By SwingFix.com staff
Being a good putter can be your short game’s best friend and a hot putter can cover up a lot of mistakes on the golf course.
Many golfers, however, are quick to forget that putts will typically comprise between 40 and 45 percent of the strokes you play in a round of golf. So if you’re not devoting a significant percentage of your practice time to the putting green, you should make a concerted effort to do so.
When it comes to putting, there are numerous ways to grip the club and stroke the ball, not to mention countless putter styles to choose from these days, including belly and long putters. In short, your approach to putting is all about what’s comfortable for you.
There are, however, two things that pretty much all superior putters possess; confidence and great feel.
Of course, when you’re knocking putts in the back of the hole, confidence will follow. Learning to have great feel on the greens can be a little bit tougher to figure out, however, especially if you tend to be overly mechanical with your stroke.
Equally troubling, just as can be the case with a full shot, is letting fear of a bad result negatively affect the stroke you’re about to make.
If you suffer from trying to be so mechanical that it’s creating tension in your stroke or if you worry too much about missing putts before you hit them, a great way to practice is to putt with your eyes closed on the putting green.
Many great players utilize this as a practice technique and some have even putted with their eyes closed in tournament conditions.
That said, here’s a drill you can try. Take four balls and start 5 feet from the cup. Hit the first ball with your eyes open and the next three with your eyes closed. Work backwards in increments of 5 feet until you’re 40 feet away or so and do the same thing from each location.
What you’ll find is that with your eyes closed, your mind will clear, you’ll be forced to trust what you’ve visualized and you’ll rely on feel to execute the putt as opposed to getting locked up over the ball thinking about making a perfect stroke or what will happen if you miss.
Try this approach the next time you work on your putting and you’ll be amazed at how your stroke will be freed up and how well you’ll roll the ball.