Let "Perception" Change Your Speed – Putting

When I teach my students about Putting, I tell them to ask themselves this question before each putt, … “Is the putt Uphill, Downhill or Level.” Then once they have that answer, follow these adjustments and use their “Perception” to change the speed of the putt. In other words, Where you look sends a signal to your brain and gives you the correct “Feel” for distance without changing your “Stroke”. So instead of thinking “I need to hit this hard, or easy (which changes your stroke by adding the hands to help or quitting on the putt to not hit it too hard), you can just change where you “Look” and it will automatically change your “Speed” without altering your stroke.

Uphill Putt *:
1. Look Past the Hole the amount needed to offset the incline or slope. Slightly uphill look maybe 2′ past, but if severe uphill, as much as 6′ or more.

Downhill Putt *:
1. Look Short of the Hole the amount needed to offset the slope. Slightly downhill, look at a spot 2/3 of the way to the hole on your line. But if severe downhill, you might putt to a spot, on your line, only 1/4 of the way to the hole. This lets you hit an aggressive, complete, putt to an interim target, so the putt starts on line and holds the line until gravity takes over and it trickles along the break and into the hole.

Level Putt:
1. Look Past the Hole about 15″. You want to putt through the hole, on your target line, to the spot you are looking at, not at the hole.

So, the first thing you want to think about when looking at a putt, is it uphill, downhill or level … then imagine the ball rolling (like a rehearsal). This will help you pick the spot you want to look at to allow your perception to choose the right speed. Once you have your speed, then pick the line needed based on the speed you picked.

* Uphill Putt: also allow less break because gravity does not affect an uphill putt very much. This happens because, the extra speed needed to carry it up the hill overrides much of the pull of gravity.

* Downhill Putt: Allow more break because the lesser amount of speed (as to not go too far) allows the putt to be a the mercy of gravity and gravity will win… especially as it is trying to slow and stop it really moves a lot.

Hit Driver LONG… and get roll when it lands

Before you read: This assumes you have learned that the “SHAFT MUST BE IN LINE WITH THE FRONT ARM AT SETUP(* see below)”. But, if you’ve learned this… READ ON…

A great way to learn to “Turn” to hit Driver (instead of chopping with your hands) is to tee up the ball just “OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT TOE“. Now, don’t panic!! The longest point along the arc of your downswing, is a line straight down from your front shoulder (The bottom of the arc). Now what you want to do is setup with the club face about 2″ behind the ball. I don’t mean just move the club back… MOVE YOUR WHOLE SETUP BACK TO THAT SPOT. In other words, leave a 2” gap and FORGET ABOUT THE BALL. At first this is a little unnerving, but soon you will feel more confident because all you have to worry about, is starting the downswing with your hips and keep them turning ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH. You don’t have to hit the ball… it will just get in the way as you turn though.

NOW… what is really cool about this, is, since the ball is ahead of the bottom of the arc, the club head will be traveling in an ASCENDING BLOW like an upper cut. This will launch the ball and add roll when it lands (as long as you have not flipped with your hands trying to help the shot which makes the ball go left or pop up). If your hands are passive the shaft will lead the club face for a square, solid impact as you keep turning.

You can practice this with a small swing (choke down a bit) to get the feel of just letting your body rotation impact the ball (not your hands)….Oh by the way, this can automatically get rid of that pesky slice you’ve had all these years because the club face has more time to square up and since your hands are passive, you won’t be holding the face open…Ross

* Shaft in Line at Setup:
If you have the butt of the club pointing to your belly at setup… you’re in trouble and will have to fix it during the swing, because every solidly hit golf ball at impact, “The butt of the club was in line with the front arm“. This line transfers the energy up the arm through out the body to support the shot (This can’t happen if the wrist is bent. Plus, causes thin and skulled shots.”)