5 Game Altering Putting Tips

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Published: 31st August 2012
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Putting is the understated, essential skill of any competent golfer. Yet, few have a good feel for putting or regularly practice it. The following are some tips to take to the mini golf course or practice green to shave strokes off your score and improve this make or break aspect of golf.

Putting is widely believed to be the mark of a truly great golfer. Countless, well meaning amateurs buy a jumbo bucket of balls and spend hours sending them into oblivion at a driving range, and yet they haven’t improved their game one bit. Only about 10-20% of the game of golf is played off of a tee. After that, 40% is spent on the various woods, irons, and wedges to get to the green. And finally, about 40%+ of golf is played with the smallest club in your bag; the putter.

The difficulty is that putting is a highly subjective skill, thus there isn’t really a list of sure thing tips and tricks to succeed. When I think about putting, my mind inevitably wanders to the scene in Caddyshack (1980) when Rodney Dangerfield’s character uses a comically advanced putter to sink a shot. This button press, easy-mode, fantasy of putting is what most golfers wish putting could be: but it isn’t. Putting requires a constant diligence and awareness that takes time to cultivate, but could prove to be the key to improving your overall scores. The following are some of the best putting tips we’ve found to improve your game; practicable anywhere from a mini golf course, to your backyard, to the 8th hole at Pebble Beach.

- Subjectivity – We mentioned above the subjectivity of a putting stance. This is absolutely paramount, and should be stressed. Of course there are best practices which improve a shot, but when you boil it down you’re simply pushing the ball into a hole at a deceptively short range. Start out with your comfort in mind. Maybe a shorter club where you can hunch over the ball for a pendulum effect, or a longer club where your wrist can exercise more control in giving the ball power? Whatever works for you in terms of stance and tools; stick with it and build upon it.

- Grip – The grip, or rather consistency of grip, is a shot maker or breaker. Jack Nicklaus wrote that no matter the length of the shot; always apply the same amount of grip. The consistency will help develop a form and feel for your putt. Also, never change the amount of pressure applied between practice strokes and shots. The slight muscle changes will throw everything off.

- Distance Putting – Most courses generally assume at least 2 putts on the green when you actually get to it. If you can shave strokes of your putting game, your overall score will drop considerably. When lining up a longer shot, don’t focus on the big picture so much. Find a point on your shot line that you’ve lined up in your head, aim through that point, and the rest of the shot should follow through.

- Shot Thought – This is an effective tip, designed to win the mental battle of putting. From the moment you finish your last practice stroke, repeat one single thought inwardly to yourself. Do you want to focus on your grip? The follow through? Breathing? Make it a mantra, and force all thoughts out besides that one aspect you wish to improve. Eventually, as you practice, you will improve that aspect of your shot and can move on to the next element.

- Practice – Practice, practice, practice. When you go to the driving range, practice on the mini greens. When you have an hour to kill some Sunday afternoon, practice in your living room or backyard. Always practice your putting. Even when the family wants to play some mini golf at a family fun center, focus on your shot thought and form while you play. Mini golf is an immensely useful practice for putting skills, professional mini golfers are in high demand as tutors for people who want to improve their short game. Never miss out on an opportunity to improve.

If you are looking for a mini golf course to practice your putting skills, check out Zuma Fun Centers. They have 2 locations in Houston, TX. Stop by today or visit their website at http://zumafuncenters.com/

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