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When you practice putting.

halifax_golfer

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2006
472
0
Hey, just wondering how many of you actually practice putting, if so please let me know your opinions on how your going about it.

Do you guys bother to line up a line on your ball? for example if you were gona practice 6ft putts with 10 balls around the hole would you bother taking the time to properly read the break and align your ball. Or do you just put balls down around the hole and go ahead and hit them?

I'm gona go and play 9 holes this-morning and I'm gona hit 10 putts on every hole for practice, and I'm just wondering if I have to go through my entire putting routine to make the practice effective.

What are some of your practice putting routines?.

Fr. Chris.
 

SolderJockey

Well-Known Member
Oct 31, 2007
94
0
I practice putting as often as I can. There are 2 things I do. The first is
the circle drill starting at 3 feet and moving back to 4 and then 5.
After that if the green is empty, I'll drop 5 or 6 balls and putt each one to A a different hole at different distances to work on distance control. If the green is crowded, I'll use one hole but drop each ball at a different distance and break. IMO you get no benefit from doing the same length putt over and
over. This way, you are constantly varying the distance and break. The exception is the circle drill where my goal is to become automatic under 5 feet. IMO the two most important elements of putting are being automatic
under 5 feet and being able to lag it to 2 feet or better from just about any
distance. If you can do that, you'll rarely 3 putt.
 

xman1112

Well-Known Member
May 8, 2009
158
0
It does make total sense to get used to reading greens when practicing. I personally don't do it though. I start hitting short putts (2 or 3 footers) and then work my way back from there; then working on lag putts.

I try and get good feel, all kinds of putts from alot of angles, without doing any reading.

One thing that doesn't make too much sense at alot of courses I play on is that the practice green very rarely (if ever) is like any of the greens on the course at all. So what I'm doing before my round is rolling putts, feeling comfortable about them, but sadly not really getting the feel for the actual greens on the course.

I think anyone who practices putting at all is a step ahead of the game, I see so many guys bring their empty bucket back to the pro shop, past the green and right to their car.
 

Pa Jayhawk

Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2005
7,101
4
Around the practice greens, I probably concentrate most on my preshot routine, and then my speed. I feel a good preshot routine in establishing a identical setup each time is Key One to being able to putt well. For speed, I feel the most important thing to practice is to hold the finish until the ball reaches the hole. I use a line around my ball when I play however it serves little purpose on the practice green and I really do not even usually concentrate on reading putts or chips around the practice greens.

I actually feel that over the course of practicing, I get more out of paying attention to break after hitting the ball then adjusting. Contrary to what many say about it not being good to hit more than a couple balls at a time on things like chips (I stress chips), I think in doing so it actually heightens my ability to see the contours in the greens at first glance. On putts, except for long lag putts, I only practice with 2-3 balls but still read the contour after the putt. I only ever read break during a round, as I feel it is also not as important as speed and can be over analyzed in making putts. Plus I figure you can either read break or you cant, however being able to see contour can be enhanced by seeing repetition after the shot. In many cases I do not even practice at a hole. To each his own I guess.

To practice short putts around 3-4 feet, I developed my own routine were I usually just take two balls and chase one around the green trying to knick the outside right of the other running it 1 1/2 to 2 feet past the other. You end up going in a big circle and it teachs me to not think as much about the line (or anything else), and while in normal putting I just try and die the ball in the hole, it teaches me hit it harder on non breaking shorter putts, which I think is important for me and the way I play. Teaches me to just step over the short putt and go.

I also make sure to practice my chip putting for really long lag putts and have become very good at 2 putting from outside 30 feet.
 

rolltherock

New Member
Dec 9, 2008
251
0
Hey, just wondering how many of you actually practice putting, if so please let me know your opinions on how your going about it.

Do you guys bother to line up a line on your ball? for example if you were gona practice 6ft putts with 10 balls around the hole would you bother taking the time to properly read the break and align your ball. Or do you just put balls down around the hole and go ahead and hit them?

I'm gona go and play 9 holes this-morning and I'm gona hit 10 putts on every hole for practice, and I'm just wondering if I have to go through my entire putting routine to make the practice effective.

