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Amen corner: Good putting form can be a breath of fresh air

  • Good putting form requires a deep breath, a straight back and a limited stroke motion. (Courtesy photograph)

Special to the Valley News
Published: 8/14/2019 7:30:45 PM
Modified: 8/14/2019 7:30:36 PM

Good putting starts with a good setup.

First, hold the putter out in front of you, stand tall and take a deep breath. When your lungs are filled, your chest will be puffed out and your back will be straight.

Next, connect the upper part of your arms against your chest. With your arms extended in front of you, the putter will be off the ground and your upper body will have a feeling of being connected.

Finally, to lower the putter to the ground, you must tilt your torso forward from your hip sockets. If you reach with your arms, your back will round and arms will disconnect from your upper body. Not good.

When your torso has lowered the putter to the ground, position your eyes over the ball or slightly to inside of the ball. This will allow you to see the line over which you want the ball to roll.

The goal of a good putting stroke is to limit any excess movement, and this usually begins by limiting the movements of your hands, wrists and legs. If your hands and wrists are flippy, or pressure is shifting between your feet, the path and speed of the putter will be all over the place.

To begin moving the putter, focus on rotating your core around the spine. When the movement is driven by the core, you will feel your hands, arms and shoulders connected and working together.

Last of all, your putting stroke is truly connected to your body when the butt end of the putter stays the same distance from your body throughout the entire stroke. When the butt end of the putter increases its distance from the body, it immediately becomes disconnected from your body, making it difficult to repeat the path of your stroke.

The goal of golf is to get the ball in the hole. Take a little time to focus on improving your putting, and your scores will improve, too.

Peter Harris is the director of Golf at the Fore-U Golf Center in West Lebanon. His column appears weekly in the Recreation page during the golf season.

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