By Geoff Mangum
The “routine” for putting is the use of your perceptual processes in a staging of accurate, pertinent, and useful perceptions of what matters for the reading and aiming of the putter, followed by the staging of your movement skills for setup and stroke for line control and tempo-rhythm for ball pace control.
Contrary to conventional golf-speak, the “routine” is not a straight-jacket set of setup-to-stroke steps that must always take 18 seconds or else ….
The putting routine on the practice green sets the usual tempo and rhythm, appreciates green speed, and gets reacquainted with good strokes.
On the course, after the planned approach shot to optimize the first putt, the golfer steps onto the green and gauges the specific green speed, relaxes into the usual tempo and rhythm, and then begins reading the putt.
The routine for reading the putt:
- Notes the length of the putt and complexity of surface contour from ball to hole.
- Categorizes the putt as either a makeable putt or a lag putt.
- Then the golfer assesses the fall line, flatness, and slope of the flat area at the hole. All putts are viewed in terms of a base line straight from ball to center of hole plus the fall line from the center of the hole straight uphill — forming a “corner” at the hole emphasizing the relevant surface over which a successful putt might travel and rendering the rest of the green irrelevant.
- If the same flatness extends from hole to ball, the golfer quickly notes the approximate read from simple math based upon normal assumptions regarding green conditions. This approximate-math read takes the form of a target spot above the center of the hole along the fall line or an angle of putter face aim to the high side of a base line straight to the hole.
- Regardless of the availability of math, the golfer always reads the putt instinctively, using one or all of three imaginary predictions of how the ball at “smart” pace curves over the green for distance, green speed, elevation change, and contour. The instinctive reading adjusts any math approximate read in terms of target spot and angle of start line off the base line.
Once the putt’s curve, start line, target spot …
Read the rest of what Geoff has to say about The Putting Routine in the December 2018 Monthly Handicap Improver here: