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  • Pulling putts

    Can anyone explain why I miss short putts left so frequently- I know im lined up square and from distnce my puttings fine but get within 8ft and I'll pull it 2-3 inches left. Played luffness today in a down pour and tee to green was awesome. Had 33 points off a 5 handicap but so frustrating to miss 6 putts within 4 feet- one within a foot and everyone of them missed left!Any help appreciated

  • #2
    Re: Pulling putts

    Chances are that you are closing the face down with the hands. And for some reason the hands are getting activated when they should never be apart of the putting stroke at all except to create a locked connection on the grip.

    Try a couple of things:

    * Be sure the hands are completely out of any part of making the putter move through the stroke. The shoulders are rocking back and forth only. No legs, hips, torso, arms, hands or head...what's left? Shoulders.

    * Remember that a short putt's tempo is identical to a long one's. The time from the start of the takeaway to impact is the same. You are only taking the club back a shorter length to regulate the distance. So, before a short putt take 3 long practice strokes and get that tempo set in the brain. Then take 1 short practice to the right length you want using that same tempo, and then putt it.

    * Look at your shoulder and feet alignment. At the putting green, setup like you are ready to make the 4-footer. But stop. Place the putter down you feet line. Step back. The alignment should be a parallel line to the hole, and not pointing AT the hole. Reset the putter on the ground where the alignment should be, then place the feet there. Now take a couple of practice strokes. Stop. Place the putter along the shoulders. Look down and see if your shoulders are also aligned with the feet. If not adjust. Now putt it in.

    * Look at your ball position. It should be about 1 or 2 balls inside your left foot (so forward in the stance). If you have it middle or back, you might be getting excessive skid on the ball that is taking it off the intended line. Moving the ball forward allow the putter to make an ascending strike that help put positive spin on the ball reducing initial skid.

    * Look at your eye alignment over the ball. Take your address, and place a ball on the bridge of your nose. Drop the ball. It should hit the ball you are lined up to hit. You need to have your eyes directly over the ball for you to see the correct line better. If you are left or right eye dominant, it does not matter. You tilt your head to the target to get the line, and your eyes are now in a vertical line rather then at an angle that can distort the visual alignment of the line.

    * What are your eyes doing during the putt? Are they sneaking a look at the putter head as it goes back? And/Or sneaking a look at the hole at impact? Keep them focused on a part of the ball throughout the entire putting stroke and moments after. Let the sound of the ball going in the hole let you know if you made it. When you let the eyes move, your head usually goes with it. When the head moves, the shoulders can get adjusted from their pedestal. This can change the tilt and alignment just slightly, and that could be enough to cause the misses.

    (I bet it is the tempo...you are changing it by introducing the hands that is speeding up the stroke in the through stroke. You are getting anxious about making the putt and that shuts the face down. Longer putts are better because you are really only worried about the distance and not the line...so you use a better controlled stroke...just a guess).
    Last edited by GregJWillis; 05-20-2005, 02:07 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Pulling putts

      Just to add something else, maybe it's just personal preference, but I like to feel a prominent left elbow (right-handed.) By that I mean keeping the elbow travelling all the way along the traget line - a bit like the way that batsmen in cricket keeps their elbow and head directly over the bat handle. I think it helps to eliminate the twisting of the putter head.

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      • #4
        Re: Pulling putts

        I like Greg's advice as always but I'd like you to try something much simpler first. You say that your alignment is all fine and from outside 8 feet you're not having problems and considering that you play off a 5 handicap, I'd say "fine".

        Now, what I'd like you to do is once you've picked your line find an intermediate target 15cm ahead of the ball on the same line as your putt. When you setup and make the stroke, get the putter head to follow through over the target/mark/thing you picked.

        My educated guess is that on the shorter putts you pull the putter in towards the body. That with a square clubface will make you pull it.

        Try it for me and let me know. If this doesn't work then we need to look at your setup, you might be standing too close to the ball on the shorter putts, you might "quitting" and the putter head gets into a shut position ... but as I always like to do, do the simple things first.

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        • #5
          Re: Pulling putts

          I have the same problem - seems all my misses (regardless of length) miss to the left (I'm right handed). I had my putting stroke looked at by lasers and computer at the World AM tour in Myrtle Beach one year and it said my stroke was slightly outside in - so I was cutting across the ball (only slightly). Funny thing, I also held the putter head slightly open to compensate for it.

          I know we are are supposed to keep our hands quiet when we putt; anyway to quiet the mind?

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          • #6
            Re: Pulling putts

            I have been using a well aged generic brand blade putter since I took up golf 2 years ago. I had made some modifications in that time. firstly I had 4 inches cut off the standard length, added a little weight to the head and hand filed the face flat ( it had quite a few corrugations ). I became quite good at putting and almost never 3 putted. Recently I bought an odyssey 2 ball putter. I made the modifications to length and weight, and started practising. My thinking was that the 2 ball alignment system would have to make me even more consistent. The problem now is almost every putt goes left of the hole. I am definitely over the ball, swinging from the shoulders as squarely as possible but they are always going left. I have gone back to my old putter( the face is smooth ) no problems. I have used another blade putter with grip on the face, no problems ( even though it was 34 inches long ). I have moved the ball around in my stance and I think the average is better with the ball a little back of centre, I think I get maybe 1 in 5, 5 footers. I keep thinking it is in the arch of the stroke even though I have very little if any. It is not in the bite of the face or the other blade would have exposed it. So I am pretty sure about what it isn't , any ideas on what it might be? It is really costing me a lot of strokes.
            Regards,Peter.
            Last edited by golfshooter; 04-19-2010, 12:35 AM.

