Putting is the foundation of your golf game. Yeah it’s great to be able to pound 300+ yard drives, but guess what? A five-foot putt and a 300+ yard drive count the same on a scorecard at the end of the round. It’s why the classic golf saying, “Drive for show and putt for dough” rings so true still today. If you can consistently control your touch/speed on the putting greens, you will quickly begin to slash strokes off your scorecard. For that reason, we have compiled a list of five great ways to help improve your touch on the greens so that you can start saving strokes in no time.
1. Practice Putting on a Wooden Floor
Some of the hardest greens to putt on for amateur golfers are fast greens. Well what is faster than a fast green? A wooden floor. If you can get a ball to consistently stop where you’re aiming for on a wooden floor, then you have excellent putting touch. Grab a ball and putter and find a wooden floor. Pick a spot on the floor and try to consistently putt the ball with the right touch to get it to stop near the spot on the floor you are aiming for. If you think this sounds ridiculous, just know that this is how Tiger used to prepare for the fast greens at August National.
2. Shorten Your Putting Stroke
One of the quickest fixes for putting touch is to shorten your backswing in your putting stroke. By shortening the backstroke, you are actually giving yourself more feel and control over the contact and “pop” that you provide the ball in the putting motion. More control = better touch.
3. Stare at The Cup Instead of The Ball
This is something that has been a drill for a while now but was really popularized by Jordan Spieth. If you’re noticing that your touch on shorter putts (10-feet or less) is not very good, try focusing on the cup instead of your ball when putting. It sounds crazy and doesn’t feel very comfortable at first, but it’s really neat how your body will actually adjust subconsciously to create a putting stroke that gets the ball where you’re looking. Just trust it and let your body be athletic!
4. Imagine a Five-Foot Ring Around The Cup on Lag Putts
When you have a long putt (usually over 30+ feet), we call it a “lag putt.” This is because with putts of this distance, you shouldn’t be focused so much on making it but instead on lagging the putt the right distance to give yourself a makeable two-putt. Longer putts are difficult to get the speed right, so it’s very helpful to picture an imaginary five-foot ring that surrounds the hole. Instead of focusing on making the long putt, just focus on getting it within that five-foot ring. Getting good at this will immediately help you avoid three-putts and thus save numerous strokes from your scorecard.
5. Be Consistent
The most important thing with putting is consistency. It’s crucial to have a consistent putting stroke that you can trust. It’s vital to have a consistent pre-shot routine before putting so that you feel confident and comfortable. Consistency in putting (like most things in golf) is key to saving strokes. When you’re bored or at work, take five minutes to grab your putter and work on making the same putting stroke over and over again. Believe me, it helps.
Good luck and enjoy your lower scores!
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