There are so many things that I enjoy about coaching. One of those is that I am continually learning and improving on how we can make golfers better.
Just recently in between lessons I decided to watch a few groups putt out on the last hole to see what were the common denominators for them on the putting green. After watching four groups it was clear that the common denominator for them all was that they missed more putts on the low side of the hole than on the high side. Now I’m sure that you have all heard the saying of “Pros miss on the high side of the hole, while amateurs miss on the low side of the hole”. What this is referring to is that better putters take into consideration the slope of the green more, while those that aren’t as good putters don’t use as much slope and aim more at the hole.
This in turn led me to think of how can players be more aware of why they are missing on the low side and how can they improve.
In looking at why players miss on the low side of the hole, I believe the reason is that we are taught to aim at the flag or the hole, which makes perfect sense. However, on the putting green we need to learn that often we aim away from the hole with the end result of wanting the ball to finish in the hole. This is a challenge for most golfers as the lure of putting at the hole is so strong.
A couple of strategies to help you develop a better understanding of what are your common denominators on the putting green are:
1) A lot of golfers count how many putts they have for a round. Another way to measure putts is to count how many putts you miss on the low side of the hole and how many putts you miss on the high side of the hole. This will show you what are your common denominators on the putting green, high or low. Once you have done this you can then develop a strategy of how you can improve your putting based on your common denominators.
2) Secondly, if you are like most golfers and your putts do finish on the low side of the hole you should consider where the centre of the hole actually is for your putt. If you look at the picture on this page you will notice that the centre of the hole is not in a straight line; in reality it is on the high side of the hole, as this putt was on a side slope on the green. Thus, when visualising the putt, you should think of the high side as the “centre” of the hole. This is critical to sinking more putts, especially on sloped greens.
I hope that these pointers will improve your putting.