PGA Class "A" Golf Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Tartan Fields Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio. Author of Banana Putting (compare prices), a simple 5-step system for immediate putting improvement.
How my tip will help:
Many putts are missed because the golfer does not trust what they are doing as they stand over the ball. This simple experiment with the "Push-Pull" line can change all that.
Here's my tip:
The "Push-Pull" Line
When you stand over a putt, do you feel like you need to start the ball someplace besides where you're pointed? In order to putt well, and consistently, you have to be able to make a consistent stroke and send the ball down the target line.
Sounds pretty simple!
For every putt, there is a line that you choose to start the ball on in order that the ball has a chance to go in the hole. You've arrived at this decision after checking the slope and the speed and all of the other factors that influence your putt.
As you stand over the putt, how often do you trust completely where you are pointed? For most golfers, the answer is not very often. Most golfers, when they stand over their putt, feel a need to either push or pull the putt to have it go towards the hole.
What if you didn't need to to do that or feel that? Then you could simplify things and just have one putting stroke that consistently rolled the ball down the starting line. How cool would that be?
Here's how we do this. Next time you're on a green, do an experiment for me. Find a nice 15-20 foot putt that has some break to it. Check out the green and figure out what you think the putt will do. Stick a tee in the ground up near the cup to indicate where you think you need to aim.
Now you want to set up to the ball, aiming towards the tee. As you do this, monitor what you are feeling about this line. Does it feel like the correct line or do you feel like you need to push or pull the ball? What if you played twice as much break? Half as much break?
The idea is to get lined up in a position that seems correct, and a position in which you feel confident sending the ball on its way without manipulating the path of the swing or the clubface.
I call this line the "Push-Pull Line" and it's the line where you feel no need to make any adjustments. As you move to either side of this line, you'll need to do something to get the ball on line. You'll have to pull or push the putt.
If you can work on finding the "Push-Pull Line" on every putt, your stroke will emerge and you'll find many more putts going in, or having the opportunity to go in.
- Find a medium-length breaking putt.
- Place a tee next to the hole, indicating where you think you need to aim.
- Set up toward the tee, and evaluate your feeling about that alignment.
- Experiment with more and less break, seeking the most comfortable line for you.