PUTTING – You might get tired of that word, but don’t ever get tired of doing it. Get the ball in the hole is the name of the game. This is where your score goes lower the better you can roll it in. I tell my students that if you spend 2 hours hitting balls on the range then you want 2 hours of short game practice; chipping/pitching/sand bunker. AND THEN you want 2 hours of just putting. This will make an outstanding golfer out of all of you. I practiced this way.
If you’re not near to a practice green you can do it at home? I always owned a 300 baht piece of carpet i bought at home pro 2 meters/2 meters. Draw a straight marker line on it and simply use a small object like a shot glass for your target. Start at 1′ then slowly move further away till you can hole everything from 2 meters.
This helps in many ways:
- Every putt on a golf course is straight, reading greens is another topic.
- Putting on a line helps you push the putter back straight and push it thru straight.
- You will start seeing the putt line on the greens more easily when you play.
- Big confidence will come with repeated practice.
Try it with just the left hand and then the right and see if you can keep the putter blade on the line. I did this so many countless hours and i found where in my hands i had the tendency to push/pull or tweak the putter and then could correct it.
It’s such an easy and effective practice and you can listen to music or the TV or the nagging wife at the same time as you get your putting practice in. Or complaining husband i should add.
Many average players have a favorite club for chipping. The pros use all of them depending on what is needed to roll the ball. The choice is dependant upon the flight to get over the fringe and the distance to the hole. I’ve chipped with a five iron on occasions ( very close to the putting surface but miles to the hole).
Everyone has had more practice with a putter than any other weapon (and it is a formidable one) – (half your score). If the fringe is smooth like the fairway use your putter! You can even putt out of a bunker if there is no lip – easier than an explosion shot or sand chipping. We putt on every hole (unless you got lucky) so we are more versatile with our best weapon. Putt when you can.
Chipping is a putt except the ball flies a little bit first – to get over the longer grass – land on the green – and roll it like a putt. Read the green on a chip cuz it is a putt in reality. Ball position is back and weight is on the left side = less miss hits. Grip it like your putter and make the same movement as a putt – no body movement and little or no wrists! With practice and experience you will know which club is the right one. Here in Thailand where the caddy pulls the cart away i always ask for two clubs and then make my decision.
The only time you might use a 60 degree is if you are buried in rough or the pin is on a tier or there are too many undulating breaks – so we WILL fly it up to the hole and stop it.
Roll the chip like a putt and you will see a BIG difference in the results. Remember always the key factor in scoring is the feel for distance and not the accuracy – unless it’s a short putt or a tee shot!