Putting alignment

John_Findlay

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,487
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
Does anyone here use the "line on their golf-ball" technique for aligning their putts, the way many pros do?

After another ropey day on the greens I thought I would try it while I was playing on my lonesome. The new ProV1X's have their own line along the diameter of the ball so I thought I would give it a go.

Now, I'm not a great putter (I average 34 putts per round) but I believe I have a good stroke and decent feel. It's my aiming which is dodgy. I think I read putts well from behind the ball but when I actually stand over it I change my mind a lot because I can't belive that amount of borrow.... and the result is under borrowing more often than not.

Aligning my putts with the line along the diameter seems to cure the under-borrowing and it promotes a nice solid back and through stroke .... but I'm worried that the extra time it takes to do so is gonna piss off my playing partners.

Is it just a matter of getting down the practice putting green and trying to find a way to speed up the process, d'you think? Any suggestions much appreciated.
 

BunkerMentality123

Assistant Pro
Joined
Sep 5, 2007
Messages
183
Location
Kent - England
Visit site
I use this method all the time, I've even bought one of those little devices that you can use to accurately draw a line on with.

For me it takes no longer than the usual way, when placing my ball I just look down the line, place the ball, couple of practice strokes to get the feel and then hopefully put a decent stroke on it.

It really does help to give an idea of whether you are putting any side spin on the putt to help with any practice putting that you may do.

I just need to find a drill to stop me fatting so many 40-60 yard pitches/flop shots and I'll be getting there!!!!
 

Up_Point_1

Head Pro
Joined
Jan 16, 2007
Messages
329
Location
UK
Visit site
John,

I’ve recently converted to use the very same method you’ve described to putt and it’s working absolute wonders for me. Using a line on the ball to show what line I want to start the ball of is a huge help and given me a lot more confidence.

As for the extra time it takes it doesn’t necessarily have to take any longer. This is obviously dependant on the location of your playing partners ball on the green but I’ve found that the majority of time I’m able to assess the breaks etc on my putt, whilst my playing partners are still putting out. Then it’s just a case of putting the ball down on the line you’ve chosen and pulling the trigger.

DHM.
 

John_Findlay

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,487
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
I can help you with that one, BM123... because I had the same problem. Went for a lesson and learnt that it was due to too steep a downswing. You need a nice shallow one. The drill my pro gave me was to avoid breaking the right wrist on the backswing, so you are actually keeping the right arm and shaft quite straight on the way back with a ight grip. On the downswing the butt of the club goes ahead of the clubhead on a nice shallow plane. Worked for me. Maybe try it.
 

madandra

Money List Winner
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
5,536
Location
The land of the Jock Frock
Visit site
John, I have been using the 'Line M Up' for years ( I used to use an old egg cup before somone smarter than me came up with the idea) You can get them in AG with 3 wee sharpies for about seven quid. I used to stand over the ball and take aim only to question myself and make a slight adjustment thus missing the putt. Get one, line it up, stand back and imagine the ball roling on that line.

But most of all.
!!!!!!!!!!! TRUST THE LINE !!!!!!!!!!
 

John_Findlay

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,487
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
Sound advice, Andy. I'll be down the practice green over the winter to re-adjust my eye...and my confidence in this method.

As an aside, have you read the Dave Pelz stuff about how amateurs typically allow for only a third of the borrow they should? It takes a bit of faith to allow for 3 times as much as you have been but I'm certain this method will help, with a bit of practice.
 

clubchamp07

Journeyman Pro
Joined
Aug 8, 2007
Messages
1,678
Location
Norn Ireland
Visit site
I have always lined up the name of the ball towards the hole. It's like everything else, once we have done something for years its hard to get away from.

I think if we where told to stand on 1 foot and every putt would go in we would.

I find just because the pro's do it dosent mean it's right for us. I was out with our ass pro a few weeks ago and he told me he thought my follow through was a bit long I did some work on it and I couldn't hole anything.

I'm now back to my old ways and it works for me.
 

RGuk

Tour Winner
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,437
Visit site
By the line up, do I understand setting the ball down with the writing (of the ball manufacturers name) along the line of the putt?

My mate used to do this, and he missed quite a few quite wide. We went down to the practice green, he lined up the "titleist" or whatever as he saw it to be correct. I borrowed an old shaft from the pro and we extended the line, you can imagine that in reality it was way off!

