Consistent putting is achieved through controlling the distance and line of your putts. Some simple drills and adjustments can improve your putting quickly.
A worthwhile change is to adopt the reverse overlap grip instead of the grip used for regular shots. Simply place the index finger of the left hand down the outside of the fingers of the right. This grip helps to eliminate excessive wrist motion, the most common cause of inconsistent putting.
Position your feet shoulder width apart and parallel to the line of the putt. Practice the putting stroke by moving the arms and shoulders as one.
Using a stroke controlled by the shoulders and arms helps to eliminate the need for wrist motion.
Here's a drill:
a Place two tees into the practice green about 18 inches apart.
a Stand with the putter in the middle of the tees.
a Position the body parallel to the line of the tees.
a Eyes over the ball.
a Practice swinging back and forth equal distance using the tees as guidelines for the back and forward swing.
a Come to a complete stop at the end of the swing (even with the forward tee).
a The ball is struck as the result of the swing: resist the urge to hit.
Practice putting like this and see that the balls are ending up in the same place.
After working on this drill and becoming more consistent it is time to practice using the hole. The optimum distance for putts to roll is 17 inches past the hole. This gives the ball the best chance of falling. Place two tees in the ground about 17 inches past the hole and practice 8-foot putts. If the ball doesn't go in the hole it should go the optimum distance past the hole.
These are great drills to build a consistent putting stroke, however do not try to manufacture this stroke while playing on the course. The idea of the drills is that they teach you an improved stroke, on the course simply aim to the target and let it happen.
Terry Gingell is the Director of Instruction at Eagle Valley Golf and can be reached at 887-7174. Sign up now for Junior Golf Camps, Sports Camps and adult group lessons.