Anyone watching this year’s Masters tournament heard the commentators talk about Jordan Spieth’s unusual putting routine of looking at the hole while putting shorter putts inside five feet. He would go through his pre-shot routine, and right before starting his putting stroke, he would look at the hole. Why? If a player is having a problem releasing the putter or accelerating through the putt, this is a great way to help with that. With your eyes focused on the hole, it is natural for your hands to swing freely towards the target. With the green speeds at Augusta National, it is understandable why someone would be timid with their putting stroke. Jordan must have felt he was not putting freely enough to do this during the last few rounds of the tournament when he was in contention. Most of us have seen our students decelerate their putting stroke or stop the putter at impact. By having them set up and look at the hole, they will learn the proper sensation of accelerating the putter through the entire stroke. At first, when you have them try this drill, they will often hit the putt harder than normal; this is due to proper release and more acceleration. I hope this will help with your students’ putting strokes. It has helped with mine. My youngest daughter was struggling on her distance control on her putts this summer. I had her start looking at the hole every time. By doing so, the putter was allowed to have a more consistent swing and rhythm to the stroke. Her speed improved and she made more shots, thus increasing her confidence. As we all know, confidence is key to doing well at anything.
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