Saturday, February 16, 2008

5. Putting

California’s rainy season has been putting a damper on my practice schedule, which has left me, when I am lucky, a three hour or so window to practice. But, because the driving range is closed I have been forced to practice my short game. Fortunately, I love practicing my short game and the rain has given me an excuse to do so. Short game practice is next on the list for winter practice tips.

If you can practice your putting as much as possible you will have at least one part of your game that can save your score. If you are unable to get to a golf course to practice your putting, my suggestion is to buy a putting system like this one. My father received this as a gift and I have used it a few times to just practice my putting stroke. This will not only help your putting but will allow you to keep the feel of your putting stroke and practice keeping your head and body still throughout the shot. Two years ago when I went to the LPGA Tournament at Blackhawk I saw Paula Creamer practice her putting by placing her golf ball between her wrist and the shaft of the putter. This allowed her to practice not breaking her wrists during the follow through as well as forcing her to rock her shoulders instead of using her arms to help the ball into the cup. Another drill, which is my favorite, and is another great alternative to the previous drill is the push drill. This is a great drill to work on your short puts from all angles of the hole. Place the ball a short distance from the whole (ex.1,2, or 3 feet) and instead of a back swing just “push” the ball into the hole. This will help you keep the face square throughout impact which will lead to a better stroke and more puts made. Once you have gotten the hang of it you can do the same drill at different position around the hole and you can keep increasing the distance until you are ready to try each location with your regular putting stroke. Enjoy!

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