Putting Tips & Tricks from PGA Pro, Jon Conklin

Blog Post By: Jon Conklin, PGA Professional & Director of Operations

Often times when you are watching the Golf Channel or reading Golf Digest, you will come across segments and articles which discuss improving ball striking, getting the additional 10 yards, or fixing that wicked slice. However, when looking at shooting par for the course, it's important to remember half of the strokes are done with your putter.

While we all may not be able to shoot par golf, putting is still a large percentage of our total strokes in a given round. Because of this, I scratch my head at times to why more golfers are not working on this facet of the game. It takes less time to work on, you can improve faster, and it is FREE to do at any practice facility. Therefore, today, we are going to discuss a couple of my tips and tricks for improving your putting.

Head Down/Lead Hand Low

Often times, when we are 10-15 feet from the hole, we feel like we should make every putt.  Although it’s great to have this confidence, making every putt is not always the case. In fact, a stat from the PGA Tour showed that the highest percentage of putts made from 10-15' is only a mere 17.5%. Some even argue the average is closer to only 10%. If you would like to read more about these stats from the PGA Tour, please click here.

When the pressure is on and we really want to make the putt, I often notice a few things:

1) Your head wants to follow the putt - It is natural to want to see the putt go in. However, moving as you hit the ball can make it redirect even in the slightest of ways. Imagine playing the ball on the inside right portion of the cup and we look up and push it slightly right. Let’s say only an inch. Well, the putt did not break like you wanted or had more speed and now we missed the hole completely.

2) Your lead hand breaks down and even lifts up - I have a conventional grip as a right handed player, with my right hand low. Therefore, my lead hand is my left.  If I can feel like I am hitting the ball with the backside of this hand, and keep the putter head low to the ground, I feel like the ball is going to roll more naturally, and even end over end. When the putter head does not stay low, and even breaks down, we add loft to the putter blade and this can add backspin on a putt.  This leads to inconsistent speed and can cause the ball to start off line.

Lag Putting

Lag putting is typically your first putt on the green, when you simply want to get it a few feet closer in order to make the next putt easier. For most golfers, when we three putt, it is normally because the first putt was not close enough to just tap it in. However, when this is done 3-4 times a round, it adds up quickly. Remember, a 280 yard drive counts for just as much as a missed putt. Below is a drill I recommend for lag putting.

Ladder Drill: Position yourself at least 50 feet from fringe, and hit your first putt as close as possible toward the fringe edge. Try to hit the second putt as close to the first ball without passing it. Then, hit the next putt as close to the second ball as possible again without passing it. Continue with this process and see how many balls you end up with between you and the fringe.  Try it again, but this time start with a putt close to you and work forwards to the fringe with successive putts.  Do this a few times both ways and it will help you improve quickly.  This is also a great way to get a feel for the green speed if you have only a few minutes before tee’ing it up.

I hope your putting improves as you work on your game.  If you do need any assistance, please feel free to schedule a lesson with one of our three PGA Professionals by calling (989) 773-6830 or clicking here for info on our various instruction packages.

Posted by admin at Jul 17, 2017 Category: Other
Tags: Bucks Run Golf Club, Mt. Pleasant, MI, Putting, Tips