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            • #7
              Re: Pulling putts

              Take your two putters and see which one is face balanced, and which one is toe balanced. Do this by balancing putter shaft on your finger. If the face balances towards the sky you have face balanced putter. If the toe balances towards the ground then you have a toe balanced putter.

              I would guess the putter you putt the best with is toe balanced, and the one that is causing you grief is face balanced. The toe balanced putter fits your stroke more so than the face balanced putter. As I said just guessing on my part from experience. I use a toe balanced putter myself. I also have 2 ball putter that is face balanced. I don't use the 2 ball because I tend to miss putts left. GJS

              PS: If both your putter balance the same then chuck what I just wrote...lol

              http://www.golfalot.com/Equipment/Bu...s/Putters.aspx
              Last edited by GolfJunkieSr; 04-19-2010, 01:04 AM.

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              • #8
                Re: Pulling putts

                Also check your grip pressure consistency. To see the effects of changing grip pressure, set up over a putt with a square face like normal. Now squeeze the grip firmly with left hand. The putter face will probably turn. Relax and go back to your normal grip pressure. Now squeeze the grip more firmly with the right hand and note how the putter face changes.

                On short putts, the nerves sometimes make the hands tighten up during the stroke. There is also sometimes the instinct to guide the ball versus taking a normal stroke with relaxed grip pressure. If you use a toe open to toe closed putter stroke, you may be manipulating the face closed on the fore-stroke because subconsciously you fear there it will not close on itís own in such a short stroke.

                Good luck.

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                • #9
                  Re: Pulling putts

                  Thank you for your replies. Once again I have learned a costly lesson! I am slowly learning that golf can be a bottomless money pit regarding club junkies such as myself. Special thanks to GolfJunkiesr who got it right first time! But can one learn to use the 2 ball ? I still believe it has a superior alignment set up, although I suspect my my reason is more based on the money I have forked out than anything else. I probably should have stuck with what was already working. Isn't hindsight is wonderful thing. lol
                  Regards Peter.
                  Last edited by golfshooter; 04-19-2010, 11:06 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Pulling putts

                    You can learn to putt with the 2 ball with plenty of practice. Problem is, the more you practice to putt better with the 2 ball, at some point your other putter will most like start to fail you, as your putting stroke changes to fit the 2 ball. So for a while, you are not going to putt as well as you think you should with either club. So you will have to make the decision to go back to other putter, or continue on with your 2 ball.

                    Once I identified my problem with my 2 ball I did not want to change my putting stroke which worked better with the toe weighted club. I kept the toe weighted club in my bag, and refined my putting alignment, green reading, and stroke even more to save a few more strokes per round. GJS

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                    • #11
                      Re: Pulling putts

                      I've the same problem, from inside 8 feet I can't keep my hands quiet and I tend to miss left with a jerky pull stroke, its the only thing that's holding me back from shooting in the 60's and early 70's where I can't get away with missing 6 or 7 putts from inside 8 feet every round. As much as I tell myself to just concentrate on a smooth stroke I just have no control over this round killer pull. Please help.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Pulling putts

                        Originally posted by glantanem View Post
                        I've the same problem, from inside 8 feet I can't keep my hands quiet and I tend to miss left with a jerky pull stroke, its the only thing that's holding me back from shooting in the 60's and early 70's where I can't get away with missing 6 or 7 putts from inside 8 feet every round. As much as I tell myself to just concentrate on a smooth stroke I just have no control over this round killer pull. Please help.
                        First look at your putter and ensure it matches your stroke type. There are two types of putter:- Face balanced and Toe and heel balanced. The former requires a straight back and through swing, the later a slightly rounded swing.

                        To check, balance the putter on your index finger along the shaft and see how the face lies, if it lays level it is face balanced, if it lays with the face up and down it is 'toe and heel' balanced.

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                        • #13
                          Left Arm

                          I agree with 'pgmetcalf' comment about the left arm. This is something that I have personally been working on as well with good results. By just keeping the right arm a bit quieter it has enabled me to keep the putter face a lot squarer through the ball and towards the target.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Pulling putts

                            Here's a question—might not even relate, but worth asking .... do you wear glasses with progressed lenses? The line you see from in back of the ball and what you see when you stand over the ball are two very different views. If you have this problem, you might consider getting a pair of glasses with just your distance lenses in... got this advice from a golf pro and it changed everything for me.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Pulling putts

                              Excellent point about progressive lenses. When I first got mine, I would look at a straight edged object like a table top from a slight angle and see a curve. Now when I look at the same straight edge it looks straight because my eyes/mind have learned to compensate. Looking at putting line from anything but from behind the ball is not a true view if you are wearing progressive lenses.

                              Now I read putts from behind the ball and pick out a specific aiming point a foot or two in front of the ball. Then I putt to that aiming point regardless of how it looks from over the ball. And once lined up to that aiming point, the only putting swing thought is weight/distance.
                              Last edited by srglassw; 05-02-2011, 11:41 PM.

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