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Help - Seriously, I can't putt


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#1 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:49 AM

I think I need an intervention. I played on Saturday and 3 putt every single green except 2, where I 2 putt par'ed. I shot a garbage 98 due to this and I was so upset I almost broke down in my car on the way home. I can't tell if I have yipps, if I'm really really bad or somewhere in the middle. I spent 45 minutes on Friday on the greens practicing and felt confident for Saturday. My first putt of the day I was lagging from about 40feet, which I somehow blew about 15 feet past the hole. The rest of the day I was coming up extremely short, or extremely long.

I'm getting a fitting Friday just to make sure I get all my specs down right, aim, weight... all that. But I feel like it's my touch and feel that's off, and it's not something a fitting will help (or will it?). All the gate drills and clock drills in the world probably won't help me. One, because the greens I were on Friday were still dormant and running pretty slow. The greens Saturday were cut shorter and a bit faster, with a lot of subtle breaks. Still... A good player would adjust quickly.

Ex: 18th hole, par 4 about 360 yards -  Bullet off the tee to the fairway, 85 yards in. SW to about 25ft, flag up on a tier. I left the first putt about 15 ft short, then my next putt I left 5 ft short, then I missed the 5 footer long. That was the story most of the day.

Advice, tips? ...Mental counseling??

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#2 gatorMD

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 11:58 AM

first, u have to believe u can make every putt u have.

second u need to practice, a lot.

my fav drill is take 2-3 balls and if u miss short or more than 1 club length long u have to add a club length to the second putt.  do this for 9-18 holes at a time with a goal of even par.  par is a two putt.  putt all diff distances and breaks going through ur routine every time.  

great thing about putting is anyone can be great at it and it is huge for scoring.  no deadlifts necessary.
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#3 bobcat

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:00 PM

View PostZ1ggy16, on 15 April 2018 - 11:49 AM, said:

I think I need an intervention. I played on Saturday and 3 putt every single green except 2, where I 2 putt par'ed. I shot a garbage 98 due to this and I was so upset I almost broke down in my car on the way home. I can't tell if I have yipps, if I'm really really bad or somewhere in the middle. I spent 45 minutes on Friday on the greens practicing and felt confident for Saturday. My first putt of the day I was lagging from about 40feet, which I somehow blew about 15 feet past the hole. The rest of the day I was coming up extremely short, or extremely long.

I'm getting a fitting Friday just to make sure I get all my specs down right, aim, weight... all that. But I feel like it's my touch and feel that's off, and it's not something a fitting will help (or will it?). All the gate drills and clock drills in the world probably won't help me. One, because the greens I were on Friday were still dormant and running pretty slow. The greens Saturday were cut shorter and a bit faster, with a lot of subtle breaks. Still... A good player would adjust quickly.

Ex: 18th hole, par 4 about 360 yards -  Bullet off the tee to the fairway, 85 yards in. SW to about 25ft, flag up on a tier. I left the first putt about 15 ft short, then my next putt I left 5 ft short, then I missed the 5 footer long. That was the story most of the day.

Advice, tips? ...Mental counseling??

If it's all about your lag putting, then it's probably not 'the yips', but if you think that dreaded condition might be to blame, then you can go here for some immediate help!   Just click below:

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#4 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:05 PM

I've messed with crosshand grip and it feels horrible. I'm a lefty golfer but I'm right hand & eye dominant. I actually went through a few weeks last year where I putt left hand low, but right handed. Drained a few long putts but my aim was WAY off due to eye dominance stuff. Went back to conventional lefty.
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#5 Ghostwedge

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:07 PM

Here's my advice.... chill.
First clue is the greens are still dormant and bumpy. Nobody is making putts on those, been there done that.
For now it's just smoothing out the kinks and getting ready for those quicker, smoother  summertime greens.
Good luck.


