Straight Putts - not that easy as golfers
tend to pull or push their putts.
The ability to putt straight is a basic requirement for better putting. Putting straight is a skill that you learn through practice. You can practise indoors using a variety of putting aids.
[Putting Straight is a basic requirement if you want to become a better putter. Next comes aiming and rolling your ball the correct distance. After that it is down to reading the breaks.]
The trouble with a straight putt is that there is always an expectation that you should hole it and so you create your own pressure.
Uphill the putt is usually easier as you can stroke your ball with more force, thereby largely eliminating any irregularities on the path you chose.
Downhill you have to feed your ball into the hole at a slower pace.
To practise straight putting, place a tee peg upside down on your lounge room carpet and then at a distance of six inches putt to knock it over. At this distance the task is easy.
However, increase the distance bit by bit and you increase the difficulty. At some point you will find that you are unable to knock over the tee peg with any consistency.
This inability may be the result of your not being able to aim accurately. To counter-act poor aim, draw a straight chalk line on the carpet with a separate line at 90 degrees on which to line up your putterface.
With the tee peg on the chalk line and your putterface at right angles to the chalk line, it is now down to your putting stroke.
Of course your carpet may not run true so it may be a good idea to invest in a putting aid such as The Rail.
At a push you can use a metal or wooden yardstick. You can check that the aid is level with the surface by using a simple bubble level that you can buy at the hardware store.
Now with a true surface on which to roll your ball, the objective is to see how many times you can roll your ball the length of the aid without your ball slipping sideways off the edge.
As the number of successful attempts increases, so does the pressure increase to succeed with the next putt.
A large number of golfers use an imaginary spot on their aimline (target line) and then try to get their ball to roll over this spot en route to the hole.
Usually this spot is close by as it is easier to hit than one that is farther away. You can find your perfect distance through trial and error.
For example, at what distance can you get your ball to roll over a dime every time? Is it six inches, 12 inches, 15 inches and so on?
If you can’t hit your spot every time, shorten the distance.
One word of Advice - Practising straight putting on a regular putting green can be counter-productive as often the irregularities in the green surface will give you incorrect feedback. It is better to practise indoors on a surface you can trust.
So next time your putting fails you, consider for a moment the fact that maybe, just maybe, you can’t putt straight.