August 25, 2012

Lining Up the Putt

We are going to talk about controlling the distance between your golf ball and the hole.When you have a putt that is about 30 feet it is important that you know what the terrain is between your golf ball and the hole. When we tend to read greens, we tend to fall in love with one vantage point. We tend to look from the point of behind the ball and look at the hole. We get an idea of left to right break but we do not get an idea if we are going slightly uphill or downhill. 

Another word for distance is length. If I have a putt anything over 10 or 15 feet when I am going through my reading process, the first order of business is to determine which side of my putt is lower than the other. For example, let’s take the right side for being the low side. If it is going to break one way or another, it is going to break in that direction. It also applies to how I want to look at this. I want to look uphill at this. When you read a book, you tilt it up towards us not away from us. So I am going to try and triangulate my vision between the golf ball and the hole and myself.  I am going to go out here and make a perfect triangle between the ball, the hole and myself. 

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Now, do not fall into a bunker or a lake in favor of triangulation. If there is something back there that you can fall into, be careful. Safety First! Once I have done this, I can see the overall length of this putt. I can also see if it is slightly up or slightly down or any type of typographical change between my golf ball and the hole. 

Once I have determined that, now and only now can I really make a good read on the direction. Remember speed controls direction. All putts are straight if you hit them hard enough! Now if I want to combine good speed and good direction, I have to have the exact right amount of information pertinent to both. 

So now what I like to do is use the writing on the ball. I take the writing on the ball; I aim it where I think I need to start this ball based on the information I have taken in with my eyes; Stand back here and make sure my line is correct; Make a rehearsal stroke or two looking at the hole and ask myself  “How much stroke do I need to cover this distance?” 

Once I feel comfortable with it, I go through my set up and execute the putt. If this process is done properly and accurately the best case is a one putt; Worst case is a tap in 2 putt, no damage done and off to the next tee box.

This article is written by Seth Glasco

Seth Glasco is one of the world’s top golf instructors having taught golf in 24 countries and 38 states.  Seth has worked for the internationally acclaimed “Golf Digest Instruction Schools,” he was on the original teaching staff of the “Nicklaus/Flick Golf Schools”.  Seth is currently the Director of Instruction at Stallion Mountain Golf Club in Las Vegas, NV, as well as ‘swing coach’ for the Hong Kong National Amateur Golf Teams



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