Posted 18 January 2013 - 10:15 AM
"Practice" is a forbidden word around here. Ask where your right index finger needs to be on the backstroke, and you'll get a million answers.
This is how I break down putting. . .
1) Can I hit the ball on my intended line.
2) Can I hit the ball at my intended speed.
1) How do I identify the intended line?
2) How do I identify the intended speed?
So, for the mechanical issues. My main things have been an indoor putting mat, or identifying "easy" straight putts on a putting green. And, hitting a ton of putts. if you find a straight, flat putt, you should be sinking all of your 3-footers. You should be able to make 15 straight 4-footers. Thousands of putts so that you know how to roll a ball on the line you intend. As to getting the intended speed. . .the most crucial thing is CONSISTENT CONTACT. You need the same swing speed to produce the same ball speed or you will never have good distance control. I've trained this through repetition. Putting balls over and over into a pillow or a boot, or anything on the floor so that I have elminated toe strikes, heel strikes, "thin" strikes, scuffs. Hit the sweet spot. Everytime. Absolutely key to distance control.
Non-mechanical: you gotta get out there. 100 3-footers in a ring. 50 6-footers in a ring. If you practice enough, you'll really start to notice how on the course, you've seen that putt before.
For "touch", I like to take about 10 balls, roll one out there about 10 feet, and then keep rolling each next ball about 1 foot past the previous ball (leap frog drill). Also, I like to put a ball a few feet from the fringe, and try to putt from different distances to get between the target ball and the fringe. These are touch drills, you don't need to be putting to a hole all the time.
To improve your judgement on how hard/soft, a good thing to practice is a 6 foot side-hiller. Hit a putt that "dies" into the hole. Hit a putt that you ram into the hole. Hit a putt that splits the difference. Learn how different your starting line has to be for each type of putt. Do it for more distances and breaks.
Sometimes you don't know if you mis-read or mis-hit a putt. I support trying 10 putts in a row from the same spot, say a 12 footer. You'll get the read after a couple putts, so this takes the element of a "mis-read" out of the question. A that point, it's just a question of "can I hit the putt I intended to hit?"
I got serious about practicing putting last year and my putting COMPLETELY responded.
In short. . .
Indoors: putting mat for straight putts. Something on the floor to ram putts into to improve contact.
Outdoors: 100 3-footers (in a ring). 50 6-footers in a ring. Leap frog drill. Repeat from same spot drill.
Lastly, identify and practice your SPECIFIC WEAKNESSES.
Ping G15 12º
RBZ Stage 2 4W 17º
RBZ Stage 2 19º H
Mizuno MX-300 4-GW
Cleveland 52º/12º, Vokey 60º/04º
Odyssey Protype Black #2