What are some of your practice putting routines?.

Fr. Chris.

A topic I'm in love with...hence my name.

Putting is THE equalizer in golf.

As far as lining up putts ask yourself this question. Given that golf is infinitely harder the closer you get to the hole, why wouldn't you? Would you hit a 7 iron w/o lining it up? DO IT!

Setup and alignment are the basics to all shots from driver to putter. If you think a driver is finicky then multiply that by a factor of 10 for putting. If your driver face is open 2 degrees at impact you can still play the shot. If your putter face is open 2 degrees you have no chance at even touching the edge of the cup outside 10" on a dead straight putt. Won't even touch the hole!

Think about that. How many putts do you take a round outside 10"? A LOT!

For what it's worth I spend roughly 70% of my total practice time on short game. Most all of that is putting time and a tiny bit is bunker, chips and bump/runs. I spend 30% of my time hitting balls, that's it. If I reversed this to 70% range and 30% putting my handicap would go from it's 2.6 to a 10 in a hurry.

As far as what you practice and how, that is personal preference. My college coach always had us just putt to a spot to maybe 20 feet to get a feel for speed, b/c speed is everything. Line means nothing when someone tells you what they think unless you are talking the same speed.

Secondly, the reason he had us NOT work on short putts first is because if they are not going in b/c of poor speed or anything else...we don't want to see that b/c it' builds up bad thoughts. Get the speed down and the 4 footers will go in much more often. The last thing I want to do is start out with 4 footers and make 2 of 10.

In my opinion it's definitely quality over quantity. I never saw any good out of hitting 50 putts haphazardly, not lining up properly and ramming it all over the green. I would rather take 15 putts in that time that I KNOW are lined up properly so at least I know what I'm dealing with that day. Am I pulling them a bit? Okay fine I can work with that and play a bit more break today. If you don't know where your body and ball are heading then you basically have not learned anything from your practice...make sense?
 

slickpitt

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2006
2,706
3
I don't focus so much on line. I pretty much just work on stroke and speed.
 

rolltherock

New Member
Dec 9, 2008
251
0
I don't focus so much on line. I pretty much just work on stroke and speed.

If you get bored with practice I have a little suggestion....suggestion only. I see you are at a 10ish handi. The way you get lower from a 10 is definitely more short game than ball striking. I only say this b/c I have had some of my playing pals do it and they have seen amazing results.

You don't even have to increase your putting time, but take the time to double check your alignment with feet, knees hips and especially shoulders....and lastly ball/putter face alignment. You will be freaked out at how many more putts you make. If you are a 10 then you have some good skills and most likely the fine attention to detail is what could be holding you there. It ain't sexy, but this stuff works!

If you have ever had a chance to watch a tour event up close you will see every single one.....every guy working on alignment constantly both with their caddies and coaches if there. Putting is so darn fickle!
 

slickpitt

Well-Known Member
Aug 15, 2006
2,706
3
If you get bored with practice I have a little suggestion....suggestion only. I see you are at a 10ish handi. The way you get lower from a 10 is definitely more short game than ball striking. I only say this b/c I have had some of my playing pals do it and they have seen amazing results.

You don't even have to increase your putting time, but take the time to double check your alignment with feet, knees hips and especially shoulders....and lastly ball/putter face alignment. You will be freaked out at how many more putts you make. If you are a 10 then you have some good skills and most likely the fine attention to detail is what could be holding you there. It ain't sexy, but this stuff works!

If you have ever had a chance to watch a tour event up close you will see every single one.....every guy working on alignment constantly both with their caddies and coaches if there. Putting is so darn fickle!


Thanks for the advice :)
 

fisher

Well-Known Member
Nov 16, 2008
1,263
0
I do not practice putting to a hole. A friend told me this way to practice putting and it has worked wonders for me. On a green or on your livingroom carpet put down a dime and use the dime as your target. Start with six footers and move out from there. The idea is to hit the dime and roll no more than 16 inches past the dime. If you practice this way, when you get out on the course the hole will look as big as a garbage can. Its all about alignment and speed. Try it.
 

xman1112

Well-Known Member
May 8, 2009
158
0
One thing that drives me crazy on practice greens is when they don't cut holes, but instead push those plastic pins/flags into the ground. I know the area is smaller and better for being more exact, but we're aiming at 4" cups on the golf course, not JFK sized plastic flags.
 
