice anything about the order I asked those questions?
It worked its way from the cup back to you. Why?
Chances are you aren’t well versed enough in putting mechanics to soundly fix your own grip, setup, or stroke pattern. Instead of aimlessly tinkering, focusing on the things that actually determine whether or not a ball goes in is a much more productive approach.
[If you need a refresher or haven’t read it yet, get my free e-book, 3 Things to Know HERE].
Your answers indicate your ability to execute The Putting Priorities. These are the skills of Read, Speed, and Direction that decide whether or not a putt is holed. Yes, the mechanics are important, but in my coaching, mechanical changes are meant to yield improvement for one of these Priorities. After all, if we’re changing things that don’t allow the ball to stop closer to the hole, help you read greens better, or hit it in the right direction, why bother?
How Do I Know if I’m Right?
This is usually the next question that people ask about their observations. At this point, the next step depends on how serious you are about improving your putting to which there are no wrong answers. Let’s look at some scenarios:
Weekend or Casual Golfer Tired of 3 Putting
Speed is the primary cause of 3-putts. I rarely see someone 3-putt with good speed and hit it 6 feet left or right of the cup. I do see people 3-putt hitting it 6 feet long or short of the cup. You need a strategy to better understand size and tempo. If this is you, check out the Speed Class: Volume 1 to get started.
Amateur Golfer with Some Dedicated Practice Time