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#6 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:09 PM

View PostGhostwedge, on 15 April 2018 - 12:07 PM, said:

Here's my advice.... chill.
First clue is the greens are still dormant and bumpy. Nobody is making putts on those, been there done that.
For now it's just smoothing out the kinks and getting ready for those quicker, smoother  summertime greens.
Good luck.
To me that seems like maybe you miss a few couple feet off. I was blowing lag putts by... and on the 18th I left a 25ft uphiller a legit 15 feet short. That's insane...I didn't even hit it 50% of the way lol. It JUST barely got up to the tier.
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#7 SNIPERBBB

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:23 PM

Putting ladder drills.  Start by making a put that goes a foot. Next putt gets farther until you run out of green, then work yourself backwards doing the same thing except each putt gets shorter. If you fail to make the putt longer or shorter start over.
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#8 rdangelo1077

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:39 PM

View PostGhostwedge, on 15 April 2018 - 12:07 PM, said:

Here's my advice.... chill.
First clue is the greens are still dormant and bumpy. Nobody is making putts on those, been there done that.
For now it's just smoothing out the kinks and getting ready for those quicker, smoother  summertime greens.
Good luck.
Completely agree with this. Spent some time in Florida about a month ago, and out of the 5 rounds I played I had no more than 31 putts. Came back up to to NE and every round since then has been about 36-37 putts per round. One green the ball rolls long the next its woefully short. No break on some that I know should be breaking based on past rounds on the course. I wouldn't worry too much unless the problem persists once the greens are back to normal shape. Ladder drill is great though, used it bunch over the years.
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#9 Ghostwedge

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:55 PM

Ok Z1g, you're getting great drills and tips n tips on here. I got nothing.
Trust me i've left 30 footers 15 feet short. Then i look at my Scotty like a gun accidently went off in my hand.
Complete surprise, bewilderment and shock for about..... 3 seconda.
I putt by rhe Claude Harmon axiom. This is how you tell a good putter from a bad one, all good putters ball have that "going in look" even when they miss. Putting in just confidence and trust in your putter, set up, line and stroke. Like i said in another post, i rarely make anything but i rarely 3 putt either, hit the majority of greens during around and you're in business.

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#10 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 12:59 PM

View PostGhostwedge, on 15 April 2018 - 12:55 PM, said:

Ok Z1g, you're getting great drills and tips n tips on here. I got nothing.
Trust me i've left 30 footers 15 feet short. Then i look at my Scotty like a gun accidently went off in my hand.
Complete surprise, bewilderment and shock for about..... 3 seconda.
I putt by rhe Claude Harmon axiom. This is how you tell a good putter from a bad one, all good putters ball have that "going in look" even when they miss. Putting in just confidence and trust in your putter, set up, line and stroke. Like i said in another post, i rarely make anything but i rarely 3 putt either, hit the majority of greens during around and you're in business.
I agree. I think I'm just venting because I've been working so hard on the long game with lessons and practice but the short stuff (where it really counts) still isn't coming around. I  know some of it is the surface but the other 2 men I played with were doing just fine... One guy I think shot even par on the back 9 even though I was a consistent 50 to 60 yards closer to the hole than him. Don't think I saw him 3 putt the whole round.

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#11 SNIPERBBB

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:03 PM

Another thing that may salve your soul a bit is did you pay attention to weather the greens were protected or open? The open greens are generally going to be dried out and the protected ones will be softer and slower.   Can really throw your speeds off when the courses dont pay attention to this.
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#12 jut111

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:40 PM

I get the winter greens thing but still should be able to adapt speed wise. My guess is you make inconsistent contact on the putter face. Check there first especially on longer putts.

If I'm right your gonna struggle with speed until you iron that out.

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#13 chadly643

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 01:54 PM

Put your change in your left pocket. Now, tie your left shoe in a double knot. Turn the hat backwards. Take this tee and stick it behind your left ear.

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#14 vman

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:24 PM

It sounds like you have some technical issues. Could be an unstable lower half, left wrist breakdown, deceleration, any number of things. Book a putting lesson and then a fitting, that would be my advice.
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#15 dg_1983

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 02:56 PM

If your distance control is as bad as you say it is your stroke needs work.

You might not be getting the sweet spot consistently.

