Putting is one of the most controversial aspects of golf. Some say it is the most vital part and among the toughest.
While others opine that it is the easiest part of the sport as there are no out of bounds, no bunkers, and any other obstructions. Whether it is the easiest or the toughest, it is undoubtedly among the most talked-about facets of golf.
Golfers often wonder what two things are fundamental to good putting in golf. If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. However, putting isn’t as simple as it looks, and a lot more than two factors are involved in good putting.
Nevertheless, we have shortlisted the two most essential factors fundamental to good putting. This article will shed some light on the same and ultimately help you improve your putting skills.
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Reading The Putt
Before attempting to execute the putt, it is essential to read the putt and analyze the various aspects. These include distance judgment, assessing the slope, and the speed of the green, among many other factors.
Judging the distance
Distance judgment is the first and foremost thing you must do while putting. Many golfers struggle with this initial step as many of them are “depth-deficient” despite having excellent eyesight.
Depth deficient golfers perceive the location of the hole to be closer than it actually is. They struggle to accurately judge the distance from them to the hole and ultimately miss the putt.
You can follow this drill to get better at judging the distance. Firstly, pick a random spot within 20 feet and mentally picture it. Then, close your eyes and point to where you think the spot lies. Now open your eyes and check how close you were to the actual location.
You might be a little far off in the first few times you practice this drill. However, with time and enough practice, you’ll notice a stark difference in your distance judgment abilities.
It would be best if you also tried to judge the distance from the side of the putt and not from behind it. This will give you a much better understanding of the total putt length. You’ll immediately notice a stark difference between the two methods.
Here is a bonus tip we’re offering which is to “walk” the putt. In this technique, you need to be in a good view of the putt from the side. Then, point your putter at the ball and simply move the putter’s head from the ball’s direction to the direction of the hole.
The right way to do this is at a pace at which you want your ball to roll into the hole. Doing this will help your brain use the right amount of energy when you hit the ball.
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Assess the Green From The Low Side
Whether you should assess the green from the side of the hole or the ball is a matter of debate in the golfing world. However, the majority agrees the best way is to read the putt from the low side. Reading the putt from the low side allows your eyes to understand the slope and the distance correctly.
But what does reading from the low side actually means? Essentially, if you’re putting downhill, you should read it from behind the hole. And if you’re putting uphill, then reading from behind the ball is the way to go. In other words, you have to read the putt from the low side of the putt.
Judging the Green’s Speed
The speed of the green is how fast the ball will roll on the green. The speed varies with the amount of grass. If the grass is tall, the green will be slower due to more friction, and vice versa. Different greens have different speeds, and judging the speed of the green is one of the fundamental things to good putting in golf.
Here is a simple drill that will help you judge the speed of the green accurately. The first step is to throw a few balls near the first cut of the green.
Now hit the balls one by one to reach the first cut without worrying about the direction. Hit the ball closest to the first cut in the beginning, then move on to the farther-placed balls.
Each time you hit the ball, and it reaches closer to the first cut, you better understand the speed of the green. Keep repeating this process until you have a clear picture of the green’s speed.
Executing the Putt
After reading the putt correctly, the next fundamental thing to good putting in golf. We have divided the execution part into two parts, the posture, and the stance.
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According to some, your posture is the most critical aspect of putting. An improper posture can cause you to miss the putt horribly and embarrass you in front of your golfing friends. So, fixing your posture should be your topmost priority.
This will also include other external factors like the putter length, as choosing a longer or shorter putter will make it more challenging to execute the putt.
Your body height will determine the optimal putter length for you. Usually, putter length ranges from 33 inches to 35 inches; however, many tall players use putters that are up to 38 inches long.
In our opinion, the primary aspect of fixing your posture is by ensuring that your body is bent at such an angle that it produces a consistent motion with ease. This is the reason you need a putter of optimal length that is suited to your body height.
The next part is to stand roughly one foot away from the ball. Place the ball slightly forward than the middle of your feet, and your feet should be shoulder-width apart from each other.
Also, bend your body (both knees and hips) so that your eyes are directly above the target line. Then, let the putter rest on your thighs and let your arms drop freely directly below your shoulders.
Now bring your upper arms slightly back so that your arms are bent slightly at the elbows. Try taking a few shots using this technique, and you’ll notice you’re making a lot more putts than usual.
After getting in the correct posture, your stance is the next aspect to rectify. Firstly, get in the proper as explained above.
Also, your shoulders should be level, meaning there shouldn’t be any tilt on either side, and the ball should be slightly forward than the middle of your feet.
Furthermore, the club shaft should be roughly at a right angle (90 degrees), and try to distribute your weight evenly on both your feet.
Keep your eyes must be directly above the target line, and your knees, hips, and shoulders should be running parallel to the target line.
Putting mirrors are becoming increasingly popular as an excellent tool for improving your stance and posture. These mirrors allow you to visualize yourself alongside the target line to precisely align your body.
Bonus Tip: The Third Thing Fundamental To Good Putting In Golf
How you hold the putter is one of the most underrated aspects of good putting. Some would argue that the grip and the other two make up the three fundamental to good putting in golf.
The putter grip is quite similar to that of a few irons but with. For right-handed golfers, the best way would be to grip the club (most irons) in your left hand at the junction where your fingers meet your palm.
However, the club position needs to be slightly different in the case of putters. Here, you should place the club towards the center of your palm.
The club needs to be slightly more upright, and the club handle should be somewhat in line with your wrist. Now bring your right hand and hold the putter.
Combine this grip technique with the tips mentioned earlier, and you’ll notice a dramatic difference in your putting skills.