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Golf Pro Tip Of The Month: Make More Short Putts

July 12, 2010

By Chris Hanson

Chris Hanson is the head golf professional at Fox Hollow Golf Course in Timonium.
In golf, a massive drive to advance the ball 300 yards counts the same as a 3-foot putt on the scorecard. While we can’t all boom drives the length of three football fields, I can offer you some surefire tips to help you make more short putts, which will undoubtedly improve your score.

The first mistake many golfers make is leaving short putts short of the hole. This usually comes from deceleration in the putting stroke.  Make a firm, confident stroke and get the ball to the hole every time. 

The best thing you can do to improve your short putting is to develop and stick to a pre-shot (or pre-putt routine). Take the same number of practice strokes and look at the hole the same number of times on each and every putt. Everyone gets nervous over putts, but focusing on the pre-shot routine will help take your nerves away and let you focus on the task at hand. Don’t think about how mad you’ll be if you miss the putt or how happy you’ll be if you make it. Stay on an even keel and focus on your routine.

Every golfer needs to practice short putts more often. Keep in mind, every practice putt should incorporate your pre-shot routine. Making lots of short putts in practice sessions will build your confidence and get you used to visualizing the ball going into the hole. Challenge yourself to see how many 3-foot putts you can make in a row without a miss.

Check out the practice green at any pro golf event. You’ll see the best players in the world working on short putts right before the round. They know how important working on this part of their game is because it is a key to lowering your score.

Chris Hanson, PGA, is the head golf professional at Fox Hollow Golf Course in Timonium.

Golf Calendar
July 19 --
54th Pro Amateur
Country Club at Woodmore, Mitchellville, Md.

July 21 -- 8th Amateur Public Links
Greystone Golf Club, White Hall, Md.

July 24 -- Laurel Volunteer Fire Department & Firefighter Cancer Support Network’s Golf Classic
Patuxent Greens Country Club, Laurel, Md.

July 24-25 -- Mid-Atlantic Junior Invitational
Pete Dye Golf Club, Bridgeport, W.Va.

August 3 -- Club Team Stroke Play
Lake Presidential Golf Club, Upper Marlboro, Md.

August 5 -- Father-Son Championship
Elkridge Hunt Club, Baltimore, Md.

August 9 -- Middle Atlantic Mid-Am Senior Four-Ball Championship
Greenspring Valley Hunt Club, Owings Mills, Md.

August 14 -- Senior Publinx Championship
Forest Golf Course, Baltimore, Md.

August 14-15 -- Publinx Championship
Pine Ridge, Lutherville, Md. & Mount Pleasant Golf Courses, Baltimore, Md.

August 15 -- Ladies Publinx Championship
Forest Park Golf Course, Baltimore, Md.

Issue 151: July 2010