Golf pro tip: How to get a feel for your putting stroke
With the Masters in the books, it's time to take all of that winter inside putting practice out to the course.
As you get back into the game this season, remember that you should focus on "feel" as opposed to the technical aspects of the game.
Most of us have spent the winter focused on our putting stroke while dreaming about making that putt to win our match. To make that dream a reality, we now need to transition from the technical putting stroke practice and focus on "feel."
Here's a great drill to turn your dream of sinking winning putts into reality.
With warmer temperatures and sun in the forecast this weekend, you can hopefully head out to your local outdoor putting green. After you've hit a few putts and warmed up, it's time to get those "feel" senses out of hibernation.
I like to start with three balls at about six feet out (which is two steps from the hole) and begin my regular pre-shot routine. This is the key: when you are ready to actually hit the putt, look up from the ball at the hole and then execute the putt. Watch the ball roll to its stopping point and evaluate how it felt. Repeat with the next two balls.
Do not fixate on the stroke!
I then like to go 10 feet out, 30 feet out and 60 feet out and repeat the drill and complete the same process at each location.
While this routine will take only 10 minutes, it will certainly help you awaken those "feel" senses that have been hibernating all winter.
Don't let your foursome discourage you about this approach since Jordan Spieth, Louis Oosthuizen and many other Tour players have taken this drill to the course and actually putted in competition looking at the hole.
To help start off your season right and have more fun playing the game, visit your local PGA Professional for expert advice on all areas of the game.
Here's to your best golf in 2018.
• Carol Rhoades is a PGA Professional, and she teaches lessons at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club in Lemont. Rhoades, the 2017 Illinois PGA Professional of the Year, also is an instructor with the First Tee of Greater Chicago. She can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Editor's note: With assistance from the Illinois PGA, the Daily Herald will provide golf tips each Wednesday from a PGA Professional.