In my many years of playing golf, putting always has been the one area that I have somewhat neglected. Partly because my lower back can only take so much standing and hunching-over before it begins to tighten up. But I admit that the few changes and improvements to my putting technique that I have made over the years has provided the biggest impact to getting my scores below 80.
Sure, putting, or practicing putting is not glamorous, nor does it appeal to the inner euphoria of blasting a tee shot off a driver into the outer boundaries of your local driving range, but it better be something you take notice of. If you plan to be competitive, or just want to beat the foursome you’re involved with you better take putting serious. On those days when your iron striking is off, the ability to chip and putt effectively takes great pressure off the poor iron play.
Over the years I’ve heard it all…..Alignment, Controlling Pace, Body Movement, Eye Alignment, Wrist Movement, the four fundamentals and this and that and that and this and so on………. Much like the golf swing, all the great putters have had pretty much one thing in common……Nothing! They all had their own unique style. Yes, their styles may look similar, but I can bet you from the thought or thoughts circling their brain down to the feel in their hands and feet, they all differed with some aspect of their setup and routine. Don’t believe me, just go on YouTube and watch the putting strokes of the best. They all have something different in their approach, routine and finish.
Okay, so you’re wondering what works then right? Well, the straight forward answer doesn’t appear obvious with the thoughts presented above. But, in fact, they are…….
No disrespect to any readers of this article who happen to be Engineers, but I’ve found that Engineers, on average, turn out to be the worse golfers I’ve golfed with over the years of my playing this addictive sport. Why? Too mechanical. If provided the opportunity, they would bring protractors and compasses to align their putts……Just Kidding! I guess where I am going with all of this is that, too me, the most important ingredient in putting is FEEL! You must FEEL what you’re doing. There’s a rhythm to all things in life. If you don’t have it, you don’t get it. Now, don’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water with all the lessons, tips, alignment advice you’ve taken or absorbed over the years, just remember to FEEL it, or FEEL what the instructor or tipster was trying to teach you.
So, the next time you’re out there on that putting green, working on that 3-footer, or 10-footer, or about to make that put that’ll close out the round of your life, remember that simple four letter word…F-E-E-L.