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How To Become A Great Putter

by shedboy71

Introduction- How To Become A Great Putter

Beginner golfers tend to think that the type of putter used is what makes a great shot. However, the truth is that you can go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a new putter, but it’s not the club that counts (though it doesn’t hurt)….

A.The Real Secret
Do you want to know the real secret behind becoming an excellent putter?
The answer is (drumroll)… Confidence. And confidence is often developed from practice. Both real & imaginary practice. And “Imaginary practice” (imagery) is more effective than you might think, according to some studies.

Your $500 putter can definitely help. But, the true power lies in your ability to see and believe that you have a chance to make every putt that you attempt.

Ask anyone good a putting, and he or she will tell you the exact same thing.

When they approach the ball, they know full well that they have total control and that they will sink that ball with every swing made.
Sounds a bit cocky, right? It is, but it’s that attitude which makes winners on the green,
B. Always Have A Target Line
Every putt you make should always be straight. Okay, perhaps your shot will not end up going in a straight direction, but that’s not the point I am trying to make here.
By saying that each putt should be a straight putt, I mean that you should stroke every putt straight down the target line.
In order to hit a straight putt, visualize a straight line that travels from the back of the ball directly down your target line.
This straight line should stretch all the way to the hole or least to a point that you selected so that the ball will break right to the hole.
To better increase your chance of success, choose a spot on the target line to aim at. Remember, the target doesn’t have to necessarily be the actual hole. It can be anything, so long as it gets your ball rolling in the proper direction toward the hole.

II. The Catch 22 Of Putting Shots
One of the major factors influencing a putt’s success or failure is it’s speed. In other words, the pressure that you apply on your swing determines your success as a putter. However, it’s not that easy….

A. The Catch 22
You see, if you hit it too hard, the ball will cruise right past the hole. When this happens, you will need to make an extended recovery shot.
On the other hand, if you don’t put enough pressure on your swing, the ball will stop short of the hole.
Thus, the “Catch 22” of putting.

Hitting the ball too hard will give you less break, or curve. For example, if you hit the ball too hard and had calculated six or seven inches of break, the ball will likely break just two or three inches. And thereby miss the target.

By hitting the ball too hard, even a putt that is only two feet long can cause you to miss the hole completely. Your own power is your downfall.
But, if you hit the ball too gently, the ball may break more than your calculation and also miss the hole.

Therefore, the success of the putt depends on the speed of the ball.
Speed, along with distance, go hand and hand on the putting green.

III. Dangers To Look Out
If you think that your ball is safe once it hits the green, think again! There are unsuspecting obstacles, or a better term would be annoyances, that can wreck a seemingly perfect putt.
When making your putt, the following unsuspecting problems may hinder your success on the green:

A. Grass
Since when is trimmed short grass on the green a problem? Although the smooth surface of the green is well kept and maintained, it is still grass after all, and it will grow. A small patch of higher-than-normal grass blades can get in the way of a perfect putt.
That’s what you have to watch out for. A poor groundskeeper can ruin your day!

B. Leftover Footprints
It is common etiquette not to step in the same line of your fellow player’s shots on the green, so as to not create footprints. But not everyone has such good etiquette unfortunately. What if the group

ahead of you has trampled all over the green? Footprints may not be easy to see, but they can interfere with your ball’s line of travel.

C. Untouched Grass Around The Hole
Greens gets a lot of foot traffic from people walking all over them. People make their putt shots, walk around them to grab their balls, and all sorts of other stuff . But the 6 to 10 inches that surround the hole itself never really gets stepped on. This can also create an uneven level of grass and cause your ball to move in a different direction.

IV. Putting From A Bunker
Is it possible to successfully putt the ball from a sand bunker?

The answer is yes, it is definitely possible! There are times when the bunker sand is so hard and lipless, that you can make a successful putt. It’s not easy from the sand, but it can be done.
As Arnold Palmer says, “the worst putt is better than your best chip.”

Before trying to make the “hero” putt shot from the sand, it is important to properly assess the situation. If the following conditions exist, you may be able to go for a successful putt from the bunker:
1. The sand must be firm and well packed.
2. There must be absolutely no lip at the top of the bunker/edge of the grass.
3. The ball should not have to roll for more than 4 feet or so of sand. This is because it is often harder to roll the ball on sand rather than grass.
4. The hole should be very close to the bunker.

I. Putting Strategies
Long putts can turn into rewarding & anticipated challenges for those who are well practiced. If there is one thing that many great putters have in common, it’s that they have a natural sense of feel for the speed & distance needed to make their shots.
This feel isn’t something that you can easily discern from a “how to” booklet.

It must be learned by instinct & then practiced repeatedly.

A. The Proper Speed
As a beginner, you may be tempted to try to putt from 8 feet out or even farther. However, this shouldn’t be the first goal.
Great golfers realize that it’s best to lag the ball a little. They’ll try to get it as close to the hole as possible & leave themselves a very easy final shot using only 2 – 3 feet of distance.

Of course, knocking the ball into the hole from a distance can hypercharge your self confidence…. But, you want to still avoid the dreaded “3-putt shot” which can arise more often than you’d like it to….

Therefore, pick your shots carefully….
Many beginner golfers have trouble with this concept…. Their ball may be situated 15 to 20 feet away from the hole, so they put too much speed & distance into their shots. The next thing they realize, 5-6 shots have consumed a par-3 hole.

B. Mastering Long Putting
What you want to strive for is the “perfect lag” on your ball when trying a long-distance putt. You want your ball to always land safely near the hole, regardless of whether it breaks too early or too soon.
You want your ball to end up so that an easy putt will finish the hole on your next swing.

C. A Simple Practice Exercise
As with any maneuver, practice makes perfect when learning the feel for speed & distance on the green.
Try this simple exercise to become a better putter:

1.Place four to five balls in a line approximately 10 feet apart from each other, evenly distributed toward the hole. Now, you should have a line of balls evenly spaced out between each other. All leading toward the hole, starting at about 40 to 50 feet out.
2.Now start the exercise. Try putting the ball closest to the hole first & slowly work your way back. Putt down the line until you reach the farthest ball. Try to imagine yourself playing in a real game. (Because you know it’s not a real game, you should be more loosened up & not stressed about making a perfect lag shot.)
3.Guess what will happen? You’ll play well! That is the ironic part about golf. When you are in the middle of a good game, worry & doubt can tense you up, causing poor shots.
*You should strive to take this relaxed mindset with you during a real game.







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