Go for the Green Vol 3: Miniature Golf

October 12, 2011
by Justin

Sometimes I wish golf was all about putting. Putting is my favorite aspect of golf and is something that I always found joy in doing. Whenever I watch a championship golf match, I always notice who is putting the best. If you have read both volumes prior to this column, you probably have concluded that my golf game is quite atrocious. Now I am no Tiger Woods, but I do have one strong point; I could putt with the best of them. I’m not sure if it was all of those days I played miniature golf with my friends, or if I’m just a natural. All I know is that I know how to get the ball in the hole. I have yet to play a round of golf without slicing off the tee or getting caught in the sand trap, but I had trouble bringing the ball home.  Here are a few tips and techniques you can use to putt like a pro.

 

Find your weapon of choice

 

A wise man once told me that a samurai is only as good as their sword. In turn, the same goes for great golfers and their putters. If you have a back problem, I suggest a belly putter. This style is great because it puts the least amount of pressure on your vertebrae. Finding a great putter really is all about the feel. From my experience putting is not as methodical as swinging a driver (don’t lose your form though). The worst thing that you could do is over think a putt. The same goes for purchasing a quality putter. Comfort is paramount in choosing your weapon of choice.

 

Survey the land

 

Like all great explorers, golfers must pay attention to the topography of the green. Each hole has different levels of difficulty depending upon whether there is an incline or decline. Some holes have slopes that go from left to right or vice versa. Your job is to feel the variation of the green and figure out where your target area is. For instance, if you have a slope that goes slightly to the right, aiming left is your best bet. On another note, when there is a downhill slope, your club speed needs to be a tad slower.

 

How to swing

 

As I said before the worst thing to do is over process a putt. Another faux pas that most novice golfers tend to do is flick their wrists as they swing. Your putt swing should be identical to the way you swing a driver or a wedge. Of course, the swing is shorter in general, but the mechanics are still one and the same. There is also a huge difference in the approach to a putt with an increased distance. If the putt seems impossible, the best thing you could do is to try to bring it as close to the pin as you can.

 

Here are a few of my favorite golfers, Gary Player and Ernie Els, showing you the dos and don’ts of high quality putting:

 

http://youtu.be/umzRhL61d68

 

At most driving ranges there is a practice putting green. My suggestion is that every time you have a bucket of balls spend 30 minute learning how to seal the deal. Honing this skill will lower your handicap and bring out your inner Tiger Woods. Check back next week for more tips to improve your golf game. Until then, this is Yorick Hempstead signing off.

 

 

Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for Scoutme.com. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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