Category Archives: Putting Tips

My Achilles heel. As the saying goes, it doesn’t count if it doesn’t go in. Focus on making those putts and save wasted strokes.

Speaker of Cliches … My Back to Basics Approach to Golf

I am guilty.  I do it all the time.  And I hate myself for doing it but I for one think it’s a necessary evil.  Sometimes even my salvation.

Ask me why and the only logical conclusion I can give is that a cliché is a parable.  It provides the best way to help another or yourself for that matter  understand your explanation.  Sometimes a cliché can best describe the action you want to mimic.  Other times you miss the point completely and hilarity ensues.

For example, I have been in the golf doldrums for a few weeks now.  I just cannot hit a golf shot.  To make matters worse I cannot string a few good shots per hole in order to string a few pars together.  And no amount of time on the range can fix it.  Believe me I have tried.  My tennis elbow and blisters prove it.  I just can’t explain it.  That’s when my “Back to Basics” mantra kicked in. I guess you could say, I was fed up with sucking.   It also made economic sense — stop throwing good money after bad prospects [The bad prospect(s) being me.]

I have tried to “hit down on the ball to go up.”  I have tried “swinging on plane.”  I have even tried “swinging easy.”  I felt like Tin Cup at the US Open.  We are talking “deer in the headlights,” “’cause nothing was going on between the space of five inches between my ears.”  Nothing seemed to work.

That is until I discovered “my religion.”  My first “conversion” started when a golf coach told me when asked how to score better, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.”  I was insulted.  Of course you have to hit the ball closer to the hole.  If we could all hit the ball closer to the hole, golf would be easy.  Closer to the hole meant you had fewer puts.  Then a lightbulb went off in my head.  I had to ask myself HOW to hit the ball closer to the hole.  And that meant chipping the ball closer to the hole.  That also meant short iron shots had to be dead on.  That meant I had to know what club would do what and make that outcome consistent.  So away I went to work on my short game.  And lo and behold it worked — for a time.

Now this latest bout of yips, I had to find that religion again.

This time I had to break down my swing to its basic parts to figure out what the devil I was/is/shall continue to do wrong.  Golf is a simple game.  It’s the golfer that gets in the way of making it a simple game.  You hit the ball.  You chase the ball into the hole; rinse, repeat eighteen more times.  That’s simple.  The one with the fewer strokes “wins.”  But golf isn’t about winning at least on the Weekend Warrior level.  Sure you can “win” if you wager against other golfers, but it’s more a personal victory if you can string together a few good holes, survive a few bad holes, and cobble together a round worth remembering.

My Religion was to break down my swing into its simplest parts.  My swing is simple to begin with so it was relatively easy.  First I checked my stance.  Everything looked square in the mirror.  Then I worked on my turn, and I figured out how to turn the core of my body without putting much stress on my back by coiling it.  (Yippee! no more back problems!)  It was really simple, I bend my left knee forward, not a lot just enough to allow my body to turn naturally and as a single unit.  But still that didn’t work.  So I went further checking my grip and club face.  This was my Eureka moment.  Apparently I wasn’t holding my club properly.  In fact I was holding the club with my fingers and not the palm of my left hand to anchor the club shaft.  A proper grip uses the fingers to cradle the club shaft but the pad of your left hand balances that club.  There should be no space or wiggle room when you hold the club properly.  Holding the club properly allows you to use the club as an extension of your hand.  That probably explains the latest body ailment — tennis elbow.

Took this rediscovered knowledge with me to the golf course yesterday.  And although I still suck as a golfer, I did manage to survive a few bad holes, cobble together a few pars, and string together a few gold holes to make this round at least for the recent past — worth remembering.  It provided positive results.

So when confronted with the “yips,” “yaps,” “heebeegeebees” do not despair, just go back to your basics.  Find your religion.  Who knows the light may just go off inside your head and you discover some part of your swing mechanics or course management that will help you play more consistently and that after all is a win of sorts isn’t it?

