Author: Gillian Barnes/Monday, October 9, 2017/Categories: Golf, Golf Academy
To the dismay of all of our golfers, it is currently raining outside of Atkinson Resort & Country Club. However, rainy days are great times to learn how to improve your game. Many golfers would say that putting is one of the most challenging aspects, which is why we spoke with Sean Chipman, our Head Golf Professional about how to improve your putting, thereby improving your game.
First of all, we think most people would agree, selecting a putter can be a process in and of itself. After all, there are so many options! Sean recommends that golfers start by reading My Golf Spy’s article, which outlines all of the various fitting components that factor into choosing your putter. According to that article all of these elements should be thought about when you get fit for a putter:
With that being said, there are definitely certain elements that make certain putters work better for certain players. “Putting is truly an art form. In particular, the items mentioned above about toe hang, head type and offset really matter,” said Sean.
Aside from the actual elements of the putter, there are other important factors to consider when playing golf including the weather. Weather can drastically change how you putt. According to Sean, “Weather affects the green for sure. Also the cultural practices change daily (what has been done to maintain the greens) so it does take constant adjustments. Is the putt with the grain or against it? Greens may be slow in the morning (from dew) or quick after they dry and slow in the afternoon when the grass has grown a little through the course of the day. Compensation is all about ‘feel.’ Feel must be learned and that cannot be readily taught.”
In addition to the weather, golfers need to consider how a putt will break. Sean said, “A putt can/will break more or less based upon how hard it is struck. There are many things to consider too – certain golf courses have green complexes that are easier to read, some are very severe and others are very subtle (like ours) and are not easily read. I certainly am against plumb bobbing, but I am a believer in standing directly behind the ball and picking a spot next to the hole to putt at.”
Are you wondering what plumb bombing is? Don’t worry! Sean provided us with an image from Golf.com to illustrate the practice.
Unlike break though, distance is easier to feel out and teach golfers (though not all that easy!) Sean said, “This video illustrates what has been forever my favorite way to teach distance in putting or relate it to a student. For a right-handed player, the amount of force you want to hit a putt with is usually the same amount that you would want to use to roll the ball to the hole with your right hand. The drill makes you create a letter C with your left hand and place it against the palm and lifeline in your right hand. From there, you will rock your letter C with your right shoulder, forearm and bicep. This will also not allow your putter head to pass your hands.”
Overall, Sean believes that strong putting comes down to time spent. He said, “There are an infinite number of tips for making putts. In my opinion, the most important part of putting is confidence. Confidence must be earned – essentially, I’m always a believer in good old fashioned practice.”
Would you like to take a lesson with a trained golf professional? Contact us at Willowcreek Golf Academy today.
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