By Jack Nickerson
Practice Time for Putting
Most golfers would not consider time on the practice green as developing the perfect golf swing. But I would suggest that the time you spend on the practice green learning how to sink those 4 to 5 foot putts allows the golfer to concentrate on his or hers next shot. Failing to do that will most definitely cause some unwanted tension in the next shot that has to be executed which of course affects the ability to keep that new found perfect golf swing.
Many golfers go the putting green and just go thru the motions of hitting a few balls toward any hole and not caring whether the ball goes in or not. They mistakenly believe that by just sinking a few random putts from randomly selected distances that this type of practice session will translate into a good putting round. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Every golfer should approach the practice green with a definite plan of what type of putting session would be most beneficial for the up and coming round that you are about to play. As one might suspect, practicing the shorter distance putts should be a priority since those lengths of putts will occur most often on the course. The 3 to 4 foot putt should be practiced for at least half the time that you allocated for your practice putting prior to your tee time.
One should practice hitting these short putts by surrounding the cup with 12 balls and sinking every one of them. Continue to perform this routine until you are able to sink 12 shots in a row. If you are unable to do this, then you must consider making an adjustment to your putting stroke that allows you to execute this type of shot perfectly time and time again. Do NOT give up on perfecting sinking these shots every time.
After you have mastered the 3 footer, it is time to move to the 5 to 10 foot area away from the hole. As you did before, place a dozen golf balls all around the hole some 5 to 10 feet away and begin to develop the “feel” for sinking these lengthier putts. Sinking 75 percent of the shots attempted from this length is a good goal for you to attain. There are some golfers that might not ever accomplish this feat but it is well worth the effort.
Finally if you have time left over before the starter calls your name to the 1st tee, take a half dozen balls and move them some 20 to 40 feet away (if possible) from any one of the practice holes and attempt to hit them within 3 feet of the hole. Doing this will just about guarantee you a 2 putt green at the worse when you play for real. Do not worry about sinking any of the putts from that distance. The most important thing is to get the distance correct while maintaining the direction within plus or minus 3 feet of the hole is quite attainable.
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