What Effects Your Putts
Joseph F. Laurentino, PGA Professional
putting? If the answer is not
excellent, there are a lot of shots you are losing throughout the round.
Putting makes up approximately 43% of the strokes in a round of golf.
Yet less than 5% of my lessons are putting lessons.
That shows me that either almost all of my students are great putters, or
nobody is working on their putting. Ill
let you answer that one.
Now to the facts
about putting. Assuming you have read the putt correctly, four things must
be in place for the ball to go in (and a little luck that it doesnt bounce
off line). First, the putterface
must be square to the target line. If
it is open or closed, the ball will not start on its intended line.
Second is the path the club is traveling should be down the intended
target line. Third you must have
the right ball speed for the put to stay on line and reach the hole.
The best speed of a putt, if it missed, would go 18 inches past the hole. Fourth is a center face hit, which means the ball is struck
in the sweet spot of the putter. Of
all the four things mentioned, this is the most important. Why?
Because if the ball is hit towards the toe of the putter the face will
open, conversely, if hit towards the heel it will close the putter.
This has a great influence over clubface angle.
In addition, if you dont hit the sweet spot the ball will not go the
correct distance. Think about when
you hit a five iron, if you dont hit the sweet spot, the ball will not go the
distance you planned, and the ball will not reach the hole, even if you hit it
with the proper force. Its the
same with the putter. Now what I
recommend is that you work on the two most important things, which is hitting
the ball on the sweetspot and making sure that your clubface is square to your
intended target. If you do this, I
guarantee you will be putting better that ever.
Until next time, Ill see you on the tee.
Joe is the Head
Golf Professional at Indian Hills Country Club, a private facility on the north
shore of Long Island, New York.