Today you will learn step-by-step how to putt and common mistakes to avoid.
There’s nothing quite like standing out in the green, driving your golf club as hard as you can into the ball, and watching it soar.
To be a great golfer, you need to know more than just how to hit your ball with great strength. It would help if you also mastered the art of putting. Putting is all about a gentle yet accurate shot.
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Approaching The Green
Alright, you’ve done the easy part; your ball has flown with great force onto the green. It’s now time to evaluate the slope of the land your ball sits. Depending on whether it’s uphill or downhill will determine how hard you need to hit the ball.
If it’s uphill, you will need a harder swing to force it up the hill. If it’s downhill, you’ll want to be much more gentle, as gravity will bring it down fast, focus on short putts.
You’ll also want to take the time now to evaluate what happens if you hit the ball past the hole on your first putt. Will it be uphill or downhill? Will it be stuck in the sand? All of this planning can help reinforce just how hard you need to strike the ball.
To take it a step further, you will want to imagine rain falling down the slope of the land next to your ball and picture which way it would flow. This exercise will help you visualize where your ball will turn once it’s in motion, allowing you to get the best shot possible.
Marking The Ball
Unlike any other spot on the golf course, putting green is where you can pick up your ball for any purpose. You don’t have to explain your reasoning to anyone. Still, you must follow a specific sequence of steps to do it correctly.
First, you must mark your ball. You can do so by placing a coin right behind your ball. It’s recommended that your coin has a straight line drawn across it so that you can visualize a clear line from your marker to the hole.
After the marker has been set down, you are now clear to pick your ball up. You may be asking yourself, why would I even want to pick up my ball in the first place? Doing so has numerous advantages, one of which is cleaning off your ball. If there is grass or mud stuck to the golf ball, it will affect the smoothness of the shot.
When you set the ball back down, make sure it’s directly in front of the marker. You can also take this time to find any writing on the ball, typically printed in a straight line. You can position the label so that it lines up with the hole, showing you the direction in which you should be hitting the ball.
As soon as your ball is back on the ground and in the position you want it, you may remove the marker. Don’t forget that after the marker is taken away, you may not pick up or reposition your ball again.
Practice Your Strokes
Now it’s time to take a couple of steps away from the ball, so you can practice your strokes without fear of accidentally tapping it. Remember, you’ve already lined up your ball by this point, so there’s no need to focus on the direction of the swing. Focus on the intensity of your swing.
Visualize the ball going into the hole a few times until you feel comfortable with your stroke. Look at the hole while you swing, and this process will get easier the more you practice.
Putting The Ball
By now, you’ve done all of the technical work that has set you up for the optimal shot. Now is the time to take action.
This part is as simple as lining up the putter to the line you’ve created on the golf ball and taking your shot.
One thing that is important while putting your ball is to keep your eyes on the ball. You already know the direction you’re hitting and have felt the intensity in the practice shots.
Lookup up while hitting the ball can accidentally change the ball’s direction, adversely affecting the accuracy of the putt. Wait until the ball is far away from you, or listen for the ball to fall in the hole.
It’s essential to focus on the task at hand and not get in your head. Make sure you don’t rush this step.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Congratulations, you’ve now learned all of the steps needed to have a successful putt. Still, there are things you can do to improve your shot.
Many new golfers believe that you should grip the putter between the fingers. Despite contrary belief, holding the putter between flat, inward-facing palms is the key to a suitable grip. If this feels weird, practice with a ruler off the green.
Work on minimizing your body movement. Earlier, you learned that you should keep your eyes on the ball not to throw off your shot. Movement in your body while you put can have the same consequences. You can practice this skill by standing on only your lead foot, and over time the strength built will help keep you steady.
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