The Loop

Putting 101

February 08, 2011

In the March issue of Golf Digest, which hits newsstands across the country today (the cover says "How to Play Fearless Golf"), an up-and-coming teacher, Kate Tempesta, provides a number of great tips to get your putting on track. It's the Breaking 100-90-80 section of the magazine.

Here are some highlights, which will surely help you if you're having trouble on the greens:

Understand mechanics: Play the ball slightly forward in your stance--under your left eye is a good spot--and make a shoulder-driven stroke.

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Practice: Make it real.  On the practice green, stand a few feet from the hole and try to fill it with as many balls as you can.

Lag putting: Putt like you throw. Make a motion as if you were going to toss the ball underhand to the hole. When you stroke the putt, mimic that underhand-toss motion.

____ Step up and pull the trigger. Your pre-putt routine should be consistent but quick. Think See it, hear it, make it. Take your time reading the putt (the "See it"), but then as you walk up to the ball, "hear it" go in the hole, then "make it."

Beat the yips: Look at your target, not at the ball, when you stroke the putt. It will free your mind and keep you from flinching as the putter strikes the ball.

Never again leave it short. Hit every putt with enough speed that you never come up short again. Picture a basketball backboard behind the hole, and you'll never be fearful of hitting a putt too hard.

Golf Digest Instruction Editor Peter Morrice elaborates on some of Kate Tempesta's ideas in this Tips Plus video (you can see the full selection of Tips Plus videos here).

So try these putting tips, and be sure to read Kate Tempesta's complete article in the March issue of Golf Digest.

Roger Schiffman

Managing Editor

Golf Digest

*Follow me on Twitter [@RogerSchiffman


*(Photo by J.D. Cuban; photo illustration by Jim Luft)