This doesn't lend itself to consistent distance control

Your stroke might be too much hit and not enough stroke

You might take too long a swing and deceleration which doesn't lead to consistant distance control

You can look for all the excuses you want, some of which have been posted but 3 putting 16 greens in a round of golf, by someone who "plays" is probably as bad as it would ever get, ever.

Sorry for the tough love, fix your stroke


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#16 jut111

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:04 PM

View Postdg_1983, on 15 April 2018 - 02:56 PM, said:

If your distance control is as bad as you say it is your stroke needs work.

You might not be getting the sweet spot consistently.

This doesn't lend itself to consistent distance control

Your stroke might be too much hit and not enough stroke

You might take too long a swing and deceleration which doesn't lead to consistant distance control

You can look for all the excuses you want, some of which have been posted but 3 putting 16 greens in a round of golf, by someone who "plays" is probably as bad as it would ever get, ever.

Sorry for the tough love, fix your stroke

Well said.  Check where your impacting on the face, and check that your stroke is fairly symetrical - same length back and thru.  

Once you have those two things in place, I bet your speed control improves dramatically.

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#17 DCOTTIN

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:07 PM

Read this. It can only help.

https://www.amazon.c...01991/ref=nodl_

Edited by DCOTTIN, 15 April 2018 - 03:07 PM.


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#18 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 03:28 PM

I found my club face contact strip things. Going to use them on the practice green this week to check contact.

I've had 1 quick putting lesson already, it was just grip, how to line up and aim, and a basic 5 foot putt stroke.
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#19 monkeyboy

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:05 PM

In addition to the other good suggestions...incorporate the following into your putting practice routine....

Each time you practice putting, split your practice into 2 halves.

For the first half, do your same routine, but look at the hole as you take your actual putt.  Do this for every putt.  You may have poor distance control at first, but you'll get onto it.  This should take your screwball head out of the equation for awhile and free you up to just naturally swing the putter.

Then go back to your normal putting routine for the 2nd half of your practice.

Give this a try for about 5-10 sessions - I'll bet you improve your touch.
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#20 sethdavidsdad

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 05:13 PM

Putting is all about speed control. If your three putting you need to work on speed control. Couple of drills to help
1. Ladder drill place a ball about every 5 feet away from a hole then putt. So, 5,10,15,30,25 feet and practice
2. Putt to the edge of the green. Don’t worry about line just putt as close as you can to the fringe. Really focus on speed.
Lastly check if you are hitting the center of the putter. People that struggle with speed control often miss hit putts on the toe or heel. Get bandaids and putt on toe and heel of putter face. Then practice. You will know instantly if you are missing the center of the face

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#21 Shilgy

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:11 PM

View Postsethdavidsdad, on 15 April 2018 - 05:13 PM, said:

Putting is all about speed control. If your three putting you need to work on speed control. Couple of drills to help
1. Ladder drill place a ball about every 5 feet away from a hole then putt. So, 5,10,15,30,25 feet and practice
2. Putt to the edge of the green. Donít worry about line just putt as close as you can to the fringe. Really focus on speed.
Lastly check if you are hitting the center of the putter. People that struggle with speed control often miss hit putts on the toe or heel. Get bandaids and putt on toe and heel of putter face. Then practice. You will know instantly if you are missing the center of the face
Close to what I would say. Speed speed speed. If you're missing putts by 15 feet long or short it's all speed.
  If you're missing shorter putts high or low it's still speed. You cannot read a putt without knowing how much speed the ball will be moving.

Intent also sounds like the issue. Trying to "make" a putt is incorrect. All you are trying to do is to roll the putt on your intended line at your intended speed.  And of those two speed should be primary.
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#22 mikpga

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:32 PM

So how do you practice your putting?

