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How to Putt Better Than a Pro


									How to Putt
Better Than a Pro

 CraftSmith Golf Academy
  Online Presentation By
      James F. Smith
Yes You Can
  The title of this presentation is pretty strong. But it’s true! A few of you
will be able to use this information and actually have a better putting game
than some tour pros. Unbelievable? It’s true because many professional
players rely on a lot of practice and natural talent rather than a deep
knowledge and solid fundamentals. They violate fundamental rules in favor
of comfort, habit and misinformation just like you do.
   By becoming fundamentally sound and by using correct strategies for the
different kinds of putts you will face and if you learn how to correctly
practice, you might actually develop professional skill. That’s a lot of ands,
ifs and here’s two big buts … first, you will have to practice a whole lot and
second, you will need that natural talent thing.
  For all of us mortals, yes we can expect to improve and to obtain a
functional and very satisfactory level of skill. There will be many more days
when we are “on” and putting “lights out”. Perhaps more importantly,
there will be far fewer, maybe even no days when we hack up the greens!

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How to Be a Good Putter

Knowledge of What You’re Trying to Do
 Physics of the Putting Stroke … Direction
  and Distance
Technique (mechanical fundamentals
 How to Make a Consistently Solid Stroke
 Reading Green / Applying the Correct
 Using a Consistent Routine (integrated to
  whole game)
Developing Touch (speed control)
To be a good putter, you must do four
things …

1. Be Mechanically Consistent … be able
   to do the same thing the same way
   every time … be able to roll a straight
   10’ putt on a true surface into the hole
2. Use a pre-putt routine to call up you
   best effort every time and apply the
   correct strategy for different putts
3. Correctly “read” greens for break
   Control the speed of your putt
An Absolute Truth About Putting

All putts are straight putts …
 • You don’t try to hook or slice a putt into
   the hole. Your first learning task is to
   master the fundamental skills required to
   execute a solid, mechanically repeatable,
   stroke that will make a straight 10’ foot
 • From this basic skill, other skills (reading
   breaks, controlling speed) are added like
   ornaments to a Christmas tree
Pre-Putt Considerations
Begin with an Attitude Check
 • The hole is bigger than it looks … three balls
   struck at the correct speed will drop … you don’t
   need a perfect stroke to get the ball in the hole
 • See a path, not a line … visualize a 4” wide
   yellow ribbon leading to the hole …
 • Putt using instinct … feel the perfect putt you
   have learned how to make
 • Believe the ball will go in the hole!

The TruRoll Putting Carpet
Why is this device different from
 • It TEACHES Confidence … discover how relatively
   easy it is to keep the ball on the path when you
   are using correct pre-putt fundamentals and easy
   to learn stroke mechanics
 • RELAX and Succeed … watch hundreds of putts
   consistently roll down the 4” wide yellow ribbon
   leading to the hole … A RELAXED STROKE will put
   the ball in the hole!
 • It works in conjunction with the the lessons
   learned with the BangerBox
An Absolute Truth About Putting

All putts are speed putts … there are more
ways to miss a putt because of speed than
there are ways to miss because of direction
…speed is the ONLY factor you have control
Like the last thing that passed through the bug’s mind
when it hit the windshield … speed is the last thing
that should go through your mind before you strike
the ball. If your mind is anywhere else, then you are
          Remember … Speed Kills!
An Absolute Truth About Putting

ALL putts break downhill … putts will NEVER
break uphill! Putts will continue to break
downhill until the law of gravity is rescinded.
Find downhill and the relative difference in
elevation between your ball and the hole …
then you are on track to reading the green.
Grain in the grass DOES NOT cause a putt to
break … it causes a putt to speed up or to
slow down … fast putts break more than slow
An Absolute Truth About Putting

Sometimes perfect putts don’t fall and
 sometimes bad putts do fall … a player with
 a positive mental attitude will make more
 than his fair share of both … the reason this
 works is because:
 • Confidence relaxes your muscles
 • Relaxed muscles work more efficiently
   than tense muscles
 • Relaxed muscles allow you to have more
   “feel” than tense muscles
An Absolute Truth About Putting
From a “pure physics” point of view, putter path and
 putter face angle are equal in importance …
From a bio-mechanical point of view, they are not even
 close to being equal …
  Putter path errors are generally forgiven; 90% of
   path errors DO NOT affect the putt
  Square face direction is mandatory; 90% of a face
   angle problem DOES affect the putt!
  It is mechanically more difficult to make a path error
    than it is to “flinch” and make a face error!
An Absolute Truth About Putting