Don't get me wrong...it's a fair idea, sure, but it's only a "cushion of confidence" as far as we thought.

Today, I got serious about my putting (on a 9 hole practice) and used the tried and tested method of aiming over some "blemish" in the grass surface in the same way as aiming over a leaf or mark on the fairway for irons. Only when I could see the hole (under 5 foot?) did I go on feel.
I had a good putt return today (1 x O, 3 x 1 and 5 x 2) 13 putts on 9 holes. It was tiresome to be picky, but I didn't miss any other than lag-ups.

Do the pros use the name or actually draw on some line??
 

RGuk

Tour Winner
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,437
Visit site
I just need to find a drill to stop me fatting so many 40-60 yard pitches/flop shots and I'll be getting there!!!!

This is one of the hardest shots in golf for amateurs, IMO.
I was terrible at these for years, then I went for a full hour lesson just on this.
My pro recommended the normal stuff, open stance, hands forward, ball back, hood the face etc. then we worked on the correct feeling for hitting these well.
He concluded a) I wasn't turning at all (like the way the pro's often play out of sand b) the swing was WAY too long (leading to deceleration which is the KILLER) and c) I wasn't staying down on the shot, i.e. not settling into my right knee.
So, we tried turning more (although it feels scary), making a short swing (just to/just before wrist cock) and really sinking into the right knee.
The results were amazing, he taught me a sure fire 70-75 (PW) yarder in one lesson. With a SW, it makes about 55-60 yards and then choke down a fair bit for 50. Under 50 I play a big chip shot rather than a pitch. Worked for me.
It's the steepness and decelaration that causes the grief. Make the stroke so short you have to power through, that sorts your tempo.....give it some thought

Dave
 

brendy

Global Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 4, 2007
Messages
12,931
Location
Bangor, Co. Down
Visit site
I practice putt 4-6 inches above the ball with my putting stance to give me an idea of where im actually pointing, if i was just to use my feet im usually aiming right of my desired line.
 

RGuk

Tour Winner
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,437
Visit site
Now, I'm not a great putter (I average 34 putts per round) but I believe I have a good stroke and decent feel. It's my aiming which is dodgy.

You sound like me!!!

Firstly, if you hit a lot of greens, 34 is OK, don't get depressed. On a 9 over round (which is my yardstick), I've normaly made more one putts than 2 putts (on the par holes) so I'm down at 31-32 average.

Given your handicap, I can imagine that you are hitting long putts when I'm chipping. Also, given the nature of your home course, you are probably doing well to avoid a bunch of 3 putts. I over-borrow quite a bit on the mid-length stuff and then concentrate on pace.....if you think it's a 3 foot break, allow yourself 4 or 5, if the pace is right you'll always have a tap-in. If you don't make many monsters, you are not alone.

Dave
 

John_Findlay

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,487
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
That's the problem, Dave. I don't count putts from off the green, ever, even though I do probably have to do so maybe 2 or 3 times a round. And I'm still averaging 34 putts per round this year. It's down to about 32.5 over the last 10 rounds but it's still way too many.
 

madandra

Money List Winner
Joined
Mar 3, 2007
Messages
5,536
Location
The land of the Jock Frock
Visit site
So reading between the lines you are either leaving 15-20 foot putts for birdie or being tentative and lagging par putts. I think you will notice an imporovement if you line the ball and commit to the stroke. Having seen your swing at the range you must be needing to sharpen up from 100yds. Am I correct?
 

John_Findlay

Tour Winner
Joined
Jan 15, 2007
Messages
3,487
Location
Edinburgh
Visit site
Ooooh yes. And need to make more makeable putts. Hoping that improving the putting will be easier and quicker than improving the other parts of the short-game. That's the long haul.
 

RGuk

Tour Winner
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,437
Visit site
I personaly feel it is easier to improve one's chipping than long putting.

I have practiced hard to improve 5-15 footers over the years and it's been a really hard grind. It ought to be better for one's score to hit more greens but I'd take a 20 yd chip anyday over a 20 yd putt......making makeable putts for us mere mortals requires constant effort, or a gift!

It frustrates the hell out of me....when I was off 9 or so and my mate about the same, he would drain 3 or 4 a round to my none. The fact we made similar scores proves I was better in other aspects. Having said all this 2 or 3 midrange putts drained unexpectedly could sharpen up your scores no end. You have a harder job than us though because of the type of greens (parkland vs. links) ?

Dave
 
Top