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#23 Z1ggy16

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 07:42 PM

Start with gate drill. Place two tee pegs beside putter.. make short putts and then 6 footers. Then circle drill from 3 feet. If I make all balls (usually about 8) then I move back to 5feet. Then 9ft, which I've never been able to complete. after than I do distance control stuff... place a peg about 30ft away and hit to it. Then I do up hill and down hill lag putts. Some days I can't quite do it in this order or manner, because the greens do get busy.
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#24 FullOfBrushMan

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Posted 15 April 2018 - 08:04 PM

View PostZ1ggy16, on 15 April 2018 - 11:49 AM, said:

I think I need an intervention. I played on Saturday and 3 putt every single green except 2, where I 2 putt par'ed. I shot a garbage 98 due to this and I was so upset I almost broke down in my car on the way home. I can't tell if I have yipps, if I'm really really bad or somewhere in the middle. I spent 45 minutes on Friday on the greens practicing and felt confident for Saturday. My first putt of the day I was lagging from about 40feet, which I somehow blew about 15 feet past the hole. The rest of the day I was coming up extremely short, or extremely long.

I'm getting a fitting Friday just to make sure I get all my specs down right, aim, weight... all that. But I feel like it's my touch and feel that's off, and it's not something a fitting will help (or will it?). All the gate drills and clock drills in the world probably won't help me. One, because the greens I were on Friday were still dormant and running pretty slow. The greens Saturday were cut shorter and a bit faster, with a lot of subtle breaks. Still... A good player would adjust quickly.

Ex: 18th hole, par 4 about 360 yards -  Bullet off the tee to the fairway, 85 yards in. SW to about 25ft, flag up on a tier. I left the first putt about 15 ft short, then my next putt I left 5 ft short, then I missed the 5 footer long. That was the story most of the day.

Advice, tips? ...Mental counseling??
Fitting won't help if your setup and ideas behind what makes a good stroke are incorrect.  It all starts with setup.  It's like I would tell you.  You made the perfect 10 ft putt, 10 foot putt, 5 ft, and tap in.  Problem was the hole wasn't there for 3 of them.  Also when I putt now I just have an automatic knowledge through repetition of my stroke when I have a flat 20 foot putt versus a downhill left to right 20 foot putt ... 2 completely different strokes and mental checks for the same distance.


Edited by FullOfBrushMan, 15 April 2018 - 08:05 PM.


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#25 spiffdogxl

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 08:25 PM

Without looking, I am like a thousand percent sure you're at least subtly using your hips or swaying when you putt. That is murder on your distance control.

Something else that might be anecdotally helpful to you: you're left handed and right eye dominant, which is weird, but I find that relatable. I'm left handed, playing right handed, and left eye dominant. I can't see a putt to save my life if I set up like most people do. Eyes directly over the ball? Not worth a damn for me. I can't see the line that way. I play the ball forward in my stance. That puts my dominant eye behind the ball so I can see the line, as a bonus to this set up, I get a really nice end over end roll because I'm virtually guaranteed to hit level or up slightly on the ball. How that may relate to you, outside of better aim: your distance control will be garbage if you're not rolling the ball consistently end over end.

Lots of good information in here guys. Cheers.


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#26 thug the bunny

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Posted 16 April 2018 - 09:18 PM

Simple. Putting is all in the mind. The simplest golf stroke, yet so maddening. You know how everyone and their mother says focus on speed and not line? I do the opposite. Try it. Focus on keeping your putter face square to the line through impact and it's weird how speed somehow takes care of itself. The back brain somehow seems to know how hard to hit it while the front brain controls the line of the putt. (I always had inherent distrust of golf dogma.) It's worth a try.
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#27 Z1ggy16

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 05:45 AM

View Postspiffdogxl, on 16 April 2018 - 08:25 PM, said:

Without looking, I am like a thousand percent sure you're at least subtly using your hips or swaying when you putt. That is murder on your distance control.

Something else that might be anecdotally helpful to you: you're left handed and right eye dominant, which is weird, but I find that relatable. I'm left handed, playing right handed, and left eye dominant. I can't see a putt to save my life if I set up like most people do. Eyes directly over the ball? Not worth a damn for me. I can't see the line that way. I play the ball forward in my stance. That puts my dominant eye behind the ball so I can see the line, as a bonus to this set up, I get a really nice end over end roll because I'm virtually guaranteed to hit level or up slightly on the ball. How that may relate to you, outside of better aim: your distance control will be garbage if you're not rolling the ball consistently end over end.

