“For this game you need, above all things, to be in a tranquil frame of mind.” -Harry Vardon
In this post, we are going to discuss putting routine. “A routine is not a routine if you have to think about it.” -Davis Love Jr.
So, what are we talking about when we use the term routine? Next time you are watching the pros follow your favorite player and watch what they do when they are on the greens. Note down what they do and see if they repeat the same process each time they face a putt.
I would be very surprised indeed if you could report back that they seemed to do different things for each putt? On the contrary, professional golfers tend to be pathological in the adherence to their putting routine.
They understand the importance of consistency in their approach to putting through green reading, pre-shot and shot execution routines.
MY 10 STEP ROUTINE
When you are standing over a putt nerves can play a factor. The production of adrenaline affects muscle performance and can negatively affect your putting. Having a consistent routine that gives you confidence in your putting can only help.
Routines differ from one pro to the next and there is a variety of approaches, however the key concept is that you develop your routine consistently doing the same things, so it becomes completely automotive.
Let’s have a look at an example routine which will give you a start point, to working out what works best for you.
I have a 10-point routine which might seem like a lot of stages to remember. For me it is a straight forward process because I have worked on it so much over time that its simply second nature to me now.
I always start my green reading process as I am walking from my approach shot, up to the green. I look for the general slope left to right and front to back tilt. So that by the time I get onto the putting surface, I have a general guide to the putts break left of right and if it is up or down hill.
I then walk to my ball, mark it by placing my marker directly behind the ball without touching the ball itself.
I then pick the ball up and clean it with a cloth that I keep in my back pocket. If you’re lucky enough to have a caddie, give him the ball to be cleaned.
I use the Aim Point method of green reading and I follow that process until I have returned to the ball marker. I then replace the ball in its correct position with the ball line mark on the target line. Once this is complete I pick up the ball marker.
I now take up my stance and build from the feet upwards. I then check that my flow lines at the feet, knees, hips and shoulders are all in alignment, parallel left of my target line.
I grip the putter precisely
I adopt my posture, 1 putter head width away from the ball, so that I can take 2 practice swings. This is to hone the feeling for the length of swing required, to power the putt.
I then adjust my stance so that I am now over the ball ready to make the putt. Then take a final look along the putting line towards the hole and back.
When my eyes have returned to the ball adopt a slight forward press of the putter shaft and then putt at a cadence of 75 beats per minute. The length of swing dictates the force placed through the ball and hence the putts distance.
Once the putt is away, I hold the finish position without any movement of the head or eyes to follow the ball. Once the ball has travelled the 2ft on the target line I look and follow the Putt for the remainder of its journey, until it either, go’s in the hole or comes to rest.
If the ball go’s past the hole, I continue to watch it, as I will get valuable information on the next putt.
PUTTING ROUTINE RORY MCILROY
If you watch the professionals, you will see variations to the routine I have laid out. There simply is not a one size fits all routine and you should feel free to experiment to hone down on what works for you.
The key components for me are a consistent and practiced method of reading the green. Some way of checking your set up. A few practice swings, to help you confirm the length of stroke.
Consistence breads consistency, so if you want to putt well most of the time, then this type of routine approach will really help you with that endeavor.
When you practice it’s important that you focus on;
- Specific skill
- With aids that provide instant feedback
- With a defined way of testing that you have gained or improved the specific skill
- With enough repetition to ensure that you can incorporate the skill into your putting system and take it to the green
To achieve this, it is important that you practice in a balanced way. Most of your practice say 70% can and should be conducted indoors on a putting matt. The focus should be on the mechanics of stance, posture, balance, grip and stroke.
When you go outside onto the practice green, focus on the art of putting. On green reading pace and distance control.
Practicing like this ensures that you use your time effectively and maximises skill acquisition and development.
I know that my programme would be helpful to anyone who wants to improve their game. The question you need to ask yourself is, can you trust me to help you? Visit www.green2teegolf.com and find out what we have to offer?