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Putting Tips: Size, Confidence and Success

As part of a new monthly series PGA Professional Bill Craig will be providing putting tips, tricks and general advice.

Size Matters

Short, Tall, Big, and Small, we’re all different, so how can a standard putter fit everyone. Well, it can’t of course, but often times golfers purchase “off the rack” putters that are either the incorrect length or have the incorrect lie angle. Piretti putters can be ordered to fit any length and lie requirements, whether it’s a 37″ putter 3 degrees upright or a 33″ putter 2 degrees flat, no problem.
The correct length and lie can be determined easily. Address a ball with your putter, then take a second ball in your non-dominant hand and drop it from your eye socket. The ball should land about an inch or so inside the ball you’ve addressed. If it lands outside you are probably using too short a putter, if it lands significantly inside you are probably using a putter that is too short for your setup.
Establishing the correct lie angle can easily be done by addressing a ball while facing away from a full length mirror. You should easily be able to see whether the heel or toe of the putter is off the ground, and if so the lie angle will need to be adjusted to correct the issue. Why is lie angle so important? Even with only 2.5 degrees of loft a putter too upright or too flat will aim the ball left or right respectively (for a right-handed player). The most common problem is a player using a putter that is too upright. Not only is he or she aimed offline, but they are also more likely to contact the ball low on the putter face causing distance and consistency issues.
A correctly fitted putter not only allows for better aim, but also provides consistent contact resulting in improved distance control. Visit your local Piretti retailer and get fit to lower your scores today!

Success = Confidence = Success

Ever heard someone tell you to try and get the ball within a 3′ circle with your first putt? If you’re trying to get it close that’s great, but why wouldn’t you try to make every putt? Last time I checked the goal is to get it in the cup not a 3′ circle. Early in my career a very successful player and mentor kindly told me if I didn’t improve on the greens I’d never be successful. My first thought was he’s right, I’m an average putter at best. I’d played a few rounds with him and he was an exceptional putter, so I asked him what he thought when he approached the green. His answer was simple, he said “I’m the best putter in the world, surely I’ll knock this in”. While that seemed a little cocky, he wasn’t far off, he made his fair share of putts and then some.
The next day we met on the putting green where he had setup a chalk line to a cup 4′ away, dead straight and a little uphill. I proceeded to sit there for a couple of hours and knock one after another into the cup. The addition of the chalk line allowed me to line up the sightline on the flange of the putter and simply stoke the ball into the hole. We went out and played 9 holes after lunch, the result was 12 putts in nine holes. As we walked off the ninth hole he asked what I thought and after a few seconds it dawned on me that by consistently holing 4′ putts I was no longer concerned with trying to get a 30 foot putt close. I was now trying to make them knowing that if I missed, the 4 footer that was leftover was a virtual gimme. Next time you’re on the practice green find a 4-5′ straight uphill putt. Whether you use a chalk line or alignment stick, use the sight line on your putter to insure you are setup on target. Spend 10-15 minutes putting them into the hole. When you get on the course you will be amazed at how much more aggressive you will become with your first putt, knowing that if you miss, the second putt is a lock. At Piretti we offer several different models with sight lines on the flange, top lines, and sight dots to satisfy your preference and allow you to be confident you’re aimed at the target.
Confidence goes a long way, so remember when a guy says he’s not a good putter take the bet, he probably lives up to his billing.

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