Putting Like a PGA Pro: Tips and Techniques
If you’ve played golf even once in your life you know that putting is more involved than simply tapping the ball with your club in the direction of the target. Successful putting takes practice, patience and good ole’ technique.
Although putting is used in both traditional golf and mini golf, investing more time playing mini golf while working on your putting skills can take your overall golf game to the next level.
Beyond hitting the mini golf course, seeking the guidance of a skilled instructor can take your putting performance from blah to hurrah!
Here, Fish Fischer, former PGA tour performance coach who has helped some of the top golfers such as Bubba Watson, sharpen their golf skills through fitness.
How Mini Golf Putting Benefits Your Overall Golf Game
You don’t have to hit the range or hire a trainer to get better at golf, in fact, playing mini golf with your friends just might sharpen your skills. “While mini golf may seem like pure entertainment, it offers numerous benefits to casual golfers and newcomers seeking to improve their skills on an 18-hole regulation course,” says Fischer, by helping your putting, short game, and pressure performance.
Fischer explains if you embrace the fun and challenge of mini golf, your performance on the 18-hole course will reach new heights.
Putting for Success
Here, Fischer provides step-by-step instructions to elevate your game as you enjoy the journey toward becoming a proficient putter.
Set Up for Success: Approach the ball with poise and composure, adopting a relaxed stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Position the golf ball slightly forward in your stance, aligned with the inside of your front foot.
Align and Grip: Ensure your putter face is square to the target line, perpendicular to the desired path. Maintain a light grip on the putter, with your palms facing each other, promoting a natural and fluid stroke.
The Pendulum Stroke: Execute a pendulum-like motion by engaging your shoulders and arms. Keep your wrists firm throughout the stroke, allowing for optimal control and consistency. Focus on maintaining a steady rhythm and tempo.
Head Still, Eyes Locked: Maintain a steady head position throughout the stroke, with your eyes focused intently on the ball. By minimizing unnecessary movement, you’ll enhance your precision and accuracy.
Smooth Follow Through: After contact with the ball, continue the motion smoothly, ensuring a gentle acceleration in your follow-through. This will assist in maintaining a consistent stroke and preventing any jerky movements.
Developing Your Putting Game: The Most Important Technique in Both Traditional Golf and Mini Golf
Learning to read breaks on the green is vital and is translatable in both activities. Mini golf has lots of undulating surfaces that help sharpen a golfer’s ability to read greens for both the golf course and your local miniature golf venue.
Enhancing your short game skills on mini golf courses demands creative shot selection from your short game to overcome obstacles and reach the target efficiently. This translates to an enhanced ability to strategize and execute unconventional shots when faced with challenging situations on an 18-hole course.
Pressure situations: Mini golf can simulate pressure situations, such as playing against friends or trying to achieve a specific score—or putting through that pesky pipe hole. Embracing these competitive moments will improve performance in high-pressure scenarios on a regulation course.
How to Choose a Putter
For weekend golfers and newcomers venturing into the world of golf, Fischer explains selecting the right putter is usually one of a particular preference. “The choice of the putter can significantly impact your stroke, feel, and overall confidence on the greens,” he says. “It’s such an important decision because it is the club a golfer uses the most frequently during a round.”
Length: There are three putter lengths: Standard, long, and short. It’s best to try each length to see what fits your body style, and your height.
Putter Head Design: The design of the putter head plays a vital role in your putting performance and your visual comfort. The design options are blade putters, mallet putters, and a hybrid style of those two.
Blade putters are a classic putter design that is very compact, and has a traditional shaped putter head.
Mallet putters have a larger, more forgiving head design that helps with stability and promotes a more consistent stroke.
Hybrid putter models offer a balance between feel and forgiveness.
Grip: Putters can have traditional grips or oversized grips. Grip along with other factors discussed is a personal decision that can significantly impact your golf game.
Fish’s Tip: The most important thing to do is, feel the putter in your hands and make sure the weighting matches your putting stroke, and the aesthetics of the design matches your eye.