The putt is one of the most important shots in golf, as it can determine the outcome of a round. However, many players don’t give it the attention it deserves and become frustrated when they see themselves missing short or long putts. In this article, we will reveal the secrets behind this crucial shot, from the choice of putter to the tactics you need to perfect this skill that can make all the difference to your game.
Choose the right putter for you
The first step to improving your putting is to choose the putter that best suits your style and physique. There are many types of putters, with different shapes, weights, lengths, and angles. There is no perfect putter for everyone, but rather it depends on your personal preference and the way you hit the ball. Ideally, you should try several putters and stick with the one that makes you feel more comfortable and confident. Some aspects to consider when choosing a putter are:
- The shape of the head: there are putters with round, square, mallet-shaped heads, etc. The shape of the head influences the balance and stability of the putter, as well as the visibility of the putting line.
- Weight: affects the speed and control you have over the ball. A heavier putter will give you more inertia and consistency, but it can also cause you to hit the ball too hard. A lighter putter will give you more feel and touch, but can also cause you to lose stability and accuracy.
- Length: determines the stance and angle you adopt when you hit. A longer putter will make you stand up and move further away from the ball, while a shorter putter will make you lean and be closer to the ball. The length of the putter should be the length that allows you to have a comfortable and natural posture, without straining your back or arms. In addition, it should allow you to have a clear view of the ball and the putting line, without your head interfering with the swing.
- The angle: is the angle that the putter face forms with the ground. This angle influences the height and spin you give the ball when you hit it. A wider angle will cause the ball to roll higher and with more spin, while a narrower angle will cause the ball to roll lower and with less spin. The angle of the putter should be the angle that allows you to make contact with the ball in the centre of the putter face without the ball jumping or deflecting.
Learn to read the green
The second step to improve your putting is learning to read the green, that is, to analyse the characteristics of the terrain that can affect the behaviour of the ball. These characteristics are:
- The slope: is the inclination of the green that causes the ball to go up or down. It can be measured in degrees or as a percentage, and can be assessed by observing the contour of the green and its surroundings. To calculate the slope, you can use a level, a mobile app or simply trust your intuition.
- The speed: is the resistance the green offers to the ball as it rolls, causing it to stop sooner or later. It can be measured in seconds or feet and can be estimated by observing the colour and texture of the green and the weather. To calculate it, you can use a stimpmeter, a ruler or rely on your experience.
- The grain: it is the direction in which the grass on the green grows, which makes the ball slide more or less. It can be assessed by observing the light and shade of the green and the wind. You can also look at the position of the sun, the direction of the flag or run your hand over the green. It is important to take this into account when choosing the direction of the putt, as the ball will curve more or less depending on the grain.
Practice your putting technique
The third step to improve your putting is to work on your technique, the way in which you execute the stroke. It is made up of several elements, which are:
- The posture: it is the position you adopt when hitting, which should be comfortable and balanced. The ideal posture is the one that allows you to have a clear view of the ball and the putting line, without your head or your body interfering with the swing. To achieve a good stance, place your feet shoulder width apart, bend your knees slightly, lean your torso forward, relax your shoulders and arms and hold the putter with a soft, firm grip.
- Alignment: is the orientation of the putter and body in relation to the line of the putt, and must be accurate and consistent. Perfect alignment is that which allows you to make contact with the ball in the centre of the putter face and send it down the chosen putting line. To achieve good alignment, you must place the putter behind the ball, parallel to the putting line, and align your eyes, shoulders, hips, and feet with the putter.
- The swing: is the movement you make with the putter to hit the ball, which must be fluid and controlled. The ideal swing is the one that allows you to give the ball the right direction and force for each putt. To make a good swing, you must swing the putter back and forth, maintaining the rhythm and length of the swing, without speeding up or slowing down the putter, and without moving your head or body. The swing should be symmetrical, that is, the putter should travel the same distance and the same angle in both directions.
Train your putting routine
The fourth and final step to improving your putting is to train your putting routine: the set of actions you take before, during and after each putt. The putting routine helps you to concentrate, relax and trust your stroke. It can also be adapted to suit your preferences, although it should be simple and effective. A possible putting routine is as follows:
- Before the putt: walk around the green and observe the slope, speed, and grain. Next, choose the line and strength of the putt and visualize the path of the ball. Then, place the ball with the logo or mark facing the line of the putt, place the putter behind the ball. Finally, align the putter and body with the putting line, take a deep breath and relax the muscles.
- During the putt: look at the ball, swing the putter back and forth, and strike the ball in the centre of the putter face. Follow the path of the ball with your head and putter, and hold the stance until the ball stops.
- After the putt: congratulate yourself if you succeeded, or analyse what went wrong if you missed it. Pick up the ball and putter, thank the green and your fellow players, prepare the next stroke.
Come and practice your putt at Club de Golf Son Servera!
Here are some tips and tricks to improve your putting. Remember that putting is a skill that requires practice and patience, but can give you a lot of satisfaction if you master it.
If you want to learn more about putting and other aspects of golf, we recommend that you visit our Club de Golf Son Servera, one of the best golf courses in Mallorca, where you can enjoy a natural environment and top quality facilities. In addition, with our Golf Academy, you can count on the help of qualified professionals who will teach you the secrets of this exciting sport. Don’t hesitate any longer and book your tee time at Club de Golf Son Servera, the ideal place to perfect your putting.