I MUST improve my putting
‘You’ve never had a putting lesson’ said James Whitaker? I defended myself by saying my putting was actually ‘quite good’ and therefore, I never actually thought I needed one.
So, we had a look through some of my recent stats:
Over the last 10 rounds, my putting average was 34 putts per round (8 of those were over 16 holes!)
Of the last 5 rounds, I had 3 x 3 putts! I also had a quick flick through past blogs and found this moment of utter putting stupidness…
Clearly… I’m no Jordan Spieth and my putting is not actually as good as I thought! I really must improve my putting.
Off to see James at JWhitaker Golf we go!
On the putting green, James watched me hit a few putts. Then, he filmed it. It didn’t make for particularly good viewing! My posture looked awful for a start. I did resemble the hunchback of Notre Dame! Posture is an issue for me throughout my game, and my life in general… I blame years sitting at desks / being lazy! But, at address with my putting stroke, it looks particularly bad. Then, my grip. It was far too strong, meaning my right hand was fully over the putter, meaning I had a tendency to close the putter face. That explains the left misses. Finally, my takeaway was really steep. I was actually lifting the putter way up in the air… and what goes up, must come down! Problem was, it was coming down so steeply that when I hit the ball it didn’t roll, it started with a skip. Not only did this leave putts offline, but made distance hard to judge.
So, the first thing to tackle, was making my grip more neutral. It was a simple thought really, and one I can’t believe I hadn’t ever come across. Think of the right hand as the putter face. Simple!
Then, James dropped a putting mirror onto the floor, which was just brilliant. It’s such a great piece of kit to practice with. It meant I could get fully aligned with my shoulders, and gave me some clear marker points for how far to take the putter back for specific distances.
Before I knew it, I was rolling the ball much better and more importantly; it was actually going in the hole!
Have a look at this before & after. We use this app a lot. It means I can film swings all the time to send to James & Ryan and they can add commentary / feedback. I find it really useful…
I now admit I have massively neglected my putting. But that is no more. I know that to improve my putting, and subsequently my scores, I need to practice. I’m trying to do this most nights, even just for 10 minutes. I’ve cobbled this little set up together too; a trusty £10 putting matt from Tesco and a putting mirror borrowed from James. It may not be a purpose made practice green in the garden (that’ll be after this weekends lottery win!), but it works just fine whilst watching the TV! Plus, at this stage, it’s more about the technique I need to drill in to make sure I roll the ball to the hole.
Interestingly. I had a look at some stats from the PGA Tour. Now, these guys have some damn impressive putting stats. These guys hole:
- 99% of putts from 3 feet and in
- 69% of 6-foot putts
- 54% of 8-foot putts
- 31% of putts between 10 and 15 feet
I know they are the best in the world, but they don’t get that good by pure fluke. They practice. A lot!
So, putting practice is the future. Now I just need to figure out the rest of the bag!!