PUTTING

Generally dot Psychology dot Reading Greens dot Strategy dot Grip dot Stance dot Feel dot Visualization dot Backstroke dot Follow-Through dot Whole Swing

Nancy Lopez Putts Lights Out 2:34-3:20

There are some examples of Nancy Lopez putting in this video, so I want to point out several fundamentals she executes well. Putting is the most important part of good golf because the best shot-making in the world is not going to benefit you if you cannot make your birdie putts, your par save putts, and those tough putts for bogey to keep double bogey off the score card.

Psychology—Nancy believes she is a great putter. She tried to make every putt she faced, without fearing the comeback putts she might face from 2’ to 6.’ You must obviously practice your 2’ to 6’ putts extensively to have this type of confidence.

Strategy—She consciously decided to putt aggressively, to always putt past the hole if she missed. By never putting short of the hole, you have a chance to make 100% of your putts. By putting short of the hole even 33% of the time, you have a chance to make only 67% of your putts. This can make a huge difference in your scoring average.

Strategy—Nancy consciously decided to putt the ball firmly, which means she had to play less break to make the putts. It is easier to make putts when you have less break to see and play.

Grip—She grips the putter with her palms facing each other, square to the target line. It is easy to strike the ball squarely at impact when you can concentrate on the back of your left hand and the palm of your right hand naturally rotating clockwise on the backstroke, then naturally rotating counter-clockwise on the follow-through—coming back to square at impact. This ensures you will start the ball rolling along the correct target line.

Stance—Nancy sets her hands in front of the putterhead, across from her left thigh. By always keeping your hands in front of the putterhead throughout the stroke, you will be much more accurate in rolling the ball along the correct target line. This is because on the follow-through, you can pull the putterhead through impact with your left hand more accurately and consistently than you can push the putterhead through impact with your right hand.

Stroke—She has a relatively short backstroke, which forces Nancy to accelerate the putterhead through the ball. Consistently accelerating the putterhead through the ball ensures a solid strike, which allows you to always putt past the hole, if you miss the putt.

Stroke—Nancy follows through on every putt, which ensures a consistently accelerating putterhead through impact.

Follow-Through—Nancy keeps her head down until well after impact. This ensures that her head is still at the moment of impact. When your head remains still at the moment of impact, you cannot accidentally alter the path or speed of the putterhead at impact by a slight raising of the shoulders, which can happen if your head looks up even a fraction of a second early, if you are impatient to view the result of the putt.

Here is an example swing key from the Putting chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts:

LISTEN FOR THE SOUND

Listen for the sound of the ball falling into the cup before looking up. You cannot influence the putt after you have hit the ball, so keep your head down. Deny your ego, which wants to look up and see if the result is good. This may be the most important concept in golf.

It takes incredible discipline to execute this swing key on every putt, but the results are worth the effort. You will make a much higher percentage of your putts when you commit to listen for the sound on every putt. Watch professionals putt the ball in tournaments on television. Watch their heads after they have stroked the ball. The professionals who are making the most putts are the ones who keep their heads down long after they have stroked the ball.

You will be amazed at how many putts you make when you listen for the sound every time you stroke the ball. Since putting is the most important part of golf, you will be amazed at how much lower you score.

The Putting chapter of Modern Golf Thoughts has 62 swing keys in these sections--Generally / Psychology / Reading Greens / Strategy / Grip / Stance / Feel / Visualization / Backstroke / Follow-Through / Whole Swing.

Some of the key fundamentals of Putting include--making all your putts 12' and closer, never 3-putting, never putting short of the hole, and stroking the ball with your left shoulder socket, with no wrist breaks. Visualize the ball rolling into the hole, accelerate the putterhead through the ball, listen for the sound of the ball falling into the hole before looking up, and use one-two timing of your stroke.

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