For any golf enthusiast Master’s week marks a special time of year. Not only is it the season’s first major but with the weather finally turning for the better, flowers blooming, and birds chirping, golfers are hitting the practice range trying to groove their swings for the upcoming season. One of the primary struggles for players at the start of the season is putting, especially when you go from putting on carpet (all winter long) to playing on manicured greens.
For those who have visited the hallowed grounds of August National, your first impression was probably surprise at the amount of elevation on the golf course and shock to see how severely the greens are sloped from back to front. With the rolling terrain and the challenging contours of the green complexes; these greens quickly become the fastest on the PGA Tour, consistently measuring fifteen on the stimp meter and well above going downhill.
Although you may not ever encounter greens this fast, you’ll play greens reaching eleven or twelve on the stimp meter. And those can be equally intimidating. To develop more confidence and consistency on fast greens, be sure to follow these six tips:
1. Think About the Putt Before You Hit Your Approach Shot
On fast greens it is imperative to think ahead and position yourself for success. Positioning your approach shot on the green correctly will minimize the risk of a three putt and will ultimately lead to more made putts. If a green is severely sloped back to front you don’t want to be facing a five foot putt downhill. This putt can easily run twenty feet past the hole resulting in a three or four putt. Instead, leave yourself below the hole and in a good position to make an aggressive stroke.
2. Play More Break
As greens become quicker even the smallest degree of slope will affect the line of your putt. To compensate for this, make sure to play more break and focus on missing your putts on the high side of the hole giving yourself a chance to make the putt. Always keep in mind that putts missed on the low side of the hole never had the opportunity to drop in.
3. Hit Downhill Putts with the Toe of the Putter
If you’re facing a quick downhill putt that you fear may run six feet past the hole, try to deaden the ball at impact by hitting it with the toe of the putter. You’ll find that this will help you control the golf ball on those testy downhill putts.
4. Maintain Light Grip Pressure
To help increase your touch and feel with the putter, don’t grip the handle so tight that you’re “white knuckling” it. A light grip will help increase your feel and pace when you’re trying to keep putts on line.
5. Keep Your Posture During the Putt
The easiest way to block a putt (causing a push to the right) is to come up and out of your posture during the putting stroke. To maintain your posture, make sure to keep the back of your neck still. This sensation will ensure your head stays down throughout the entire putting stroke.
6. Consider Using a Lighter Putter
On fast greens, the smoother and more consistent stroke you can produce will help you become a more consistent putter. Using a lighter putter will help you produce this stroke on a consistent basis.
Follow these tips and you will be sure to find more success on the greens! Looking for one-on-one help? Email our PGA Professionals.
For more tips, check out previous articles everyone else is enjoying: Every Golfer Should Focus On Those Two Things, Three Secrets to Uneven Lies That Everyone Misses, Three Tips To Hit The Stinger Off the Tee, and How to Master Playing in the Wind in Just a Few Minutes.