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Working on your putting is all about the repetition of good habits, tried & trusted routines. Here are a few ideas worth looking at using some of the practice training aids and tricks of the trade used by the top pros. Marking a line on your ball with a permanent pen is one of the most popular ways of improving your alignment, and the small plastic clip-on guide can be found in the pro shop. Using it helps you to mark a dead straight line, or a cross, that serves as a terrific visual guide when it comes to marking and replacing your ball on the green – perfectly legal!

You can pick up one of these snap-on guides at your pro shop, just the job for marking a perfect straight line. The ink line gives you an instant visual guide to help your alignment of the putter

Find your rhythm with a pendulum stroke

There are more practice gadgets related to putting than any other aspect of the game, and if you’re going to invest in a piece of kit that will help you to knock a few shots off your game this season I’d suggest you take a close look at these products from Yes!Golf and also the range that has been developed by my fellow Gi contributing coach, Dr Paul Hurrion (see article here).

The Trueplane (right) gives you a simple guide to keeping the putter running back and through on a natural path, and repetition of this – along with confirmation of good grip, posture and so on – can only benefit your putting. Practice helps to make the stroke automatic – that’s the key.

Shoulders, arms, hands & putter work as one unit. Putter traces a natural path for solid on-line strike on the back of the ball

You’ve got to Rail It to nail it!

I remember reading somewhere that Padraig Harrington held the record for rolling a ball all the way to the end of The Putting Rail and thinking at the time it couldn’t really be that difficult. Then I tried it.

As a word of warning for any of your out there with an obsessive personality, let me tell you this is an extremely addictive training tool. The Putting Rail is simply a three foot long piece of stainless steel that gradually tapers from around an inch and a half or so across at the hitting end to about an inch at the other end, and the idea is that you place it on a perfectly flat surface and train your stroke until you can roll the ball along its entire length.

As a test of the quality of your stroke, the ability to return the putter-face square to the ball and control the line and speed of a putt, it’s a terrific – if frustrating – experience. Harrington, apparently, has achieved 33 consecutive rolls, end to end.

Quite how he achieved that is beyond me. But I do know that working the Rail will help you.

Putting Rail helps you to identify with and relate to the natural path of the putter-head. Running the ball the entire length of the Rail is your goal– this one just
made it!

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Reproduced with kind permission of Golf International Magazine

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