Golfing can be a wonderful pass-time and incredibly relaxing, but that most certainly does not mean it is an easy sport to master. Professional golfers spend decades perfecting their craft. One of the most difficult to master aspects of golfing is putting. Whether a short putt or a long putt, the process can be nerve wracking for even the most seasoned golfers. Thankfully, you can learn a great deal about the process of putting by watching the pros.
1. Narrow Your Focus
Making short putts can seem difficult, but if you watch the pros you can learn a lot. Most professional golfers are great at short putts because they focus on a specific spot in the hole. Their eyes focus on that specific spot and lock in on it, making it easier to make a more accurate short putt. To do so, you can pick a spot towards the back of the hole; looking at the hole as a whole isn’t a narrow enough field, so pick a small spot and lock in on it. Mike Hammond is famous for this technique. He even suggests practicing by placing a tee or other object in the hole to help you learn to focus more intently on one spot.
2. Read the Green
Pros live and die by how well they putt, so when they get out on the green they aren’t afraid to get a little dirty. Most pros will really examine the green before attempting a shot. Camilo Villegas happily gets down on the ground and examines his shot from many different angles before attempting a putt. He does this because the physical features of every green is a bit different, but the differences are subtle enough that a closer look is warranted.
3. Learn How To Grip The Club
The stroke is an important element of a successful putt, but many pros argue that the grip is what makes the stroke good or bad. Jack Nicklaus, a prolific putter, argues that most amateurs grip the putter too tightly, which makes the stroke a bit jerky, which then leads to a poor put. Look at the way pros grip the club. Most will have a firm, but not tight grip. A bit of looseness in grip goes a long way.
4. Don’t Focus on the Hole
When pros have to sink a long shot, they do something that is counter-intuitive, they don’t look at the hole. Most pros practice something called “spot putting” for longer putts. Instead of staring at the hole, 20 feet away, a pro golfer will pick a spot just a few feet in front of them, along the line they need to sink the put. This style of putting ensures that the ball is aligned correctly. When watching pro golfers note that they rarely look at the hole on long puts. Try and mimic this action during longer putts.
5. Keep Your Head Still
If you watch enough professional golf tournaments you’ll notice that professional golfers never move their heads. Once they lock in on the spot they are focusing on, their heads do not move until the putt is completed. Head movements throw off focus and can alter the alignment of the ball. To ensure the ball goes exactly where you plan, keep your head straight and don’t move it until the shot is done.
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Andrea is a professional writer working with Radical Golf Carts. She has an educational background and enjoys writing about sports, technology and media.