From six feet and in you need to be confident. Don’t lag it in or try to pour it in. Be confident.
If you’re practising putting and you’re missing regularly, you’re not having a good practice session. I sometimes like to take the process of holing a putt out of the equation and that's where this drill comes into its own. It has less to do with holing putts and more to do with showing you what your puter is doing at impact. Best of all, you can do it anywhere. You don’t necessarily have to be on the putting green.
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It's dead simple. Place a driver on the ground with the shaft pointing in the direction of your intended 'target'. Then line yourself up as normal but, instead of hitting a ball, hit the butt end of your grip, making sure that your stroke is short but aggressive. Straight back and straight through.
The idea is to get the clubface square at impact. If you do, the driver will move forward in a straight line. If you don't, it will sit at an angle when you hit it. It’s instant feedback on how your aiming your club. Why does this matter? According to Martin Hall on Golf Channel, putting is 91% clubface aim and 9% clubhead path.
Path is not that important, as you’re only going about six feet. The idea is to get the clubface square at impact. Where the clubface is aimed at impact, that’s your initial ball flight so it has to be right.
What you can learn from Stricker
Steve Stricker’s short game is brilliant. One of the things you notice about him is that he has very little wrist hinge.
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When you’re cocking and uncocking your left wrist, he eliminates the need for extra power. He takes the power accumulators out of his golf swing. He almost looks wooden but don't be fooled - he is total in control of what he is doing. He just bends and straightens his right arm. I just love to watch that.
And his putting? Put it this way, if Tiger Woods is going to you for a putting lesson, there’s a certain level of respect there that you can’t ignore.
Steve Johnston is the PGA professional at Peebles GC. For lessons, call Steve on 01721 720197. Follow him on Twitter @mrstevejohnston or on his YouTube channel Steve Johnston PGA.