A Putting Compensation occurs when you correct one
error in your stroke or setup by creating another.
Attempting to fix an error without understanding what caused it, can sometimes lead to the creation of another error. The only long-term solution to putting consistency is to get back to basics.
There is an adage that The Best Way to Putt is the Way You Putt Best. At first glance this appears plausible, even logical.
However, suppose your best way only produces mediocre results. It would be foolish then to resign yourself to the idea that your method, flawed as it may be, is somehow part of you and cannot be changed.
Putting is a learned skill. A better way can always be learned. It may take persistence and practice to unlearn bad habits, but you have two choices – change or live with the results you are getting. Of course, if you putt great and you are the envy of others, then stick to what you are doing.
Unfortunately most golfers are at best streaky putters. One day everything drops and they are smiling; the next day they are muttering under their breath and losing their cool. The truth is that to be a good putter, you have to be consistent on a day-to-day basis.
You hear golfers complain when they miss that today is not their day. It is such an easy trap to fall into. Relying on FATE to determine your success is no way to play to your handicap or improve on it.
A Putting Compensation is not just confined to the amateur ranks. Pros who are struggling on the green tinker with this and that in the hope of finding something to end their putting slump. Instead of going back to basics, they introduce a quick-fix variation.
Take for instance setting up with the toe of the putter off the ground. This supposedly helps toe-flow, the release of the putterface through the ball thereby eliminating blocked putts to the right.
If lifting the toe of the putter skywards, or the heel for that matter, was such a wonderful way to angle the shaft at address, putter manufacturers would have produced putters that encouraged this method.
Although there are exceptions to soling the putter, Isao Aoki (toe up) or Steve Stricker (heel up), for the amateur or weekend golfer it is much better to have the lie angle of their putter adjusted so that the putter head rests fully on the ground.
If you watch golf on TV, don't be taken in with everything you see and hear. Pros are playing for money and anything that works, even for a few days, is worthwhile doing.
If you push or pull putts, there is an underlying reason. Counteracting these errors by using a Putting Compensation (aiming more left or right) is blinding yourself to the real cause of your problem. The only long-term solution to putting consistency is to get back to basics.
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