Some players have been lead to believe that
 effective putting is wide open to individual
 techniques and unsound fundamentals.
 WRONG, dead solid wrong!         Putting is
 subject to the same laws of physics and
 fundamentals as a 300 yard drive … the size
 of a mistake is just a lot less apparent!
There is a fundamentally RIGHT WAY to putt!
 When you violate fundamental principles,
 you will pay a price!
An Absolute Truth About Putting

Good putting is both a science (first) …
 sound mechanical fundamentals and
 the application of correct strategic
 rules and an art (second) … reading
 breaks and speed control
Mechanical Fundamentals
Pre Putt Fundamentals
  1.    Club Flat and Square to the Target Path
  2.    Grip
       a.    Right v. Left Hand Decision
       b.    Assembly of the Parts
            1) One Palm Square to Putter Face
            2) One Thumb on Top
            3) Runyan “Lockout” Modification & Smith Modified L/O
  3.    Point
       a.    Nose Over the Ball (distance from the ball)
       b.    Ball Under the Left Eye (L to R ball position)
  4.    Aim … Align the Shoulders & Knees Parallel to the Putt
        Path … Ignore the “Closed” Look of the Feet
  5.    Hang … Hands under Shoulders & Weight Balanced on the
        Balls of Your Feet
Checkpoints of a Mechanically
Sound Putting Stroke
THE KEY Checkpoint to good
 putting is!
Strike the back of the ball with an accelerating
stroke to control both the speed/distance the
putt will roll AND to CAUSE the putter face
to square up to the target path … you can feel
the solid /square “feel” of the stroke … you
will know the ball is going in without even
looking at the hole!
Kill the Pendulum

The age old concept of the “pendulum
putt” is dead solid wrong!
  • A pendulum stroke requires extreme
    precision to insure that your are
    accelerating the putter head into the ball
  • There is NO margin for error … will jerk
    or quit on a number of putts rather than
    execute the smooth stroke your are
    trying to make
Myth of the Pendulum Stroke
A pendulum stroke is nearly impossible to master
 AND it is destructive to the mechanical goals you
 are seeking to accomplish
The length and the time of the back stroke is very
 different than the fore stroke. The back stroke is
 1/3 as long and takes 3 times longer than the fore
 stroke. A fore stroke that is longer than the back
 stroke, is proof that the putter head accelerated
 into and through the ball
Using the correct … SLOW AND GO … rhythm for the
 stroke is essential to causing the putter face to be
 square to the target path and to control the
 distance of the putt
Checkpoints of a Mechanically
Sound Putting Stroke

        THE KEY to an making
 accelerating stroke is to control
    the rhythm of the stroke
The bio-mechanically      correct   rhythm    for a
fundamentally sound       putting    stroke   is …
SLOW AND GO!               This means you must take a
VERY slow (and possibly shorter) back stroke … then
don’t rush the transition (the and part) … then strike
the back of the ball!
Putting Mechanics
      Pre-putt Fundamentals
       Eyes over the ball, head absolutely still
        (A) …this anchors the stroke and
        corrects for any cross-eye visual
       Eyes inside the target path can cause
        pulled putts … eyes outside the path
        (nobody does this) can cause pushed
       Performance Technique: Visualize a
        plumb line hanging from the bridge of
        your nose to a point over the ball
Putting Mechanics
       Pre-putt Fundamentals
          Hangle (hang and dangle) Your Hands Under
            Your Shoulders (B) to promote a very
            consistent, straight back and through stroke
          Hands inside the shoulder line causes pushed
            putts … hands outside the shoulder line (very
            common error) causes pulled
  B       Excessive bending of the elbows causes
            “wristy” hand action rather than the desired
            shoulder and arm stroke
          Performance Technique: Visualize a necktie
            acting as a plumb line from the front of your
            shoulder joints to the thumb of your top hand
          Taking a correct posture for putting requires a
            correctly fitted putter
Putting Mechanics
        Pre-putt Fundamentals
          Align Your Shoulders Parallel to the Intended
           Target Path to give your stroke a consistent
            direction … this only make sense if you intend to
            use a correct shoulder and arm stroke rather
            than a loose wristed hands stroke
          Align your shoulders and knees after you have
           your bottom hand on the club; ignore the
           apparent “closed” alignment of your feet … use
           the club, grip, point, aim and hangle pre-putt
           routine to accomplish this point
          The most common error in putting is “open”
           shoulders which requires you to deliberately
           swing the putter in a different direction than
           your body is aligned … don’t fight your own
Putting Mechanics
         Pre-putt Fundamentals
          • Balance your weight on the balls
            of your feet (D) to promote a
            consistent, accelerating strike
            into the back of the ball
          • Weight balanced on the heels
            causes pushed, weak (short)
            putts (quit on the putt)
          • Weight balanced on the heels
            causes you to “look up” before
            the stroke is completed
Pre Putt Routine
Behind the Ball
 Point and Paint
   Don’t wait on a visual “picture” to come to you,
    actively create the image of a 2” yellow ribbon from
    the target (hole or I/M aiming point) back to the ball
   Point you hand (not your finger … use a brush, not a
    pencil) at your target and Paint the ribbon back to
    and through the ball
   Pick out an identifiable spot about 9” in front of and
    behind the ball
 Select your strategy and performance rules
 Face the target and make your practice strokes
Pre Putt Routine
5-Part Set-up routine
 Club … sole the club flat and square to the target path
 Grip … wrists are firm, fingers are soft, thumbs are on
   top of the shaft & NO trigger finger
 Point … The putter handle is vertical and points
   somewhere between you chest and breast; nose is over
   the ball; the ball is generally under the left eye
 Aim … Move you feet into place and align your shoulders
   and knees parallel to your target path … ignore the
   apparent “closed” look of your feet
 Hang … Weight is balanced on the balls of your feet
 Elbows are generally flexed
Pre Putt Routine

