Facilities Manager, Certified Instructor
TourAcademy at TPC Scottsdale
I’ve put together a short list of priorities that helped me putt great throughout my career. If my putting was ever off or didn’t feel right, I’d go back to this simple list to get me back on track. You’ll notice this list is not rich in techniques or tricks, just some very basic principles.
Number Three – Aim
With both putting and full swing, aiming is very difficult. Putting is easier than full swing because you can get your eyes directly over the ball at address, which makes aiming easier. Aim is not the same as reading break, aim or alignment to me is choosing a line to start the ball and it rolling on that path.
A great way to check your aim is to lay down two long irons with the grips pointing at the hole, a putter heads width apart, creating a track for your putter head to travel. I’m not saying the putter will travel straight back and straight through, just an easy way to get lined up on a straight putt, straight at the hole. Hit some putts down the track, let your mind and eyes feel proper aim.
Number Two – Speed
This one is a monster in my putting world everything revolves around speed. A putt will break different amounts if you change speed. Use the two clubs in the above drill and find a breaking putt, hopefully something that breaks more than one cup outside the hole. You should always feel you’re hitting a straight putt and letting gravity pull the ball in the direction of the hole. You should be able to change your aim or the clubs on the ground and hit putts that roll in the top or high side of the hole and putts that roll in the bottom or low side of the hole. All you’re doing is feeling how speed alters where you aim.
Number One – Who Cares
Probably not what you thought for my number one, although the title might have given it away. Great putters don’t care if they make or miss, they practice hard, prepare the best they can, and let go of the outcome. I listened to a great interview with Shaun White, gold medal winning snow boarder on what he thinks about just before he drops in on an Olympic medal run, his answer, “Who cares”. His take was that he’s done the work and regardless of the outcome he’ll be just fine, his life is good. I can’t think of anything more helpful to anyone getting ready to hit a meaningful putt. Good luck and who cares!