I remember the first time I tried to teach my sister how to play golf. We were at the driving range and she just wasn’t even making contact with the ball. The golf pro was finishing up with another lesson and noticed the trouble my sister was having.
“Why don’t you have her first start on the putting green”, he said. Being young I thought that is going to drive her away from the game. Putting, really! Who wants to do that! People are intrigued by the game at first because they want to see how far they can smash a white ball. Beginners are not interested in the game because of putting. I thought putting is something you do at a putt-putt course on a Friday date night.
After we finished our bucket and leaving all the balls that barely made it onto the driving range, we headed to the putting green. I showed her the proper grip, stance, and how to aim. Starting out she lacked the same hand and eye coordination she did on the driving range. But within a few minutes she started to make better strokes. The ball was no longer skipping across the green and the putter was no longer leaving gauge marks in the green. I guess an old golf pro knows what he is talking about.
How to Putt for Beginners
Starting to learn how to putt well does have its advantages when learning to play golf. It teaches you proper posture, a sense of feel for the club, and developing good swing tempo.
I am going to go over two basic principles and tools that you have to use for good putting fundamentals.
There are so many ways to hold the putter now that there is no right or wrong way. Just Google putting grip and you will find results for the reverse overlap, baseball, claw, and crosshanded putting grips. I think you should experiment and see what putting grip works best for you.
One key fundamental I think needs to be used with any of these grips is to not strangle the putter. Do not hold it so tight that you are going to twist the grip right off the shaft. Holding the putter with light pressure is going to allow proper tempo of taking the putter back and through the ball.
Posture – Eyes, Head, Shoulders, and Arms Aligned
The putting stroke and its path of going back and through is determined by how you are aligned to the hole. A smooth putting stroke might look nice but unless there is proper alignment, the ball is going everywhere except inside the hole.
I learned in order to establish proper alignment one needs to realize eyes play a big factor. There are two options when it comes to lining your eyes up with the ball. The eyes can be dead center over the ball or just slightly inside the target line of the ball. You would never want your eyes outside of your intended target line.
To help me understand this concept of eyes over the ball and proper alignment I used the Eyeline Golf Edge Putting Mirror. It helped me figure out how far I needed to stand away from the ball in order to get my eyes over the ball.
It also helped me square up my shoulders to my target. Since my eyes, arms, and shoulders were square to my target all I had to do was to take the putter back and through. The putter traveled back and through on its intended target line every time – which meant making a lot of putts.
It was probably one of my better investments I made in getting better at this game. Mindless practice is not going to make you better, but practicing correct fundamentals with training aids will make you a better player. And that is what the Eyeline Putting Mirror did for me.
It is light weight and has markings on it to help you square your putter with your shoulders. It is one of the many training aids that I use to make sure my putting stays sharp.
So did my sister ever keep playing golf? I would say she is definitely not a regular, but she does enjoy the game for what it offers and that is having a good time outside with friends and family and that what counts.
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