Most people miss putts three different ways: left, right and short.
The best putters in the world reduce this margin for error by mostly only having two. A putt that is going to finish short never has any chance of going in. That’s really all you can ask for. You’ve got to give it a chance.
Hitting putts short of the hole happens either because you don’t connect properly out of the centre of the putterhead or because you haven’t swung with enough speed and effort to get it there.
We all have the abilities to be great at putting
Either way, it can become a repetitive problem that prevents you from lowering your scores and, over a period of time, will affect your confidence on the greens.
We all have the abilities to be great at putting and, with a little patience and practice that challenges you over time, you will soon improve.
Try this drill
Always practice with a purpose. Your practice session tomorrow should be better and show improvement than the one today.
For me, one of the best drills on the practice putting green is to create a gate using two sleeves of balls.
Placing your ball in line with the middle of each pack creates roughly two inches of space either side. Regardless of your putting stroke, if you can get the putterhead facing your target between these two points, you will hit more consistent putts.
The appearance of the packs set this way presents a visual obstacle and gate in which to accelerate the putterhead through and by simply not touching them you will strike more putts out of the centre of the clubface.
Your stroke needs to flow. Good rhythm and tempo are key to help the putter perform. The more cautious you swing the putter, the more time you have to manipulate its movement and actually go against its design.
Your putter should be fitted around your stroke tendencies and should complement a tempo which is trying to accelerate through impact.
Scott Clark is the Director of Golf at Prestonfield Golf Club. For lessons, call Scott 0131 667 8597.