Butch’s Putting For­mula

Skills for rolling it like a pro.

Golf Digest (Malaysia) - - Contents - BY BUTCH HAR­MON

Be­ing a great put­ter doesn’t mean you’re rolling in bombs all day. Sure, that would be nice, but qual­ity putting is about dis­tance con­trol from long range and pre­cise aim on the short ones.

From in­side five feet, the big­gest prob­lem I see is a care­less rou­tine. It drives me crazy when golfers step up to a putt and plop their feet into place be­fore think­ing about where to aim the put­ter. Es­sen­tially, their feet have al­ready dic­tated their aim. A bet­ter rou­tine is to aim the put­ter­face very care­fully down your in­tended start line, then take a com­fort­able stance and go (right). If you do that—let your aim drive your setup, not the other way around—you’ll make a ton more of these short putts.

For long putts, the first thing to check is grip pres­sure. Too of­ten am­a­teurs stran­gle the club, es­pe­cially when they think they have to hit the putt harder for the ball to reach the hole. The prob­lem is, the tighter your grip, the worse your chances of hav­ing any feel for dis­tance. You need a light hold, so you can feel the weight of the put­ter­head as it swings, and keep that same pres­sure through­out the stroke. More dis­tance comes from a longer stroke, not a burst of speed at im­pact.

So focus on (1) grip pres­sure on long putts and (2) aim on the short ones, and you’ll do fine.

Butch Har­mon is at Rio Secco Golf Club in Hen­der­son, Nev.

“If you take your stance, then try to aim, you’re cooked.”

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