Golf Instruction: 3 Ways to Make More 4-Foot Putts
One of the fastest ways to shave a couple of strokes off your round is to make more 4-foot to 6-foot putts. Why? Because the average golfer will have putts from this distance an average of two to eight times per round but will only make 40% of them. Learning to hole a few more putts from this critical distance is an easy way to lower your scores and boost confidence in your game.
The key factor to keep in mind on short putts is that direction is everything. The ball will go wherever your putter face is aimed, so learning how to get your putter face square at impact should be your primary objective. Here are three ways we work with students to help them make square contact.
- Start with a square face. Studies show that the average golfer is aimed incorrectly 80% of the time in their set-up. It's awfully difficult to get the face square at impact if it doesn't start square! We like to use a string line suspended between chopsticks about 4" over the green, with one end placed 12" in back of the hole and the other end stretched 8' feet from the cup. With the string bisecting the hole students have a great visual for a true, straight line. Since most putters have an alignment line on top of the club head it is easy to see if their putter alignment matches the string line.
- Keep your head steady. It's tempting to peek too soon - a major fault on short putts. If your head moves it changes your body angles and your face angle. Here's an easy drill: after you hit your putt count three blades of grass directly under the spot where your ball was before you look up.
- Make square impact. Since face angle accounts for 85% of the ball's direction you must be able to square up your putter at impact. Here's an easy drill for square impact: hit two balls at once. Put the balls side-by-side and learn how to hit them both at the same time. A heel-shot where the inside ball is hit first means an open club face at impact and is the most common fault. This is a fun drill because the feedback is immediate, and most golfers figure out how to square the club face within 10 to 15 putts.
Start square, keep your head steady, and make square contact and you will make more putts.