Excellent Putting is not about holing
every makeable putt.
It is unrealistic to hole every putt that you expect to make. Doing well is about keeping the percentages of holing the putt in your favour.
In putting you should strive for excellence, but you should never expect perfection. That said, the sounder your putting fundamentals are, the more your ball will go where you want it to go.
Learning about putting is essentially learning how to develop a blueprint that will allow you to putt with greater consistency.
It takes an understanding of the fundamentals, and systematic practice to construct a method of putting that will work for you. All this takes time and a certain dedication to see it through.
It is very tempting to look for quick remedies. Just as in building a house, it is important that the foundations are strong. Build on shifting sand, and the cracks will soon show up.
Excellent Putting, of course, is not rocket science. The ball is stationary and the stroke requires little effort. However, there is an Irish adage that says if you start wrongly, everything you do to make things better, makes them worse.
This sentiment is reflected in Lights-Out Putting by Todd Sones. He explains that each element of the putting stroke is only as good as the elements that came before it.
Unless your setup is correct, you will put in motion an unending chain of mistakes.
One argument against a piece-by-piece approach to learning how to putt is that you can’t be taught feel.
Certainly feel is a vital component in holing putts. Without feel you won’t be able to send your putts the correct distance. Without good distance control, your read of the break will be wrong and so on.
There are two ways to putt:
For example, set up with your shoulders pointing to the left of your aimline (target line), and your putter will swing on an outside-to-inside path. This will result in your ball starting off to the left unless you make a mid-stroke adjustment.
Most of what I write about on my web site is banging on the same drum. Learn to master the fundamentals until you can forget about them when you putt.
Confine them through repetition to your subconscious mind. This puts you in a position for the really important stuff – picking your target and stroking your ball towards it at the right speed.
Grip, posture, alignment, ball position, aiming, etc. can all be learned. Nail these building-blocks down while developing a pre-putt routine and repeating stroke. As Tom Watson says "Mechanics are about 10% of putting - feel is 90%. But good mechanics lead to good feel."
You can’t hope to achieve excellent putting with doubt in your mind. You replace doubt with confidence when you know what to do and why you should do it that way.
STRIVE FOR EXCELLENCE, BUT NEVER PERFECTION.
1 = www.paulhurrion.com Putting Coach European Tour
2 = www.toddsones.com Top 100 Golf Instructor