Strategy for tough openers.
SET YOUR EYES. QUIET YOUR BODY, ROLL THE BALL
I liked blade putters for the longest time, but I couldn’t make anything late last year, so it was time for a change. At The Barclays tournament, I switched to a Scotty Cameron Futura X5 mallet just to try something different, and it has been in my bag ever since. It’s really helping me keep the face square to my putting line. Another thing I changed was my routine. Unless it’s a super-long putt, I don’t take a practice stroke. I get a feel for the speed behind the ball, then I walk up, address the ball and make a stroke (below). When you don’t spend too much time over the ball, your natural hand-eye coordination kicks in.
Mechanically, two areas that will help your accuracy are getting your eye line right, and quieting your body when you hit the putt. To get your eye line correct, it needs to be level – any head tilt can alter the putting path – and your left eye should over the ball. To check this, drop a ball from the bridge of your nose (near, left). It should land on the ball you’re addressing (or really close to it). And when you make a stroke, everything but your shoulders and arms should stay very still.
To make putting practice less boring, I have all sorts of games and drills. Like I’ll hit four putts using only one ball from five different spots between four and eight feet from the hole. The game ends when I make at least 16 out of 20. Give that game a try, and remember my other greenside tips to see if you can’t get your scores down. Way down.