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Putt Seriously
Joanne Morley

Much is made of the need to practise your putting, and rightly so. But when you do spend some time out on the putting green, it's vital that you practise with a purpose.

Think about the way you approach your putting, and give some thought to the mechanics involved. A good set-up puts into place all the shapes and angles you need to make and repeat a good stroke. The secret is to maintain them.

You don't want to disturb the triangle created between the arms and shoulders, and neither do you want to upset the angles at the back of each wrist. The more you keep these shapes and angles intact, the more consistent your stroke will be.

Tip-toe your way quietly to the hole

Downhill, down the grain. Just the type of putt you are happy to see 'die' to the hole for a simple tap-in. The problem is striking the ball gently enough to give you a tap-in. This tip will help you to achieve that. Rather than lining up the ball out of the middle of the putter-face (i.e. on the sweetspot), set up to the putt with the ball positioned off the toe-end of the putter.

Doing this tends to 'deaden' the impact, which results in a much softer roll, enabling you to trickle the ball to the hole. If the ball does run several feet past, always remember to watch the line beyond the hole for clues as to the borrow on the return back up the hill.

Get on a positive roll

When you face a putt from long range, say over 30 feet, your objective is to have the ball die at the hole. But when you fancy holing a putt, I believe a better policy is to roll the ball at such a pace that, should you miss, it will finish about 18 inches past the cup. That's a much more positive and confident putt. And a positive putt tends to hold its line more reliably. So, next time you practise, stick a tee-peg in the green 18 inches behind the hole and work on rolling your putts with sufficient speed to reach the tee if you do miss. Within just a few minutes you will notice that you get a better roll on the ball and hit the hole more often.


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