I am really bad at putting

I am really bad at putting


May 15th, 2016, 7:54 pm #1

Hi all.

I hope you all can help me, or at least offer me some advice that will assist with the quandry that I find myself in.

I have been a sporadic player over the last 26 years. Im now 36 years old, however, my late grandad introduced me to the game at the age of only 10 years old.

The most I have played is possibly 4 times in 1 year. Considering the lack of practice, in my opinion, I have actually been pretty good.

The one big thing that has let me down, is consistency. I have put this down to the quality, or lack of, of the set of clubs that I have been using. The reason I have come to this conclusion, is because my late grandad left his clubs to me when he passed. I have gone from using a bog standard set of clubs priced at £150 for a whole set of irons, including a putter, driver, 3 wood, 5 wood AND a bag, to a full on set of Wilson irons, big red driver, 3 wood and 5 wood all with carbon shafts. You may say its all in the mind, but I played with them yesterday and had the best round ever. I hit almost every ball straight.

Now then; my grandad would have left me his putter, but we decided to send him off with that, so I am left with my awful boggo putter.

Putting has never been my forte, but I feel that with my new found accuracy from some more high end clubs could may well be replicated with a better quality putter. So here is my question: what putter should I go for? What style should I go for? And indeed, is this good money after bad and should just work on my technique?

All replys are much anticipated!



Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 18th, 2016, 3:37 pm #2

Dear Craig,

Golf culture is a bit silly about equipment, and a bit ignorant about skills. SKILL counts FAR MORE than the choice of putter. Basically, if you DON'T LIKE a putter, get another one that you do like. The main criterion for "which putter" is NOT how to select the best, but how to avoid the BAD ones. The easiest way is if you don't LIKE it, it's bad. Just avoid trying to find one that you like BETTER than one you already like. That's a silly, childish, unskillful approach to the game that opens you to all the fraudulent claims putter-makers can dream up to separate you from your coin.

ANY reasonable putter doesn't perform ANYTHING to help get the skills performed, and a small learning of skill overwhelms any tiny benefit that THIS PUTTER offers over THAT PUTTER. A skillful golfer is contemptuous of these tiny differences between putter designs and regards the fraudulent claims of MIRACLES by putter designers as the sort of insolent trash that they are -- insulting to think a skillful golfer could actually fall for these ridiculous claims of MIRACLES from putter design features.

The SKILLS are 1) how to read a putt (predict the curve of the ball over the surface from starting place into the cup given one reasonable and smart ball pace that arrives slowly at the hole and goes in deep or passes the hole slowly and stops shortly behind the hole; 2) how to identify the start line at the beginning of this curve at the ball for pointing the putter face and starting the roll of the ball with that same smart ball pace; 3) stroking the ball with the putter dead straight wherever the putter face has been aimed in the start line; and 4) using a tempo and rhythm that sends the ball off with the same ball pace used to predict the curve to start with.

So actual putting strokes with putters are for the purpose of starting the ball on line wherever the putter face aims, and doing that with the correct, usual ball pace. For this purpose, almost ANY reasonable putter is just as good as any other, so simply avoid getting a bad putter and don't wish for anything after that. otherwise, you're not a skillful golfer.

The confusion comes in mostly from ignorance of how to swing different putters to start the ball dead straight on the line aimed. Some putters require more grip pressure or muscle tone in the hands that others, but a skillful golfer simply sets the required grip pressure and then forgets the putter and focuses on the straightness of the start and the ball pace tempo-rhythm. Almost all putters can be used VERY EFFECTIVELY for starting balls straight online because they are all only flat putter faces on the end of a stick -- functionally, if the grip pressure is enough, all putters are very nearly indistinguishable for purposes of starting balls dead on line.

The tempo-rhythm is the TIMING of the stroke for BALL PACE, and the control of the putter face thru impact accomplishes the LINE. Line and ball pace are the ONLY TWO aspects of a putt that the golfer can perform, once the putt is read and the putter face aimed at address.

First learn ball-pace control and understand how tempo and rhythm are the basis for that -- the body SIZES different strokes for different distances using the SAME tempo and rhythm, and a pendulum size cause a velocity of putter head at impact at the bottom of the stroke where the pendulum velocity peaks, and a larger size generates a faster impact velocity. Tempo is overall quickness of a swinging pendulum from one top to the opposite top. Rhythm is the fact that a swing back from one top to the back top or from that top forward to the other top are the SAME. Any pendulum swing has three terms that describe it: tempo, rhythm, and size. Size changes impact velocity -- small swings, little velocity; bigger swings, faster velocity. Given a distance and green speed and elevation change in a putt, the body instinctively sets the SIZE of the backstroke to generate the correct impact velocity and therefore the correct ball pace that arrives nicely at the hole.

Then learn how to stroke with a square face moving straight down the aim line for line control, within the context of that pendulum SIZE, TEMPO, and RHYTHM. That is grip pressure mostly plus stroking the FORWARD stroke straight on the aim line while keeping the putter face (with the lead arm and hand's thumb on the handle) square, or the same aim at address when impact occurs. Straight, square -- nothing else to LINE control.

The end result is grip pressure, flat thumb print, swinging nice tempo and rhythm straight down the aim line with ANY putter.


Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist

PuttingZone.com -- over 200 Certified PuttingZone Coaches teaching in 21 Countries Worldwide and growing strong!
The best putting instruction in the history of the game -- integrating the Four Skills of putting (reading, aiming, stroking for line, and stroking for delivery pace) by combining all putting lore in history with modern science for physics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor sports teaching and learning and performance, and especially the NEW brain science of the non-conscious processes of perception and movement action in putting skill.