We’ve been going on recently about how important your drive is to your game. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of getting your long game perfect–it’s key to getting you as close to the green as possible–but you can’t putt or chip with your 3 wood.
If you’re like me, you may focus on your drive for weeks thinking that your short game is something that will just come naturally.
Well, I hate to say it but, we are both wrong!
Our short game needs more work than our long game, otherwise you’ll never hit par yet alone a birdie again! So, with that said, I’ve compiled a few tips for when you are close to the green or need to sink that birdie putt.
Time to take back your control of the greens.
Tip #1: Lead with your left (or right if you’re left-handed).
In basketball if you shoot a free throw with your right hand only, you know you need to use your left hand as a guide. Well, the same holds true for your putting; the top hand on your grip is your direction hand. Practice putting left-hand-only (or right hand only) to get your guidance hand to become the more dominant hand. Another great exercise is to have someone hold a club in front of your hands on your putts target line. Touch the top end of their club with the back of your hand on your followthrough–make sure your fingers don’t touch the club though!
Tip #2: Always think ROLL.
This is a big one for distance control. The key to getting your putts to sink is to think about rolling the putt in, not hitting it in. To do this, utilize a few basic putting principles; take an open stance, with your weight slightly favoring your dominant side (just like the first tip) and your putter shaft leaning toward the target.
The open stance makes it easier to feel your top hand going through the target line. When you make the stroke, keep the putter low to the ground past impact. Follow your stroke through the line of the ball, raising your club slightly in a similar motion to playing a forehand in tennis.
Tip #3: Don’t stare at the ball.
Now if you read last Friday’s Fix then you will remember that I advised you to stare at the ball – quite aggressively really. DON’T do this for your putting! I know that this will be hard, but try to avoid doing it. Instead, focus on a spot just in front of your ball that’s on your target line. Then ROLL (don’t hit) your ball over this spot and through your target line. This will get you in the mindset to think more about the target line rather than your stroke.
Really focus on these tips whenever you line up that birdie putt or when you’re practicing on the clubs putting green. Follow them and your putts will be better than Jordan’s in no time!
Make sure you tune in next week when we show you more tips on how to improve your chipping!