Before your stroke the Ball …
 Clear …
   Your mind of all “how to”, mechanical thoughts … it’s
   too late to learn how to putt; Turn your head and eyes
   to the target and stare at the target until you feel the
   correct speed for the putt; on long, lag putts, you can
   even “waggle” the club to enhance your feel for the
   correct speed
   You are correctly setup for the putt and chosen the
   direction. The only factor you now have control over
   is how hard you strike the ball
 Fire When Focused
Mechanical Fundamentals
Allow Your Pre-Putt Fundamentals to Work For You
Use a Shoulder and Arm Stroke
     Your wrists are firm, not “flippy”
        The shoulders “teeter-totter”
        The elbows maintain their “bend” through out the stroke
        Fingers are soft to promote maximum “feel”
     Reason … more consistent way to control both direction
        and speed on today’s better quality, faster greens
“Strike” the Back of the Ball … Slow And Go
     Control length (shorter) of the back stroke
     Control tempo (much slower) of the back stroke
Putting Rules & Strategies
Short Putts
   Defined … any putt you expect to make 90% of the
      Based on a true evaluation of your skill, not wishful
         thinking or macho image
      90% Confidence Circle … the area around the hole
         where you are confident of making the putt
      Any putt that breaks more than 1 ball outside the hole is
         an I/M length putt
   One Strategy Rule … NEVER leave a short putt short
      A softly stroked putt can be easily deflected off path by
         any unseen blemish
      Any unseen break will move the putt
      Even women golfer’s don’t want to hear “Alice” …
         there’s NO excuse for leaving a short putt short!
Putting Rules & Strategies
Stroke Technique … Bang the Ball into the
    Back of the Hole
 Hit the putt hard enough to finish in the back of the
       cup (about 18” past the hole)
 “Slow and Go” …
   The backstroke is three times slower and is about 1/3
        shorter than the forward stroke
   At the limit of the backstroke, there is NO hurry to initiate
         the forward stroke this is the critical and part of the
   The forward stroke is a free flowing, accelerating strike of
         the back of the ball
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Putting Rules & Strategies

Short Putts (cont.)
  Aiming Points for Short Putts
    Putts that don’t break are aimed at the center of
      the hole
    Putts that may or may not break are aimed so
      the outside edge of the ball is inside the edge
      of the hole
    Putts that will definitely break are aimed so the
      inside edge of the ball is aimed at the outside
      edge of the hole … if a putt breaks more than
      one ball, then it isn’t a short putt
BangerBox Short Putt Training Aid
BangerBox Short Putt Training Aid
 The Correct Aiming Point and Speed Control are the
    Critical Factors for Making More Short Putts

   Banger Box          BentBangerBox       Strike (bang) the
 configured for a      Box configured        back of the ball
straight putt; See   for a putt that has    firmly enough to
 a 4” wide path,        only a small       “Kiss” the back of
NOT a skinny line    break (less than 1         t he hole
                      ball outside hole)
Putting Rules & Strategies for
Intermediate Putts

Defined … any putt you expect some
of the time (based upon skill) and
when you have no concern for 3
   I/M putts begin where your confidence
    drops below the 90% level
   Tour pros only make 10% of their 15’
    putts … so who do you think you are to
    get upset over missing
Four Rules for Intermediate Putts

