The #1 cause of poor putting has to do with unnecessary
premature movement. Movement typically occurs in one of two
areas, the body and or the head. Head movement is the most
damaging because it leads to body movement as well. In order
to eliminate head movement, you must also eliminate the cause,
which is eye movement. Eye movement leads to body to movement,
which causes you to lose your center of gravity and push
and pull your putts. Think of your spine as being your center
of gravity. In putting especially, and chipping as well,
there should be very little, (too no) lateral or vertical
movement of the spine and head. You must stay still. Observe
the PGA touring pros and see how still they stay.
I have 5 essential rules that apply to chipping and putting. If
the following rules sound easy that's good. However, I
can assure you that it will take all the discipline and
awareness you can muster to complete the drills appropriately.
So pay attention and follow the instruction carefully.
# 1 - YOUR LOWER BODY, (from your waist down) IS CAST IN CEMENT
AND DOES NOT MOVE.
RULE # 2 - KEEP YOUR EYES AND YOUR HEAD STILL.
RULE # 3 - KEEP YOUR STUPID EYES AND YOUR STUPID HEAD STILL.
RULE # 4 - KEEP YOUR GOSH DARN STUPID EYES AND YOUR GOSH
DARN STUPID HEAD STILL.
RULE # 5 - WHEN YOU THINK YOU'RE KEEPING YOUR LOWER BODY
AND YOUR GOSH DARN STUPID EYES AND HEAD STILL, YOU'RE NOT.
To keep your eyes and your head still, look
for the grass under the ball until your putting stroke
has come to an end. A good drill, which will teach
you how to do this is to put a dime under your ball and attempt
to see the date on the dime after you have made contact
with the ball and have fully completed your stroke. You won't
be able to see the date because it's too small, but you
will keep your eyes and head still in an attempt to do
so. You can also stroke some putts with your eyes closed.
Some people claim they can still feel their eyes move, even though
they have them shut. Can you?
Another very cool thing to try is what I call the halo drill. Get yourself
a golf ball and place it on the green. Position
yourself so you can kneel down directly over your golf
ball with out blocking the sunlight shining on your ball.
The sunlight is not essential, however it makes the drill
more dramatic. After your eyes are position two to three
feet directly over the golf ball, stare at the ball,
(with focus) for a minimum of 30 seconds. Next, quickly
remove the golf ball, while maintaining your gaze on the spot
where the ball was. You should notice a halo, a ring,
a dark spot, an impression, or some image of where the
golf ball use to be. Most individuals see something. If you
don't see anything the first time you do the drill try
it again. The point is whatever you see will always be
there if you truly look for it. If you are not seeing
this image in your practice or play, than you are not
staying still and you are not truly focusing on the ball. Whenever
I am putting poorly, I can usually identify that I am
not seeing the halo. Refer to the first paragraph of
the free chipping tips for more on this problem. Try listening for the ball to go in the hole, instead of seeing the ball go in the hole. This is a simple concept, but a difficult task to be patient enough to complete this drill.
To eliminate body
movement place 80% of your bodies weight on your front
foot, and keep it there. This will
eliminate weight transfer, which is the leading cause of body movement.
To identify any weight transfer simply stroke some putts,
(not at a hole) while concentrating on what you feel
your weight distribution doing. Pay attention to the
little feelings you have in your toes, your heels, and the soles
of your feet, your calves and thighs. Try this with your
eyes shut as well. This is one of the best ways to achieve
maximum awareness of your body parts and what they are
actually doing. Through practicing with awareness you
should strive to putt the ball with perfect balance and
consistent weight distribution.
Another thing to keep in mind is
there are several things to practice in order to get
better. If you want to practice
your stroke, do so without a golf ball. Use a guide such
as a wall, a board or a line on the floor or carpet.
If you are going to practice your putting with a ball
forget about the stroke and practice line and speed. All you
need to do in putting is learn to roll the ball on the
right line with the right speed or pace on the ball. If you
are going to practice putting to a hole only do so from
ten feet and in. I want my students to practice making putts.
From outside ten feet you will statistically miss 80
to 90% of all putts you hit. So outside of ten feet put
to a spot, a tee, or the fringe and learn to control line
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