Putt like Ja­son Day

Golf World (UK) - - SPIN -

Ja­son Day is on track to record the best putting sea­son ever (well, since ‘strokes gained’ started track­ing such things in 2004). He’s cur­rently gain­ing 1.193 shots per round against the field, giv­ing him al­most a five-shot ad­van­tage in four-round events and mean­ing he’s ahead of his own record of +1.130, which was the only recorded SGP above +1.00 for an en­tire sea­son. A red-hot per­for­mance on the greens has seen Day record two wins in 2018 and re­gain a spot in­side the top 10 in the world. The PGA Tour’s best put­ter tells GW how he does it and what you can do to hole more putts.

DIS­TANCE IS KING

The key to great putting is dis­tance con­trol. I never want to leave a putt short be­cause you can’t make the putt if it doesn’t get there. But that doesn’t mean you should just blast away. I don’t want to see my putts fin­ish any fur­ther than a foot past the hole. You need the right pace to take the break. With­out know­ing the speed of your roll, you can’t pick the line to match it.

SU­PER STAT: Day has only had 14 three-putts in 756 holes this year. BE AG­GRES­SIVE

If you pick the line be­fore as­sess­ing the speed, you’re go­ing to have to hit the ball harder or softer to hold that line. You’ll do it sub­con­sciously from putt to putt if you feel you don’t have the right line. That leads to in­con­sis­tency. So many am­a­teurs leave putts short be­cause they’re afraid of hit­ting the ball too hard. All of the good put­ters you see on Tour are, gen­er­ally speak­ing, ag­gres­sive on the greens. But you have to prac­tise a lot to de­velop this con­fi­dence.

SU­PER STAT: Day has one-putted 322 of 756 greens this year. TRUST YOUR­SELF

The best piece of putting ad­vice I have is to trust your in­stincts and com­pletely com­mit to the speed and line you’ve cho­sen. Sec­ondguess­ing your­self leads to ma­nip­u­la­tions dur­ing the stroke. You’re never go­ing to putt con­sis­tently well do­ing that.

SU­PER STAT: Day has taken a to­tal of just 1,116 putts to com­plete 756 holes this year. GET A TRUE ROLL

The last thing you want is the ball to skid too much off the put­ter face. This is cru­cial on quick greens. It’s tough to judge dis­tance ac­cu­rately if your ball starts off with a hop. For a truer roll, I play the ball slightly for­ward of cen­tre in my stance. This helps me hit up on the ball a lit­tle which gets it rolling sooner.

SU­PER STAT: Day hasn’t missed a putt from 3ft and un­der this sea­son. PRAC­TISE

It’s very im­por­tant for you to know that I work hard on my putting – re­ally hard. I put in about 90 min­utes on the prac­tice green ev­ery sin­gle day to help groove my tech­nique and re­ally hone that feel for dis­tance. On a reg­u­lar week off away from the Tour, I’ll spend two hours a day work­ing on my putting, com­pared to maybe only an hour or so on my longer clubs. You don’t get any­where with­out hard work, and putting of­ten makes the dif­fer­ence.

SU­PER STAT: Day has holed 94.44% of putts from 5ft this year, the best per­cent­age on Tour.

“Now, since we’re play­ing against each other, we don’t re­ally talk to each other about golf. If I play bad he’ll text me and give me a lit­tle pick-me-up, but it’s noth­ing like the old ‘this is what you need to do’ ad­vice.” Ja­son Day says that Tiger Woods, who had been giv­ing him golf ad­vice, is a lit­tle less keen to help him out now he’s a com­peti­tor once more.

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