 Evaluate your skill based        upon Four
  Strategy Rules
   Get the ball to the hole
   Keep the ball on the uphill side of the hole
   Any missed putt finishes inside your 90%
   Use a systematic, pre-putt routine to
    account for all variables and to give each
    putt your best effort
BentBanger Intermediate Putting Aid

This device teaches the correct aiming
point for intermediate length putts up
to about 15”
Works on L to R or R to L Breaking
Teaches 4 Rules for Intermediate
For longer I/M Putts and Lag Putts use
the TruTargets strings
Putting Rules & Strategies
Long (Lag) Putts
 Defined … any putt where you do
  not expect to make the putt based
  on skill AND where there is a
  legitimate possibility of three
 One Rule … leave the putt
  anywhere in your 90% short putt
  confidence area
Putting Rules & Strategies
Long (Lag) Putts
  Strategy …
    Don’t even look at the hole … visualize a
     big, yellow, circular blanket covering the
    Short, long, left or right is OK so long as
     the ball finishes somewhere on the
    Any putt that finishes on the blanket is a
     great putt … any putt that goes into the
     hole is a great putt that got lucky!
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TruTargets Training Aids
       4 Rules
1.   Get it to the hole
2.   Keep it above the
3.   Finish in you 90%
     short putt area
4.   Use a pre-putt

                               1 Rule
                          Finish anywhere on
                              the blanket
Tips on How Putting Can Be
Learned Faster and Better
 Develop the mechanical consistency of your
 stroke on a consistent putting surface …
 indoors on a smooth piece of carpet or
 putting mat.       You must be able to
 differentiate between an error caused by
 poor stroke mechanics and a miss caused by
 an irregular putting surface … was it me or
 was it the green?
Tips on How Putting Can Be
Learned Faster and Better
Once you are mechanically sound as defined
by your ability to repeatedly hit a straight 10’
putt, learning to apply correct strategies for
different kinds of putts can be moved
outdoors to a quality putting green. NEVER
practice on a bad green. Practicing on bad
greens creates doubt about your mechanical
ability, which might be fundamentally sound.
The resulting loss of confidence is a step
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Tips on How Putting Can Be
Learned Faster and Better

Mechanical consistency is learned on a
consistent putting surface … “Touch”
and the ability to “read” greens is
learned by using a variety of surfaces
and conditions.      Apply the law of
variability to develop the strategic skills
needed to be a good putter. When
learning touch, NEVER hit the same putt
Checkpoints of a Mechanically
Sound Putting Stroke
The putter head swings straight back
  and straight through, along an
  imaginary path (the 4” yellow ribbon)
  throughout the full length of the
  stroke … on longer, lag putts the
  putter head will begin to follow a
  slightly, natural inside to square to
  inside path
The putter face must be perfectly square
  to the intended target path at impact
Putting Practice
Short Putts
   Banger Drill
     Make 10 consecutive straight, uphill three foot
      putts … if you miss, start over
     Back up six inches and do it again
     Make three sets of straight, uphill putts from
      increasing distances
     Make three sets of straight, downhill putts
     Quit when you have made three sets of ten
      putts from both below and above the hole … or
      when it is too dark to see
Putting Practice
Short Putts
   Bent Banger Drill
      Make 10 consecutive side hill, breaking three foot putts
       … if you miss, start over
      Make three sets of right to left, then left to right side hill
      Back up six inches and do it again
      Quit when you have made three sets of ten putts from
       both below and above the hole … or when it is too dark
       to see

Note: nobody, not even the touring pros can make 9 out of
 10 putts if they break more than one ball width outside
 the hole … any putt that breaks more than one ball is an
 Intermediate length putt!
Putting Practice
Intermediate Putts
  Around the World
    Drop five balls in an irregular, 5-15’ “circle” around the
     hole; Putt each ball using the 4 rule strategy
    Score your effort on your ability to successfully comply
     with      the     rules     90%        of     the    time
      (5 putts X 4 rules = 20 scores … 20 X .9 = 18 out of 20)
  Hole to Hole Drawback
    Use one ball (there are no “do overs”) to putt 9 holes
    Putt from hole to hole; if you comply with the 4 rules,
     finish the hole … if you break a rule, draw the ball back
     one putter length
    Par is 2 on each hole, 18 for the 9 … Good Luck, you’re
     going to need it because this isn’t as easy as it sounds!
Putting Practice
Lag Putts
  Ladder Drill
    Use five balls; putt the first ball 15-20’
    Putt each successive ball 3’ further than the
     previous ball
  Comeback Drill
    Use the five balls you used to build the ladder
    Putt each ball back to the same hole
    Do NOT putt in sequence, randomly select
     longer then shorter putts

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