When the putting aspect of the golf game goes south, we have a tendency to blame the putter. Why? Because it's more convenient to blame the putter we're using than to admit it's a possibility that the putter is causing the problem. I don't know a golfer, including myself, who doesn't have a few putters stacked in a corner that worked well until the price tag was off. That alone should tell you that it isn't the putter but the putter. I think about 98% of putting is between the ears and has nothing to do with the putter. Confused? You should be. Let me explain. A putter is a tool one uses during a game of golf to putt a ball into the hole. A putter is also the person putting the ball into the hole. Thus you have a putter using a putter. Got it? Good. Let's move on.
If you have found a putter that sets up well to your eye, feels good in your hand, and has worked well for you, then why change? The putter hasn't changed. It may not be working as well as it has in the past, and you can trust me on this, it's not the putter's fault. It's the person using the putter that's changed. Instead of getting frustrated and racing out and trying to find the putter of your dreams, you know, the putter that's going to solve all your problems, take a few moments to analyze what it is that you are doing differently than you had been in the past.
Unlike the golf swing that changes as we age, the putting stroke should, more or less, remain constant. Physical strength has no relevance. So if you're not putting as well as you are used to, then examine what it is that you are doing differently. You alone may not be able to determine what is affecting your putting, so ask someone who is familiar with your game to watch you as you putt a few times. They could very well point out something that you are doing differently.
If you have been a good putter in the past and are struggling now, it is usually something very minor that you are doing or not doing that is making the difference. Take a moment and ask yourself if you are looking at the same focus point on the ball. Are you not keeping your head and body still? Are you breaking your wrists? Are you gripping the putter too tightly? Are you peeking? Have you changed your stance or alignment? How about your posture? All of these things will have an effect on your putting. And as it so often happens when things go bad, we tend to make an adjustment here and one there and before we know it we are completely confused and it's time to to start over. With that in mind I will offer a few suggestions.
Go to a practice putting green and take three or four golf balls with you along with your favorite putter. Get off by yourself and pick a place that will give you a level straight approach to the hole from three feet. Take a moment and think about your grip, posture, stance and what has been comfortable to you over the years. Relax and putt. No pressure. Don't even worry about the golf ball going in the hole; just concentrate on what you are doing. You will hear the ball fall in the cup so keep your eyes on the spot where the ball was when your putter came through. The only thing you are trying to accomplish here is getting your feel back. After you have done this drill for ten or fifteen minutes then concentrate on putting the golf ball into the hole. And remember to stay relaxed. The putter is something to be caressed not strangled.
One other tip I will offer at this time has to do with follow-through. If you are having trouble with your putter going through the ball then I suggest the following. If you are right-handed take the putter in your right hand, again go to the three foot range and putt with the right hand only. Left-handers use the left hand. Concentrate on putting the golf ball 12 to 18 inches past the cup. What this is doing for you is getting the trailing hand back into the game. This in effect will give you the follow-through you have been lacking.
I hope these few tips have been helpful as I truly love the game of golf and know how frustrating it can be when the putter and the putter aren't getting along. For more helpful tips please see the author's resource box below. ©Copyright 2007 Ritzyshopper.com
Steve Francis writes articles primarily for http://RitzyShopper.com Visit the Golf Instructions secion of RitzyShopper for additional valuable putting tips. This article was written for informational and promotional purposes. This article may be republished providing no links are added to the text and this resource box with it's links and author credit remain intact.