Stephen Ames birdied the 17th hole and closed with a 5-under 67 on Sunday for a one-shot victory over Steve Stricker and Jerry Kelly in the Principal Charity Classic, giving Ames his third PGA Tour Champions title this year.
Beginners Guide to Putting
As you can imagine, one of the most important things that you can do to improve your golf game is improve your putting skills. While it may seem impossible, simply practicing and working to improve a few minor things will greatly improve your skills. Once you have learned what you need to do, practice the skills until you have them mastered. Remember, a good putting skill will ultimately translate into a much improved long shot as well so taking the time to practice your putting is very important.
You are of course going to need to practice to improve, but the exact skills that you need to practice tend to vary from player to player. As a general rule of thumb, there are three things that you need to specifically focus on in order to get the best golf game possible. The first skill is ensuring that your swing is proper so that you will contact the ball exactly in the middle of the club head. If you are not dead on the center you will never be able to master putting. You simply cannot hit the ball from the side of the club head and expect it to go straight. No matter how long you practice, this is not possible and will result in plenty of frustration over what you are doing wrong.
Once you have worked to improve hitting the ball from the very center of the club head you need to move onto tonsuring that you always hit the ball in a straight line to the target. This means if the ball needs to go 2 feet away from you towards the lake, you would not want to aim the ball towards the tree beside it. You may think this sounds a bit strange, but many people do not squarely approach the ball to the target. They then stand around and wonder why they are missing their shot. Even if you are off by just a fraction, this can seriously alter your putting skills because the ball is not going to go where you want it to go.
You will likely need to practice this point a lot, most people do not realize when they are just slightly off center from the target. Yet even the slightest difference away from the target will result in a missed shot and an increased handicap. Work on this by ensuring that you take plenty of time to practice. This is even a skill that you could practice in your office, or bedroom at home using a small home putting kit. However, going to the driving range is not going to help you here so avoid them if possible while you are working on this skill.
Your last skill that you need to work on to improve your putting skills is working to ensure that you are accelerating the club head when you are actually coming into contact with the ball. Many players make the mistake of slowing the club down right before they actually hit the ball. This will cause you to lose the momentum that you need in order for the ball to make it to your target. Working to make a conscious effort not to slow the club down will usually be sufficient in order to improve this skill and give you some improved results.