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halifax_golfer

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2006
472
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #11
next time I will take more time and focus on alignment. But today, I feel like I was learning some decent speed control. But I guess it would have been nice to know if my putts were going on the exact line that I was aligned for.

Thanks for the tip.
 

rolltherock

New Member
Dec 9, 2008
251
0
next time I will take more time and focus on alignment. But today, I feel like I was learning some decent speed control. But I guess it would have been nice to know if my putts were going on the exact line that I was aligned for.

Thanks for the tip.

Good for you! Speed is everything.

I will give ya the best nugget I ever learned on the moss. It's so simple, yet I see 1/100 people who do it. You can't be a good putter until you do this and when I say good I mean sub 30 putting. Do you recall hearing 'missing on the pro side'?

Always always always play enough break. Let's say you have a 20 footer with 3 feet of break and you only play 1 1/2 feet. So about half way to the hole the ball has already taken a dive under the line and every inch it continues to roll.....is an inch longer that your comebacker will be.....the longer it rolls out the longer your next putt. Now if you hammer the putt it could hit the hole, but if it misses you are 10 feet past. Now then, let's say you play 4 and 1/2 feet of break and it's really only 3 feet of break. You are still going to miss the putt most likely, but it could go in if the speed is right and the greens are fast enough. The extra bonus of playing more break is that the longer it rolls the closer it gets to the hole....it's dying at the hole so the longer it rolls the closer your next putt will be.

I'm dating myself a bit here, but in case you are wondering where I picked this up it was standing by the putting green at Baltusrol in '80 after a practice round....by some guy named Jack Nicklaus. Can't remember who he was chatting with, but it amazes me how I have maybe heard this concept talked about 2 times on TV coverage ever.....maybe 2 times.
 
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halifax_golfer

Well-Known Member
Jun 26, 2006
472
0
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #13
Thats a great tip....

That way of thinking about putts has never really popped in my head, I knew it was better to miss high, but never really thought exatly as to why.

I'm gona read more break on my putts aswell, better to miss 1ft over the hole and let it roll out to a 2ft putt, then to miss 1ft under the hole and have it roll out for a 3ft putt.

Fr. Chris.
 

rolltherock

New Member
Dec 9, 2008
251
0
Thats a great tip....

That way of thinking about putts has never really popped in my head, I knew it was better to miss high, but never really thought exatly as to why.

I'm gona read more break on my putts aswell, better to miss 1ft over the hole and let it roll out to a 2ft putt, then to miss 1ft under the hole and have it roll out for a 3ft putt.

Fr. Chris.

B I N G O.....you passed. When you play on courses rolling at 8 it's not as big a deal, but my course in the afternoons with the heat and wind rolls at 11+ and it becomes very penal when you get below the hole.

Also, the hole is much, much more receptive to putts falling towards it on the high side than putts with momentum falling away from it on the low side.

You are getting ready to take a huge step up in putting performance, just stick with it. It's really more addicting than hitting bomb drives, especially when you are playing for money. It's gets in guys kitchen's when you are 40 yards back off the tee and win the hole b/c of putting.

If you can keep the ball below the hole and play enough break your are going to make more putts.....and if you make sure you are lined up properly...you will make A LOT more putts!
 

ezra76

Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2006
12,412
16
I use the line when I play but not practice. Practice I'm only really focusing on hitting my putts straight down my line and never pushing or pulling them. I like to practice a lot of left to right breaking putts as they are more difficult. L to R downhill requires a totally square to the line stroke and proper speed. I don't really practice a lot of long putts. Most of my practice is inside of 10ft.. My theory is "every putt is a straight putt", that is after you read the break. You are always hitting the putt straight down the line. You can't put a draw or a fade on a putt, right? So if you can't hit a straight putt, no matter what distance, you'll only get worse when you try to trust a putt straight down a line that is not straight into the hole.
 

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