Lots of good information in here guys. Cheers.
I also play the ball fairly forward in stance. I also heard a lot of skidding or grabbing on the turf with the ball on the long putts... The ball was definitely bouncing a bunch. After looking at the video above I think I also stand too close to the ball as well. This guy is saying most pros stand about 2 and 1/4 putter head lengths away from the ball... I'm maybe like 1 to 1.5. I think it's because of the eye thing, but I'm not 100% sure.

Edit. Grabbed my putter this morning, set up to the ball like I was... I'm less than 1 putter length away from the ball. So first thing I'm doing tomorrow is getting used to standing a bit further away.

Edited by Z1ggy16, 17 April 2018 - 07:01 AM.

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#28 CSagan

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:03 AM



Commit 100% to a Faxon style putting routine while playing. It'll get you out of your own head. While you're at it just watch all the Faxon videos and do what he says.

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#29 smdykas

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 06:24 AM

I used to be a terrible putter. I found I needed to train my subconscious mind better in putting. Here is how I did it.

First, I started bringing one ball to the practice green and putted it into the hole. That means if I was 10' short, I walked up to it and putt it again until it was in the hole.

Second, I walked the line, teaching my body how to read the green. Feeling my feet as I walked the path, imagining my ball roll to the hole by the break I saw.

Third, I did not align my ball line (only while practicing). The thought was to build the subconscious read and feel the break I saw.

Finally, I eliminated practice strokes. I walked the line, always on the LOW side of the break, looked at my line from behind the ball (The DTL view), and the opposite side of the hole, and then would address the ball.

At address, Take one look at the hole, visualize what the ball would do at the speed you believe you need, adjust if necessary, and hit.

This completely reset my putting. It took a long time to teach my mind how to learn speed and break. However, now I am a very good putter and can adjust quickly to new greens.

If you get stuck on technicals of putting, you will get paralysis from analysis. Think art not math with putting.



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#30 GMR

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Posted 17 April 2018 - 08:05 AM

I am still in process of becoming a not-horrible putter, but have improved a lot recently so will share my thoughts.  Putting is obviously very individual and what is working for me may not work for you, but a few things that have helped for me are:

1) Switching to a claw grip.  I have recently had what I would refer to as "lag yips," where for some reason in long putts I don't trust it and my wrists break down and make both direction and speed control close to impossible.  Moving to the claw makes it almost impossible to do that as it keeps your right hand/wrist out of the stroke entirely.  Basically keep the putter pointing the right direction with your left hand and then power it with the shoulders and results are far more predictable.  Helps on shorter putts as well as it's easier to keep the face square throughout the stroke.

2) Backing off the ball.  While I'm not sure that I'm done tweaking this just yet, the setup changes I've made recently have been really beneficial for me.  Basically I've backed away from the ball with both my body and head, which gives me the feeling of being able to "see the line" a bit better as I'm a little further from it.  Conventional wisdom has your eyes just about on or at least close to the line of the putt, but for me that makes it very challenging to see the putt in my mind's eye and leads to wild guessing on speed.  Getting a bit more separation allows me to trace the line of the ball in my mind and has resulted in me starting it on line more often and subsequently better speed control as well as I can only really match speed with line when I can see the line.

3) Putting a bit more "closed."  In an effort to "see the line" (see above) I've always putted a bit from an open position.  While this has potentially helped me control speed a bit better, it results in inconsistency in bringing the putter back on line consistently, which then results in contact all over the face and consequently terrible speed control, especially on longer putts.  By feeling that I'm more closed with my body and that I'm almost putting out to the left, I'm able to bring the putter back on line and stroke through the ball more squarely more consistently, which is obviously a good thing.   Combine that with standing further from it and I can still "see the line" but now am making a more consistent stroke.

Putting horribly is one of the most frustrating things I've encountered in golf, so I really hope you are successful in working it out!


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