I’ve often heard players talking about having 3 or 4 words in their heads whilst swinging the club, whether using the driver or a long iron. This makes sense, especially if you’ve been having a few golf lesson, which more often than not can leave a player bamboozled with all the instruction he or she has received and needs to be applied to shot. You end up with a billion things to think about from stance to grip to hips to pull back to follow through…the list really does go on and with the added pressure of a watching 4 ball contingent, well, there’s a lot that can go wrong!

When it comes to putting though, I’ve recently increased my frequency of two-putting incredibly, simply by telling myself 4 things as I’m on the green: 1. Grip Low 2. Move Shoulders not Arms 3. Nose Over Ball 4. DO NOT LOOK.

This fourth factor has been a revelation recently. I used to lift my head as soon as contact was made with the ball and watch the pesky golf ball usually lip the cup or sail straight past, much to my frustration. However, when I think about it, the putt is thrown off line because my head is the steer for the trajectory of the putt.

golf putter pic

Literally a lovely shot!

I play snooker at a fairly high standard and have now applied the same ‘head still’ rules, ie if you lift your head, your arm is thrown offline not to mention what your brain is telling you about the hand to eye (or cue to eye co-ordination) and therefore the pot or in the golfing sense, the putt is missed.

The rest of the putting rules of engagement are now feeling a little more natural and don’t need to be entering my 4 word putting drill! Certain elements of the putting stroke are now second nature. For example, as I’m tall my feet are just over shoulder width apart, I crouch with slightly bent knees and hold the putter shaft at the bottom, it just feels natural.

With the DO NOT LOOK philosophy, I can reach ‘gimme’ territory on putts over a 6ft a lot more often and its helping my scorecard immeasurably. Furthermore, I’m looking forward to making the green in two because I’m confident I can get down in two. I’m also a lot more used to my new Odyssey White Hot Rossie putter, its the right length, the right weight distribution and after perhaps 10 or 12 rounds so far with my new clubs (I bought a full set of TaylorMade Burner Plus and Odyssey Putter to celebrate the birth of my daughter!) I’m a lot more familiar with the putter.

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  1. The Caldy Eagle

    I also find it’s just as important to keep a fairly clear head when on the green! I just try and visualise the putt and go for it.

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