Director of Instruction
Fisher Bryan Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club
Putting has gotten a lot of attention lately with the success being made by players using both the long and belly putters. What it truly shows is that there is a myriad of ways to get the ball in the hole, and putting is probably the most personal part of the game.
One thing I try to stress to my students when it comes to putting is that they need to make sure everything matches. By that I mean that your stroke type, your set up and your putter length all need to be complimentary. Doing this will give you the best chance of holing a bunch of putts!
Let’s run through a simple checklist that will help you make sure everything you are doing matches up. First of all is your stroke type. Because we are standing to the side of the ball, I believe every stroke should have some arc to it but some have more than others.
If your stroke is one with less arc and is closer to straight back and straight through then you need to have a few accompanying characteristics. In your set up the ball will be slightly farther from your feet and you will be bent more at the hips, giving you a greater forward spine tilt towards the ball. You will also set up with your elbows popped out away from your sides and because of the greater spine tilt you will have a somewhat shorter putter.
If yours is a stroke with more arc to it then you will set up with the ball slightly closer to your feet and you will have less forward spine tilt towards the ball. Your elbows will be in against the sides of your body and your putter will be longer in length.
If you follow a checklist such as this one, it will be easier for you to identify what is possibly going wrong when the putts are not falling. But the single most important thing to remember about putting is that confidence is truly all that matters. No matter how you hold the putter, set up or stroke the ball, if you do not believe in your ability to make putts then it is likely you will not make many.
The opposite is also true. If you stand over every putt believing you are going to make it, then you have a much greater chance of doing so!
Jeff Fisher is the Director of Instruction at the OB Sports Golf Academy at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Arizona. Jeff can be reached at 480.414.9330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.