Learn How to Do a Putt Preview
One of the best ways to improve your putting is to do what I call a putting preview. This is basically the same
as a pre-shot routine, only it takes place on the green rather than on the tee or fairway.
Developing a putting preview will serve you in many ways, not the least of which is helping to settle your
nerves on those tricky putts we all run into from time to time.
Here are some tips on how you can develop your own golf preview
Start your preview as you walk to the green. On some courses, you can often tell the grain of the grass by the
color you see as you approach the green. A darker shade indicates the grain is toward you, a lighter shade
indicates the grain is running away from you.
You can also look for slope conditions as you approach the green. In many cases, seeing a slope will be easier
from a distance than when you are standing on top of it.
Depending on the course you are playing, look for water and mountains. The ball will normally break toward water
and break away from nearby mountains.
You do not want to hold up play for too long, but do take a few moments to size up your putt. Squat down and
look at the line from as many angles as you need in order to determine the break, if any.
Always take a few practice swings before putting. This not only helps to settle your nerves but it also allows
you a moment to catch your breath from the walk up to the green. It also allows your memory muscles to get in sync
with your swing.
A part of my putting preview is to pick up my ball, after marking its spot, and clean it. I then replace the
ball, aiming it toward the proper target line using a black line I put on all of my golf balls. Yes, this is legal,
in case you are wondering.
This black target line helps me to keep my head down as I putt since I only concentrate on hitting that black
line squarely with the putter face.
An important tip about making a preview work for you is to make your putt as soon as you finish the routine. If
you do your routine and then stand around for even a minute, you will lose most of the benefits the preview has to
offer. When you complete your preview, take your stance and make your putt.
With a little practice, most golfers can develop and
perfect a putting preview routine that takes no longer than sixty seconds or so. Once you have your own unique
sequence established, performing it will become easier, and faster, as time goes on.
The key to making this work for you, however, is repetition. You have to get a sequence established and then
perform the sequence time after time. Repetition is the key!
It should also be noted that the routine that works for one golfer may not work as well for the next. Setting up
any golf routine should be rooted in what works for you. However, if you are new to golf or if you are not sure
what to do, try watching what some of the pros do on the green.
Most pros have worked years on their putting preview and you may see a few techniques they use that you can
include in your pre-putt routine.
Would you like to break 80? It will probably take more than improving your putting. For a popular and proven
golf instruction program, check out "How to Break 80":