I came across this video today on putting and had to share it with you guys. David Leadbetter does an on course interview with Ernie Els and Gary Player about both long putting and short putting. This is a candid interview where both players talk about things to focus on to get your putts right.

Gary player explains the importance of a putt. He explains that it makes the game because you have so little margin for error. Shots off the tee and approach shots that don’t come off perfect can be recovered from, but putts need to be precise or your round is going to be a poor one. It is important to get this right in order to improve your golf.

There are so many different methods to putt the ball including grips, technique and type of putter. Gary explains that putting and all these differences is about trying to get a feel for the putt. It is the same if you were to throw a ball to a target; you would try and feel the distance. Putting is no different and Ernie says that you should imagine you are going to throw the ball to the hole. This will give you a feel for the putt.

Short Putts

When trying to make a 3-4 ft putt it is important to keep you nerves in check. Try not to spend too much time over the ball. The longer you spend over the ball, the longer you have to think negative thoughts about the putt. Read the green and go through your routine. But once you line up to play the shot, don’t spend a lot of time over the ball.

Long Putts

The aim of the long putt is not necessarily to get the ball in the hole, but to get the ball close to take off the pressure. Obviously if it is a tournament and you need to sink a 40 ft putt for the win then you have to nail it. But if you are on the green in regulation and have a long birdie putt, you need to at least give yourself an easy chance at par. For longer putts, Ernie gives the following tips:

1. Don’t try and rush through the ball. Swing the weight of the putter

2. Read the green. See where the water is going to fall to

3. Pick a spot you can aim at that is on the way to the target and concentrate on that spot

4. Then for speed simply feel the ball, just like throwing the ball to the hole

5. Have the same backswing as you do follow through. Don’t flick with the hands

Watch the clip and give it a go. If its good enough for great players like Ernie and Gary, then its good enough for me.

Filed under: Putting Tips

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