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"Drive for show, putt for dough."
Among sports clichés, this one rings truer than most. While it can take a mere one or two strokes to hit the green, every golfer knows the torture of a four- or five-putt adventure once they get there. So whether you’re trying to get your golf game back on track or trying to become a Putt-Putt superstar, head for the practice green.
”This article is part of ”’a wiki anyone can edit.”’ If you have advice to add, log in and contribute.”
Below are a few key tips to keep in mind as you refine your putting stroke:
After gripping the putter, form a Y with your arms. Your putter should be an extension of your arms, so keep it hanging naturally below your shoulders, and don’t reach out for ball. Keep your arms and shoulders rigid, so the swing can originate at the torso.
Always stand behind the ball to line it up and crouch down to read the break. You can use the brand name or logo on the ball to help aim it toward a break, or straight at the hole.
The putter should be square with the ball on impact, otherwise it will spin and veer off your line. Keep a firm grip so the putter angle doesn’t open up and change position during your backswing.
Some golfers insist your eyes should be directly over the ball. Others prefer looking slightly short of the ball. Whichever position allows you to line up the putt better, go with it.
The goal in putting is to create smooth acceleration (not herky-jerky) on the ball, whether it’s a short putt or a long one. For shorter putts, bring the club back until it’s about even with the inside of your back foot. For longer putts, bring it back past the back of your foot, and continue the follow through past your front foot. For most putts, try to hit the ball with enough speed so that it will go a foot or so past the hole.
Take a practice swing or two – they’re free, after all. Put the ball in the center of stance, and don’t use your hands and arms to swing – let the shoulders do the work. Once you’re satisfied with the speed of the club and your balance, scoot up to the ball and knock it in.
Now, more important than all of the above is, of course, what happens after you sink a putt.
[[Image:Matador.jpg|right|thumb|175px|Photo courtesy [http://www.chichi.org/ Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodriguez].]]
”’The Toreador:”’ Used by the singular Juan "Chi-Chi" Rodríguez, the "toreador dance" is a bullfight maneuver, but in this case your putter is the sword, and the bull is a, uh, small white ball with dimples on it.
”’High five”’ (solo version): Now, if you’re playing for cash (duh) it’s unlikely your friends will be in the mood to high five you after a made putt, which is why you need to perfect the solo high-five: a few brisk steps, a short leap, and then lay some skin on your bad funky self.
”’Fist Pump:”’ After Tiger’s recent out-of-bounds excursions, his signature fist pump doesn’t have quite the cachet that it once did. Use with caution. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muS9yBonXaM Or irony].
”’The Backflip:”’ Why let the soccer players have all the fun? After leaning down to pick up your ball from the hole, spring back and do a backflip and (ideally) land on your feet. If you happen to plant your face instead of your feet, don’t worry – your golfing buddies will still feel the shock and awe of the moment.
”Originally submitted by Wired.com contributor Christopher Jones.”
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