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Strike your putts solidly to improve performance

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One of the foundation skills in good putting is hitting your putts solidly, on the sweet spot every time.

Off-center hits affect distance and direction. When you miss the sweet spot, the putter twists slightly, which will send the ball off line. It also will cause inconsistent distance, which leads to three-putts.

Here are some ideas to help you with solid contact in putting:

Start by finding your sweet spot. Hold your putter between your thumb and forefinger and let it dangle. Using a golf tee or your finger, tap your putter face, beginning toward the heel.

You will feel the face twist or rotate. Continue tapping while moving closer to the center of the face. You will get to a point where the face no longer twists. This is the sweet spot and where you want to strike your putts.

Wrap two rubber bands around your putter face, one on either side of the sweet spot. Practice hitting putts and focus on making contact with the sweet spot. With the rubber bands in place, you will get immediate feedback on the off-center hits.

Place two tees in the ground, one on each end of the putter face and create a “gate.” Leave just enough room for your putter to go through and begin by hitting short putts. If you are able to contact the ball without running into either of the tees, you will have solid contact.

Contact on the heel or toe of the putter will result in hitting one of the tees in the ground. If you are practicing indoors, replace the tees with two golf ball sleeves or any small objects that will provide you with the feedback on off-center hits.

If you tend to hit your putts thin, contacting the ball with the bottom of the face, place a quarter on the ground with a dime on top of it.

Practice your stroke by attempting to knock the dime off of the quarter. This drill will help you to hit your putts higher on the face and more solid.

If you work on these various drills when your practice, you’ll strike your putts more solidly and enjoy more success on the greens.

Take an online lesson with Ed Oldham.

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