Chris Kirk began the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 2-over-par 73 in the first round to all but diminish his hopes of winning.
More importantly, he seemingly lost an opportunity to impress Ryder Cup Captain Tom Watson.
Kirk didn’t give up, however, and followed his poor first round with rounds of 66, 64, and 66 to claim victory and most certainly garner consideration for the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Kirk’s big turnaround in the final three rounds can be contributed to his ability to hit more greens in regulation and make more putts.
Hitting greens in regulation for most golfers is a great thing, but being able to capitalize and make some putts on those greens is what will have you playing great golf.
Here are some tips to help you make more putts and maximize your ability to make birdies when on the green in regulation:
• Know your yardages with wedges. Most birdies on tour are made when players have a wedge into the green. It's easier to get the ball close to the hole when you can use a shorter club. You must, however, be able to control these shorter clubs to take advantage of getting to use them. Work on your distance control by practicing a stock shot to a comfortable yardage using a less than a full swing. For example, use your sand wedge and practice making the ball travel half of its full swing distance. From there you can make slight adjustments to account for differences in yardage.
• Expand your makeable putt range. I’ve never seen a putt I didn’t think I could make and hopefully you haven’t either. But truthfully, the farther you get from the hole, the more you'll need luck to make long putts. Begin by making 2-footers your 100-percent make range. Spend more time practicing making 2-footers than any other putt. Once you feel like you’ve accomplished this, expand your range to 3 feet. Keep expanding your distance until you feel that 5 feet is your 100-percent range. The goal is to build confidence by knowing that any putt from 5 feet and in should be an easy make. This will allow you to be more aggressive on longer putts, which will reduce the fear of running the ball past the hole.
For more tips from Golf Channel to help you improve your putting, click here.