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Rollin’ the Rock (Putting)

Like all the other disciplines of golf, putting requires a consistent set up every time. Pre-Shot: Start from behind the ball and gauge direction. Pick an intermediate spot in front of the ball that matches the track you think the ball will need to take to get into the hole. Take a few practice strokes that give you the right feel for distance (according to your 3-6-9 steps) and taking into account up hill or downhill (see below)). Place the putter behind the ball being careful to line up the intermediate spot. Look at the hole and target line then back to the ball: focus on the ball and make your stroke. If you really trust your pre-shot routine, you should never have a need to watch the ball roll until it’s at least five feet away from you.

Key word: Trust! Be careful not to “hit with your hands”. This feeling actually accelerates the club makes the ball travel much farther than you may have intended. Just allow your swing position to be “controlled and easy” and that the club is swung by the arms and not the hands.

Distance is the number one concern. – Keep grip pressure light, but not so light that the club is “floppy”

Take an even stance with legs comfortably apart. Make sure the ball is positioned in the same position every time. (Slightly forward of the center of the stance)

Choose an intermediate target (aiming point) about 6” to 12” in front of the ball.

Make the putting backswing according to your steps (see pictures below regarding the “step approach” to putting) – Make the putting follow through equal to the tempo of the backswing. Practice the stroke 2 or 3 times while feeling the length of the backswing and focusing on the place where you want the ball to finish rolling.

Swing the putter; 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, or tick-tock. Agree with yourself that the stroke is right. (1 is the backswing, 2 is the forward swing)

Make sure that the back of your leading hand is pointed towards the target on the follow through and the leading wrist is not bent.

Step over the ball, align your putter, and putt with confidence and hold the putter face towards the target as the ball is rolling.

MoZen thought: You trust yes or you trust no: you trust “guess so” pluuuth, squish just like grape.

– Modified from Kesuke Miyagi

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