Poor Accuracy & Distance
If you are experiencing a general decrease in your overall putting game then the first thing to do is go back and review the basic putting fundamentals. It maybe just a bad habit that you picked up or just not implementing a key putting fundamental. Professional golfer Tom Watson says that whenever he starts experience problems in his golf game he always goes back first to the basics. Start first by reviewing our summary page on the Key Putting Fundamentals.
Golf Putting YIPS
Many golfers including professionals may at some time experience what is called the “Putting Yips”.What this is a anxiety condition that results in a golfer making jerky putting stokes when confronted with a seemly easy short putt.
Taken to an extreme it can paralyze the golfer with fear. Although the problem is psychological in nature and very difficult to analyze, it can be overcome. The first thing to understand is that most of the time the problem is created from negative mental thoughts. This in turns causes the golfer to lose his feel and rhythm and putt with a choppy stroke with to much wrist action and often looking up too soon.
Below are five recommendations to try if you are experiencing the yips.
They are primarily designed to help strengthen and build your self confidence level and remember…. Developing Confidence in your Putting Game is Crucial.
1 – Stop taking “gimme putts”. By not taking the short one or two foot putts you are telling your subconscious that your not good enough to make these often enough. After a period of time the mind starts to move the gimme putt range father and father away from the hole. Slowly deteriorating your self confidence until one day you start to become fearful of any short putt.Begin immediately to take every putt. You know your capable of making them almost every time and after a while you will gain a great deal of self confidence. In the beginning do not worry at all about making them because you know in the longer run it is going to pay off handsomely.
2 – Practice Short Putt: Start and end your time on the practice green taking one, two and three foot short putts. There is no better way of building self confidence then by making a putt. Even if you only have a little amount of time on the practice green before a game, use that time to sink some short putts.
If you think your going to miss, you will miss…if you think you are going to make it, you will make it.
Unstable Lower Body Problem:
In an ideal putting stroke you want your lower body still and stable, the stoke will come from the shoulders and arms working as one unit. If your putting stroke suffers from too much lower body try this tip.
To help keep your lower body stable put a small throw pillow between your thighs and squeeze gently during some of your practice putting routines. By having the legs hold the pillow in place from falling, it helps keep the lower body occupied. It tends to give you the feeling if you go to move or sway the pillow will fall. You can also try this tip with a softball or towel rolled up.
Correcting Ball Alignment:
It is extremely important to have not only your eyes over the ball but to also have your feet, hips and shoulders all parallel to target line. After squatting down behind the ball and determining your target line, you can some times be off when you stand up and set up to the ball.
If your having trouble seeing the imaginary target line you have decided on then make a magic marker line on your golf balls or use the manufactures name as a guide.
Many average golfers do not make use of this simple technique while every professional will pick up their ball, align the line on the golf ball to their target line and replace it while still squatting behind the ball.
That small line that your able to look down on will help you create a visual reference point for your eye alignment and set your body parallel to that line.
Looking Up Too Soon:
Many average golfers have a problem of too short of a follow through length. The reason for this is because they look up too soon. They do not complete the stroke because they are to anxious to see where the ball went. This results is their shoulders will turn too soon and the putter clubface will not be square to the target line.
If this is a problem for you, try counting to two in your mind before looking up. You want to form a habit that is second nature of staying down well after the follow through of your stoke is finished.
Another technique is to close your left eye during your practice putting session. That way you get in the habit of staying only focused on the ball and target line. The urge to peek too soon is awfully tempting and takes disciple to correct.
Mental Tip on Long Putts: On long putts visualize a three foot circle around the hole and your goal is to get your putt in side that circle.