Putting: Get The Ball In The Hole Putting is one of the most difficult of all golf shots. Hopefully this article will get you on the way to a better game. There is no imitation for knowledge, on the other hand you may better your appraisal for how ordinarily discipline you need to go an express distance by doing the following. First, foster a preshot structure that includes 2 or 3 practice swings that just about reach the amount of effort you feel is necessary. Next, position the putter so the sweet spot is exactly behind the ball. Now, hit the putt and gauge the distance. Do not be upset or bothered if the ball did not go the proper distance. Simply observe and accumulate data. Understand it is consistently a matter of more or less effort and your deftness to hit the sweet spot. Do you know where your sweet spot is? Try this simple test. Hold the shaft of your putter between your thumb and forefinger. Lightly tap on the face of the putter until the face rebounds straight back. This is the sweet spot. If the putter face torques or wobbles at all when you pop it, the same thing will happen when you hit the ball on that spot. STANCE: Your stance should usually be the narrowest of any shot that you play Your stance should also be taken near enough to the ball so that you can cause a stroke which is straight back from, and straight through to the hole for putts of nominal length, while not so close as to have an inclination to force the clubhead to the outside of your target line on the backswing. The feet should be positioned open, closed, or square, relative to how those adjustments involve your swing’s path, with the right foot basically accountable for your adroitness to follow-through accurately. Most, although not all, great players address the ball so that their weight is balanced to some degree toward the inside of their left heel. BALL POSITION: I advocate that you play your ball somewhere between the center of your stance and the left instep. This allows both the path and the clubhead to square up to the target prior to impact, and it allows any approach angle to level out enough to help a good follow through GRIP: I despise the word grip, and the implications it holds for most folks. What you want is to lightly “place” your hands on the club in such a way that it’s easy for you to swing the clubhead squarely toward the target. For simplicity’s sake I’d recommend using a very light version of your normal grip, with the exception that the pinky finger of your right hand be on the club rather than overlapped, or interlocked. Be sure that in closing your fingers you don’t impose the club into some angle of lie, of loft, other than its designed one. STROKE: Your object in all of this is of course to strike the ball with the clubhead so that it rolls truly to the target. This will be best accomplished by increasing the clubhead through your spot of balance , and fine tuning the components of your basics until this acceleration occurs down the intended line, with a clubface which is square to it. Now, after hitting the shot, you must read it accurately. You must be in a balanced finish to read it accurately, so you can check your alignment in case the shot is off line. As you stand in an expertly balanced finish and watch your ball, ask yourself: how does my balance feel, how was the brush, how was the path, was the clubface in the correct position, and did I hit it in the middle of the clubface? Then, either fixate more on what is missing, or play it and go fix it after the round. You will only be able to fulfill 8 to 10 perfect shots per round, so be mentally prepared. There is much argument in the world of golf about what is more important in putting. Is it line, or is it speed? There have been many genuine sources that have argued both sides very well. One of the best putters of all time, Bob Charles, feels that the line is most crucial. Ben Hogan, on the other hand, used to feel that speed was the key. My take on putting is that speed is much, much more important than line. Here’s why… When we putt, we do so with a flat faced club. We also take a short swing This, in turn, makes it just about impossible to put any side spin on the ball. It also make it drastically difficult to hit it off line in terms of pulling and pushing. So if we can surmise that it is quite difficult to hit it off line with a straight faced club and a short swing, then the only other act that could cause us to hit the ball off line is if we are erroneously aimed. But really…how hard is it to line a putt up? Just pick out a target and line the blade up perpendicular to that. Yes, the BLADE. The bladeis all you have to concern yourself with. Your core can be open , closed hunched over or pretty much any other way you want it to be. Just get that club going in the direction of the target. So if the entire line of the putt is taken care of by essentially just lining up one object perpendicular to another, then that leaves us with one thing to think about, speed. SPEED CONTROLS EVERYTHING! Speed is the authoritative factor with every putt. It controls the line. It controls the break. It controls if your putt will lip in or lip out. It completely controls why there are so many three putts. If speed controls all, then that begs the question of how someone goes about controlling speed. It’s a question that on the whole, has no answer. This is also why practicing the speed of your putts is so important. You need to find the optimum distance you stroke the club, and what degree of force you hit the ball with. This will allow for you to gauge the situation a lot easier when faced with different length putts. It’s different for everyone. There is no one right way. It takes practice. Get out there. Speed is king. Find yours.