Ever since I got involved with Golf with more interest I am not surprised at all when someone misses a few feet short putt. It is extremely normal for a high handicapper to miss those close shots. But why do the scratch players hardly ever miss a short putt? Do they have some magic putter, that is not the case. They have the right technique and a forgiving putter that takes away their shortcomings. If you are someone really frustrated with your short game, this post is going to help you know hot make short putts on a consistent basis.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE SHORT PUTTS
Follow these simple guidelines and you will see a quick improvement in your short game. If you begin keeping even half of these tips in your mind, it would be hard for you to recall when did you miss a short putt.
Stop Being Careless
We all have been there just two feet away from a par and then converted the hole to a bogey with a careless one hand putting. The problem is the attitude, you must get serious with the short game as much as you are with the tee shot. With the driver, the more focus is on generating the swing speed why can’t we keep the same discipline with the close shots? Get into the stance, take a deep breath, relax your body and then putt that ball.
No Wrist Movement
If you are a right-handed person make sure that your right hand is firmly gripping the handle. The left hand, however, should be grasping the shaft with use of index + middle finger and the thumb. You should not use all five fingers to grip the shaft Why? because as soon as you put all five fingers on the grip it is a natural tendency to twist the wrist with the swing.
This twisting of the wrist ruins the point of impact on the golf ball. There is a higher chance to hit the ball off the center, as a result, you get a deviation of 2 degrees and such a small error can deviate the intended ball trajectory. This seemingly small error goes unnoticed and requires a coach to pick and fix it up.
Build A Muscle Memory
After aligning your shot in a straight line then play the shot. Practice at the same spot with the right grip and speed. Once you know what is the right line to aim mark the point. Now practice the shot over and over again. What is the use of this? It will build your muscle memory, you will begin playing more like a robot that does very little error. Professional practice simple shots for hours until it is hardly embedded in their muscles to play a shot, in the same manner, each time.
Muscle memory is part of almost every sport. It is necessary that you try to build it up with the right technique. Make sure that you get your stance and putt swing checked before you practice any shot for a drill. Wrong muscle memory build can take months to fix the wrong habit.
FIX ONE POINT TO AIM AT HOLE
The reason why you are not able to achieve consistent results on short putts is that you are aiming different point each time. Develop a habit of looking at the same point on every hole before aligning your shot. It will help you get into the right frame of mind and a more robotic approach to take the shot for consistent results.
I would suggest to pick up a point just below the top of the hole and away from you. It helps to set up the view angle from your eyes in a more comfortable manner. Look at the picture below, try to look at this point on every hole and make it part of your routine to aim for this same spot for every hole you play on. Try to aim am the red spot right below the straight line from center of the ball to the hole.
GET A FORGIVING PUTTER
You need topspin to putt the ball. If there is sidespin or backspin on the ball then it means that you hit the ball off center and it deviated the path of the ball away from the intended one. It is an indication that there is some problem with your technique. You can identify that by setting up a slow-motion camera but they are quite expensive. The ones on the mobile phone are not as good as we are used to seeing in the slow motion videos.
The solution is to get a forgiving putter. These putters impart almost negligible side spin on the ball. Companies like Taylormade are making special putter with grooves called pure roll to minus any side spin for short putts. If interested check Juno putter, it is a mid-range putter good for medium and high handicappers.
With a forgiving putter, you can actually get away from off-center shots more often and lower your score. It is an investment in your game and part of the answer to how to make short putts easily.
ONE TEE DRILL
I can not stress how important this drill is to improve your short putt game. It is the easiest to set up and gives amazing results. The idea is to replace the hole with a tee in your game.
Plant the tee anywhere you want on the course. Now aim at the tee from various distances. In the beginning aim from closer and then gradually increase your distance as you are consistently hitting the tee.
This drill requires more patience than other short putting drills. It will help you massively improve your short putting game. The key is to keep your patience and stick with it. Even if you slide pass by the tee it is still a putt because a tee is much smaller than a hole and it would mean you had the putt.
PRACTICE ONE TEE DRILL ON SLOPES
What makes you miss the short putts is the slope near the hole. The seemingly straight shot can actually require you to aim lower or above the hole depending on the slope.
It is imperative that you get a feel of the slope of the hole. If you feel that one side is higher than the other then you have adjusted by playing the ball towards the higher side. By gravity, ball will bend towards the lower side of the slope and go into the hole.
Locate a slope on the course and practice the One Tee Drill as much as you can. It will give you the feel of how much power to apply on the ball to adjust its speed and to bend it in the right shape to putt the ball.
Do not do the amateur mistakes because now you know how to make short putts quicker. Work on your technique, do hard work and improve your short range game. The benefits are massive. You can quickly become mid to low handicap player if you can improve your short ball game. Do not play with cheap putters, they can help you putt but can’t help you every time to hit a birdie or even a par every time.