How To Become a Great Putter – Just 5 Strokes | Practice Tips
I doubt many golfers have hit as many greens as I have in tournaments over the year and still managed to shoot par or worse.
My putting has been the bain of my golfing career for as long as I can remember, and as such, I consider myself to be the worst putter in the world – or at least I did.
Now, before you jump on the mental band wagon and say it’s just a self fulfilling prophecy, thinking you’re a bad putter makes you a bad putter, rest assured I have tried everything in the book there.
But I still was averaging 38 putts per round – as a +1.1 handicap.
That has to be a record of some sort. I literally can’t hit the ball any better and score any worse.
To give you some reference, the tour average is 30.1 putts per round. I have 8 putts more per round and still maintain a plus handicap.
At some point, I realized that I simply can’t hit the ball really any better than I do now, so it was time for me to take a deep dive into the mystical black magic of putting.
Now, I’ve never been a fan of the putting stroke because it was always taught to me, just like the swing, that there is no right or wrong and you just find what works best for you.
Well, let me tell you something. I’ve been playing golf for 30 years and I’ve STILL NOT FOUND WHAT WORKS FOR ME!
So, that type of old school advice simply doesn’t work – I need something concrete and quantifiable.
A way to learn to putt that guarantees I become a better putter, hell, even a good putter – but right now I’d settle for mediocre!
Enter SAM PuttLab
After years of trying to “dig it out of the dirt”, I had given up. I tried a belly putter, long putter, super short putter, fat grip, skinny grip, the claw, the pencil grip, left hand low, split grip, looking at the hole, putting right hand only – you name it, I tried it.
Nothing worked, nothing made sense to me, it felt too mechanical and rigid which is the opposite of how the putting greats have always looked to me.
But seeing something on video doesn’t tell you the whole story and that lesson finally rang true for me the first time I got on the SAM PuttLab.
Lesson #1 – You May Not Be Such a Bad Putter After All
As I begin my new putting video instructional series this week, there are two things I want to drive home to you that are the two most important things in putting:
- The consistency of the stroke
- The face angle at impact
If you learn how to control these two elements of the putting stroke, then you’ve got the stroke licked.
I always assumed that I did something different in my stroke each time and that was the cause of my missed putts. Turns out, nothing could be further from the truth.
I’m actually MORE consistent than Tiger Woods when he was measured in 2006-2007.
My face angle at impact is 1.4 degrees closed 99% of the time, even Tiger was only 98% on his consistency score and most tour pros are in the mid 90’s.
Seeing a putter face that is 1.4 degrees closed at impact is very, very difficult, if not really impossible on video without a specialized setup.
With the SAM PuttLab, I could “see” it instantly, unequivocally, quantifiably.
This = game changer.
You can also see that my putter face is 1.1* closed at address. To me, of course, it looks perfectly square. Again, just relying on the naked eye or video is of no use here.
Instantly, I was able to see what I had been doing wrong in my putting for the past 20 years and make corrections that provided immediate results.
How much of a difference did it make the first time out – just 5 strokes!
I had 33 putts vs. my normal horrendous 38 in the first round after making my setup adjustment and a very slight stroke adjustment.
5 strokes, instantly, first round out.
As you can imagine, to struggle with the simplest stroke in the game for so long and then to see empiracle data that shows what’s really wrong vs. trying some hokey putting band-aid has given me a huge boost of confidence to know that my scores will soon start to match my ball striking, and has gotten me incredibly excited about what the SAM PuttLab can do for my students like you.
So, be on the lookout this week for the first new videos that are going to take you down the journey to becoming a great putter!