2008-04-11 / Sports

Golf Instruction - Putting Instructions

Keeping hips still

When putting, let your arms hang comfortably, but point your elbows more inward, toward each hip, rather than outward. If the hips stay still, so will the knees and legs.

Arching the wrists

Arch the wrists as if forcing the putter head downward. This will help to "set" them securely, keeping them inactive, as if in splints or casts.

Hinging from the hips

For the correct putting posture, stand erect and lean over from the hips. Keep your hips comfortably still. Practice this posture often in front of a mirror to see the correct address and to achieve the feel of creating a steady base for putting.

Putting posture

Correct posture is vital. Lean over from the hips with a straight lower back. Left shoulder sits a little higher than the right, parallel to the target line. Forefinger overlaps fingers of the right hand.

Preparing to putt

Achieve the smoothness of movement that is vital for a successful putt, by avoiding tension. Keep shoulders relaxed and the head will stay still. Let the shoulders, arms and hands hang down comfortably. Keep the elbows pointing more inward, toward each hip, rather than outward. Hold the lower back straight after leaning over from the hips, with the wrist arched as though forcing the putter head downward.

Stand upright - do not hunch up; Stand tall and lean over from the hips. Look directly over the ball. Body weight is slightly left of center.

The putter swing path

A useful tip to remember when putting is that the putter should track away in a very slight arc - it should not swing in a straight line away from the target, on the forward swing, though the putter does travel in a straight line through to the target.

This is very important to remember and will help you on short putts and distance control - think of that ball as lying in the way of your swing, rather than concentrating on how to hit it!

Seeing the putt

To get the correct depth of grip for a putt, set the putter head on the ground and sit the right thumb pad over the left thumb on the grip.

Make sure that you have at least ½ inch at the end of the butt of the putter handle visible.

I have given you a lot to think about and work on - next week we will go on to finding the primary target - visualization of the ball entering the hole - pacing it right - thinking of triangles and practice drills.

Have a wonderful week and as a reminder for those who are interested in a ladies all level from beginner to advanced league, the league will be starting the second Thursday evening in May with tee times from 5-7 p.m. at Riis Park Pitch and Putt.

Call me or e-mail me for further details.

Your friendly golf pro, Joel.

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