Putting is always considered to be the most important attribute to allow a player to make lower
scores in the game of golf. Most golfers’ spend more time on the range practicing their irons
and woods while spending minimal time on perfecting their putting stroke. They almost always
neglect to identify the reason for their inability to lower their score. That answer usually will be
related to putting and the short game.
There are three things that have to occur to make a putt:
- THE PUTTER MUST BE AIMED PROPERLY
- THE BALL MUST START ON THE LINE THE PUTTER IS AIMED TOWARD
- THE SPEED MUST BE CORRECT
If a player can achieve the above, they have a great chance to make more putts. The worst
scenario is for a player to aim wrong, start the ball off line and get lucky on the speed and
make the putt! In this case the player will mistakenly believe that he/she made a great stroke!
We would rather a player get the ball started on line with the proper speed and MISS a putt
than to start the ball off line and make a putt. REMEMBER, if you get the ball started on line
every time, you have eliminated a variable that causes us to miss putts!
When you see a PGA Tour Player stroke a putt and start to walk immediately after making the
stoke, be assured, HE JUST MISSED HIS STARTING LINE and he knows he will have no chance of
the ball going into the hole.
A method to ensure that you can see where the ball starts off of the putter face is to visually
see a line extended 1or 2 inches in front of the ball and MAKE SURE YOU SEE THE BALL
ROLL ON THE LINE AFTER IMPACT! With practice you will be able to achieve this and your
score’s will be lower because of your ability to STROKE THE BALL WHERE THE PUTTER FACE
IS ALIGNED. Another great teaching aid is to use a carpenter’s chalk line to enable you to see
where the putter is aligned, allow you to see where your back and through stroke is in relation
to your aim, and finally it will show you if you got the ball started on your intended line.
At the George Pinnell Golf Academy, we use the Sam PuttLab to measure what the putter does
throughout the stroke and most importantly if we are AIMING CORRECTLY AND STARTING THE
BALL ON THE LINE WE HAVE CHOSEN. Good luck to you! And remember, spend more time on
your putting stroke and your scores will get better.