"Andy, The magazine looks great - you've done a good job. Concise and to the point... Regards, Mel"

Mel Sole has 30 years experience teaching golf and is co-founder of Ritson-Sole Golf Schools, USA



Golf Tip

How to Develop a Good Putting Stroke
by Mel Sole

Short putts - those between 4 and 6 feet, are the ones we expect to make most of the time. But research tells us that the touring pro's make only about 50% of 6 foot putts, so the average golfer should not get too frustrated when their percentage is lower. However, with intelligent practice, we can do something to increase that percentage.

How to Practice:

Take 10 balls and line up a straight putt of about 4 to 5 feet as I am here in picture #1.

Picture #1

It is important to practice a straight putt, because then you need only focus one the stroke and not on the break. Obviously if you miss a straight putt you will know that you made a bad stroke - if you miss a breaking putt, you might have made a good stroke but just had the wrong speed. As we are working on the stroke here and not feel, please pick a straight putt. (Feel will be discussed in next week's article.)

Now, start putting these putts with two objectives:

1. Make sure the putter head is going straight back as in picture #2 and straight through as in picture #3.

Picture #2

2. Make sure your putter face is square to your line at all times. (also noted in picture #3) This is the most common fault with poor putters and takes the most work and concentration, but will pay off huge if you have the determination to get it right.

Picture #3

Set yourself a goal for the number of putts that you can hole in a row. Gradually increase this goal until you can get up to 50. Remember, if you miss one you have to start at one again! This teaches you how to putt under pressure, because as you reach 45, 46, 47, 48 - you don't want to start at one again - so you must make a good stroke.

The secondary benefit of this practice method is to your subconscious. As you hole putt after putt at this distance, your confidence escalates and you have less and less fear of these putts.

If you don't have time to go to the course, remember - you can practice this at home on the carpet.


Next Week: How to Develop the Feel of the Pros


Mel Sole is a former South African Tour player with about 30 years of teaching experience. He is the co-founder of Ritson-Sole Golf Schools, which is rated one of the 25 best golf schools in the U.S. Mel's home course is Pawleys Plantation in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Other Ritson-Sole Golf Schools are located in Wilmington, N.C., Atlanta, Blue Springs, Mo., Harrisburg, Pa., and San Sebastián de Amola, México. You can visit the Ritson-Sole Website at www.ritson-sole.com.



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