What you can learn from Tiger's putting lesson

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It’s clear to see that Tiger Woods is going to be a force this year on the PGA Tour. His easy win at Doral in the WGC-Cadillac Championship proves as much.

In my opinion, the rest of the tour was put on notice this week by Mr. Woods, and the sole reason had to do with a 30-minute “putting lesson” given by one of his closest friends, and runner up at Doral, Steve Stricker.

Stricker has long been known as one of the best putters in the world, so his advice was welcomed by a Tiger Woods who had simply lost his magic with the flat stick in recent years.

Using some of the info that we know Stricker shared with Tiger before Doral, we can find some great things that any player can take from Woods’ lesson to become a better putter.

• Athletic posture matters when you putt. Two things you must have in order to make a consistent putting stroke are balance and stability. An athletic posture makes it possible to achieve those things. So keep your back straight, bend from the waist, and allow your arms to hang naturally from your shoulders.

• Use the proper amount of tension in your arms when you putt. How do you find the proper amount of tension? I believe that with an athletic posture where your arms hang naturally, you can control your tension with the grip. Use a grip pressure that is tight enough to keep your wrists from flipping at impact, but not so tight that you feel the tension in your arms. My preference is to use slightly more grip pressure in the lead hand to encourage stability in the lead arm.

• One key to becoming a great putter is your ability to aim the putter where you think you’re aiming and then roll the ball on that line. The best way to do that with consistency is to make sure your body is properly aligned to the target line. That means your feet, knees, hips, shoulders, and even your eyes are all parallel to the target line. Have a friend check your alignment on the practice green, or place a mirror on the ground between your feet and the ball to make sure your body matches the target line.

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