How To Improve Putting Aim
One of the most important putting skills that you never practice enough.
Today I am going to share with you a simple to learn method for aiming your putter very accurately and consistently so you can hole more putts inside the range of 10 feet.
Professionals would claim that putting should be the easiest of all the skills to learn and master and that, if you wish to become a successful amateur or professional golfer, you must become an expert and be consistently accurate inside the 10 foot range.
Basically, there are two critical skills that you need to develop and master to improve your putting aim and thereby become more effective on the greens. These skills are not the ones normally taught and practiced but I can assure you they will help any golfer to become really effective on the greens.
These two skills will underpin continuous success on the putting green and I hope that, after reading this article, you will work on these skills to greatly improve your putting.
The Two Putting Skills
# 1. Point or aim your putter accurately
# 2. Start your ball where the putter is pointing
In today’s article I am going to focus on these two skills – aim your putter accurately, and hit your putts where you aim.
You will see that we won’t discuss things like green reading, putting speed or which stroke path you use or even whether you hit your putt at the bottom of your stroke or as its moving upwards. These are certainly very important aspects of putting but I believe that, without these two putting skills, none of these will help you to make continuous progress with your putting.
It’s interesting that many of the things that golfers work on can actually make the putting part of their game more challenging and one such example is thinking about whether your stroke is going back and through correctly whilst you complete a putt. Expert golfers don’t spend too much time thinking about how they are stroking their putt when they are putting, rather, they think specifically about how their ball will behave on its way to the hole.
Their focus is more on where rather than how.
Two Important Questions
Here are 2 important questions for you to consider and then answer to start things off.
1. Do you practice aiming your putter as often as you practice hitting putts? ….Yes or No
2. Do you believe that aiming your putter to where you want to putt is a skill? …Yes or No
These are good questions because they help you to understand what you value highest in putting.
If you hit lots of putts to holes, or you work on stroke mechanics a lot, how do you know whether you are aiming your putter where you think you are?
You might be surprised to learn that many amateurs and even professionals rarely if ever practice aiming their putter to a target as a skill.
Your can take a lesson to determine what type of putting stroke best suit you, but when you practice putting you need to become extremely good at aiming your putter and hitting your putts consistently where you aim.
Never assume that you aim accurately, you should practice it often!
Being able to master your aiming ability will greatly improve your confidence on the greens, but if you don’t practice it then it doesn’t matter how good your stroke is because the ball will not go into the hole as often as you want.
So how do you practice aiming accurately?
Practice Aiming Your Putter
You should spend a block of time every week practicing and enhancing your putter aiming skills and you should do it before you practice putting to holes.
We know that as a serious golfer you know and more than likely check your aim often on long shots, but for many golfers they never think about aiming their putter the same way. This doesn’t make a lot of sense because I’m sure you will agree that aiming your putter is equally as important as aiming your shoulders, hips and feet on long shots.
Aiming your putter is quite easy to do and practice – and the following simple aiming routine is the one I recommend. With this simple routine I guarantee that it will help you to improve your aiming skills so that you give yourself a much greater chance of making more putts inside 10 feet.
Aim Your Putter – Step 1.
Place a coin or ball marker on the ground which will be your target to aim at and position 5 balls around the marker from 5 feet to 10 feet on a relatively level part of the putting green.
Aim Your Putter – Step 2.
Go up to the first ball and perform your pre-shot putting routine and whilst in your set-up position and when you think the putter is pointing at the coin or ball marker move the ball out of the way and carefully place an alignment stick down from the centre of the putter face at right angles to the putter face.
Is the alignment stick pointing at the marker, or left or right of it?
Remember, as you perform this routine you are aiming to hit your putter as if there was no break. You are simply aiming from the ball to the hole with no consideration of slope.
A Simple to Make Practical Putter Aiming Device
I recommend a very simple home-made aiming device that is attached to an alignment stick that turns the alignment stick into a very helpful and powerful training aid.
So here we go, cut a piece of 1 inch by 1 inch square wooden dowel the length of a putter face and drill a hole into the centre of the wood – that hole being the diameter of an alignment stick and at right angles to the edge of the wood. Then insert the alignment stick into it as you can see in the image below.
When you aim your putter you place the alignment stick with the dowel attachment against the putter face so you can easily check the accuracy of your aiming ability. This simple device helps to amplify putter face misalignment better than most other training aids out there.
Test results for aiming accuracy have shown that, an elite golfer at 5 feet from the hole, can have between 3 and 6 inches of misalignment. Now you can imagine how much compensation that’s required to hole a putt of 5 feet when the putter is aimed this far away from the hole or target?
Aim Your Putter – Step 3.
If your alignment stick is not aimed straight at the marker/coin then repeat the procedure from the different distances until the alignment stick is pointing to the ball marker. This usually takes 3 to 5 attempts at each ball location.
Once you have achieved a straight alignment to the target consistently you will then need to calibrate your putting stroke to your new straight alignment.
The reason for this is that your misalignment has created an unconscious stroke compensation and now you will need to adjust your stroke to improve your ability to hit your putts where you aim.
Aim Your Putter – Step 4.
To calibrate your new aim with your putting stroke, you can use a simple pipe bracket or golf tees that are placed just a little wider than the width of your ball …this is to hit your putts through.
Your goal is to use your authentic putting stroke and this simple aid to make the finite adjustments required for you to hit your putts where you aim.
Initially you will find that if you aimed away from the ball marker/coin either to the right or left of the marker, that your stroke and face alignment will encourage a pull or push and your putts will hit the sides of the bracket or tees. This provides the instant feedback you need to improve your ability to hit your putts where you point the putter face.
Practice hitting sets of 10 putts through the tees (without a hole initially) until you can get all 10 putts through the middle without contacting the sides. This is not as easy as it sounds.
This putter aim and stroke adjustment routine is very effective at improving your precision with the aiming of your putter and hitting your putts where you aim.
Well, that’s it for today.
I hope you learned something from this article and that you will visit this website regularly for more great tips.
Thanks for calling.