No matter how long and accurate your driving, if you’re struggling with the putter, then scoring consistently low rounds simply isn’t possible. There are lots of aspects of putting which even experienced tour pros find challenging, so if you find it difficult to focus when on the green, you’re certainly not alone! Thankfully, help is at hand.
Whatever the pin positions on the day, most greens are created to be a challenge to golfers of every level. There are many different schools of thought on the best way to achieve putting success – what works for one player might not work for the next. So to cover all bases we’ve put together some tips from the world’s top golfers detailing how they like to tackle greens:
Reading the green
Graeme McDowell likes to visualise the path of the ball in the form of an arc. He then focuses on pace to influence the line that it takes to the hole:
“If you have a dead straight putt, the ball will enter the hole at 6 o’clock, while a putt with lots of break might enter the hole at around 9 o’clock. What you need to be doing the next time you’re putting is to align and position your body focusing on that entry point. This is a really helpful and valuable point to visualise and base your feel on.”
Rory McIlroy spends plenty of time on the practice green running through various drills before he plays in a tournament. This means that by the time it’s the real thing, he’s already in the zone. When it comes to longer putts, he has this advice:
“By concentrating on the target and not the ball you should start to develop a more natural, instinctive feel for how hard to swing.”
McIlroy also advocates having a set routine before taking the shot, both when practicing and playing to help ‘pressure-proof’ your putts when it really matters:
“I like to line the ball up with the hole [and] then set my address position and make two practice swings. I take one last look at the hole before pulling the trigger. This simple, pre-shot routine will help you switch into autopilot as the pressure mounts.”
Don’t overthink it
Justin Rose prefers to keep things simple and go back to basics when it comes to green focus and holing tricky putts:
“Go back to when you played in your childhood. You learned to roll the ball with feel because you weren’t old enough to start overthinking your mechanics. Go as far as using the same type of putter—mallet, blade, whatever—that you used as a kid. That’s what I did, and I bagged a U.S. Open.”
Whichever methods you find work best for you, all of the pros advocate plenty of practice on different greens to help you improve both technique and focus so that you’re more likely to putt successfully when it really matters.
Bernard Gallacher on the putting stroke
Golf Care ambassador Bernard Gallacher explains the ideal stroke technique that can help you perfect your putting:
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