Putting with Anne-Marie Knight
I was up bright and early this morning for our putting lesson with the ladies from the North Adelaide Golf Club.
Once again, Anne-Marie asked us to stick tees in the green. The request today was to place the tee where you thought the ball would break. The second request was to place a marker about a metre in front of the ball in the direction you would hit the ball to pass the tee on the way to the hole. These two markers give you a short target as well as a medium target to aim for. The underlying philosophy to putting these markers in place is to understand that every putt is a straight putt to the point it breaks. Of course not every putt may have a break point. It may be that the lie of the green means it is a straight putt all the way to the hole. I like those.
Anne-Marie talked about reading the green's slope by feeling the green through your feet. She emphasised feeling through your feet more than trying to read the green through your eyes, although that can help. She talked about closing your eyes to better feel through your feet. It is also helpful to pace out the putt, particularly if you have practiced enough to know how much arc you should give a putting stroke for a given distance. Anne-Marie knows how much pace to give a putt per metre of distance. I don't have a clue. The motto is? Practice.
Another interesting tip from Anne-Marie, is that you should pace the ball so that if you miss it, you go 43 cm past the hole. Some science geek has worked out this is the optimum distance to ensure your ball will run true.
So the key take outs from today for me were :
- If you think the ball will break on the way to the hole, mark that point by picking out something on the green to identify it.
- Mark out a point about a metre in front of the ball for short target mark. Try to be as specific as possible so you don't loose the mark as soon as you look away.
- Have the ball near your front foot to make sure the putter has good contact with the ball.
- Ensure the head of the putter is level with the ground, not slanting.
- Keep your grip soft on the club.
- Don't bend the wrists as you swing.
- Let you arms hang down and try to be as relaxed as you can.
- The arc/ pendulum of the stroke will determine the distance the ball will run.
- Make sure the arc is equal distance back and forward of the ball.
- Keep your eyes down after you putt to ensure you don't lift your head. Hear the ball go in the hole rather than look for it.