Breaking the Average Barrier
Five Reasons you might Miss a Putt
I believe one of the reasons we don’t see an improvement in putting statistics at any level is that we really don’t address the issues that cause you to miss a putt in the first place. So for what is worth, I offer these suggestions on why a great stroke might result in a missed putt.
5. Let’s start with the obvious one, a poor read. This is always going to be a work in progress, as every putt will be unique. Even the exact same putt can change depending on the day. Often the inability to find an appropriate start line or direction is more of a problem than seeing the actual break. I have recently had some experience with the WellPutt Big Tilt and WellLine Visualization System. It is amazing to see the reaction of players, when the start line is projected along with the actual path to the hole. It is almost never what was expected and often they don’t believe it until they hit the putt. Understanding the metrics of a rolling ball is important to being a better putter. https://wellputt.com/us/cms/17-bigtilt-contact
4. Inability to strike the ball on a consistent point on the putter face. As we look to develop a feel for speed, how fast the ball leaves the putter and in what direction it travels it is an enormous help to strike the ball on a consistent spot on the putter. Years ago Dave Pelz showed that the better the putter the smaller the dispersion of impact points on the putter face. There is no getting around it. If you don’t strike the ball where you set the putter in the first place, the odds of the putt being missed climbs dramatically. I will leave the discussion of “more forgiving” for another time. We are talking about made putts as opposed to narrow misses for the purpose of this discussion.
3. Bad Balance. One of the great understandings I have developed from my work utilizing concepts from Mike Adams, Terry Rowles and the Ultimate Golf Lesson is the concept of how we use ground forces for STABILITY when we putt. I look to find an anchor point in the stroke. This is measured from front foot to trail foot and from heel to toe and it is unique for each player. Why? It is very simple. If you are off balanced based on individual tendencies during your stroke - YOUR HANDS WILL REACT - and a subconscious movement that repeats itself becomes a conscious one that has to be manipulated.
2. Poor Trail Hand Orientation. The biggest battle most of us have in our putting stroke is how to control the trail hand. Another huge discovery I received from the measurements of the Ultimate Golf Lesson is how different players have impact tendencies in the orientation of their trail hand. Matching these tendencies to your static grip is crucial in controlling the putter Speed and Direction in equal measure. Game Changer!!
1. Consistent Ball Position. If your stroke repeats, the ball position required relative to the center of rotation of the stroke must repeat as well. I use the balance point of the body at the base of the neck as the reference. Where the ball positioned relative to this point is often the difference between make and miss. You spend a great deal of time learning a repeating stroke, but much less time finding a repeating ball position relative to the stroke. So if the ball is positioned a little forward or back of the correct point this results in enough variance in the strike to miss the putt. Watch the very best putters on television. Notice how meticulous they are in their set up. It is a critical part of their success.
If you would like to go into depth, I have some open spots available for stroke evaluations. We have developed a system that allows me to achieve this online and has been proven to be helpful for a number of players. It takes about 30 days on average to go through the process and requires a cell phone to take videos. A helper or tripod is useful as well.