Your mileage may vary with this tidbit of sage advice.  Like I always say, I am not a professional.  I am not even a guru or teaching pro.  I can only tell you what worked for me.  It may work for you.  It may not, that is entirely up to you.

Watch the Roll, Not the Hole — Putting Tips

Watch the Roll and not the Hole
Watch the Roll and not the Hole

Sometimes your mechanics may be in tuned and you may need that extra bit of confidence or missing piece to help make your putting stroke that much more effective.

Been trying this little drill with a bit more success.  Pick a point along the path you want your ball to take and ensure your head rotates as you swing moves along that line.  At least for me I noticed my stroke was a bit more confident and on-line.  I don’t manipulate the head of my putter.  Instead the head stays on track.  I guess my eyes do manipulate my hands; hence my putter head.


Give it a try if you’re having the putting yips like myself.  And kiss your 3 putts good-bye.

More Tips on Putting — Strategy and a Little Mechanics

Putting, Not Again?!
Putting, Not Again?!

3 foot putts are my bane.  There I said it.  I am owning that comment.  I swear the hole literally gets smaller the closer I get to the hole.  It’s like threading a needle with oven mitts.  I hate them.  That is to say, I loathe being in a position that close to the hole.

I should be happy.  I really should be happy.  Travel hundreds of yards every hole only to be slapped in the face by the cruel reality — I suck at putting.  It’s frustrating when you knock an approach shot within feet of the hole only to be robbed of your birdie.  I stand over my lonely white ball knowing I will miss that ever crucial putt.  I hate it.  I really really hate it.

Putting ChallengesLeaving that many strokes on the golf course only increases my frustration level.

Soft grip.  Firm grip.  Forward push.  Eyes over the ball.  Stroke the ball.  Putt through the ball to the hole.  Nothing seems to work consistently for me.  It sucks to be me.

Thankfully, been using soft hands lately that barely hold the putter and concentrating on rotating my core with good success on the greens.  I suppose the soft hands allow me to concentrate on the mechanics and the putting stroke instead of trying to manipulate the head of the club and force the ball into the hole.  Now, I can lag putts better so quick greens are not as daunting.  Keeping my fingers crossed it’s been relatively successful thus far.  Just have to believe I hit the ball hard enough to make it to the hole.

I can only dream of sinking a putt from 50 let alone 3 feet.

What I find and makes sense for me to try, I share.  Enjoy!

Coach UP:  Golf Tips on Putting


Distance Putting — a Drill

Suzy Whaley PGA Professional shows a little drill about distance putting
Suzy Whaley PGA Professional shows a little drill about distance putting

More from  A Distance Putting drill from PGA Professional, Suzy Whaley.

As my other posts about putting, I am researching how others become better putters.  I am going to add more of these little gems as the year moves forward.  In the meantime you can at least glean a little sage advice on how others attempt to make long and short putts.  Who knows you may be able to incorporate this into your practice routine.

Click the link below:

Stop Leaving Putts Short — a Drill

Been researching more about how others practice their putting and I came across a huge resource at

One thing I can appreciate, the advice is free and it’s just that — advice.  I can listen and if it makes sense perhaps I can add it to my practicing.  I encourage you to do the same.  A little knowledge in this case can be a good thing.

Suzy Whaley PGA Professional gives one of her drills to help stop leaving putts short.
Suzy Whaley PGA Professional gives one of her drills to help stop leaving putts short.

Click the link below and find out from this really interesting drill to help you stop leaving your putts short.

Improve your Putting Consistency — a Drill.

Matt Hilton teaches one of his drills for a more consistent putting stroke.
Matt Hilton teaches one of his drills for a more consistent putting stroke.

Came across this the other day and thought I would share it.  I am all for putting consistency especially if the advice makes sense.

This makes sense.

Now I am going to try this bad boy out.  Wish me luck!


Matt Hilton teaches one of his drills for a more consistent putting stroke.

Improve Your Putting Consistency Drill