Adam Scott has to start all over again. Research suggests that learning a new style is better than trying to fix/cure an old approach. So Adam, ditch the long putter, grab a short putter and get your brain around a new way to putt.

The effervescent Melbourne teaching Professional Damian Magaton says: “It’s called a putting stroke, not a putting hit”. Adam, stroke the ball, don'’t hit it. That is the first part of the putting philosophy. Understand that golfers will sink more 10 foot putts and have less three putts if they stroke the ball. Those golfers who hit their putts sink lots of three footers but not much else.

Here is the second big idea of putting: aim the putter where you want the ball to go and then stroke the ball where you have aimed so that it arrives at the hole with a good holing speed.

Aim. It’s common knowledge that golfers do not aim very well. Very few golfers, even touring professionals aim within +/- 1° of the centre of the cup. So take yourself off for a SAM Puttlab test or buy a laser to attach to your putter or make a low tech aim test device (details below) to test your aim. Stroke ten balls and keep your score.

Stroke. Set up a string line on the green so that you can have dead straight slight uphill ten feet putts. Adjust your putter so that it is aimed perfectly at the hole. Set your body up and stroke your putts. Keep your score out of ten.

Now multiply those two scores together and then divide by ten. This will give you the number of ten-foot putts you are likely to sink. So if you scored 6/10 for aiming and 7/10 for stroke then your rating is 4.2 putts out of ten. Not bad. But with a little bit of thinking and clever practice you can jump up to 8/10 for aiming and 8/10 for stroking. This would give you a score of 6.4 putts out of ten. Now that is almost a 50% improvement in your ten foot and under stats and two shots less per round.

Green Reading. Adam you use or were using Aim point. It’s a start but it’s not the end point in reading greens. It needs a little more refinement. Work back from the hole for the first three feet then to the apex of the putt then back to the start point. Visualise the path of the ball and then determine the tangent of the start line (it’s above the apex but I don'’t need to tell you that). There are numerous points on that initial tangent that you can use to aim at. Set your putter face at 90° to the tangent. Align your body. Have one last look at the hole. Putt.

Putting Speed Control. The great Putting theorist and analyst Geoff Mangum writes that the best putters always putt with their usual putting pace. This means that, for each putt, there is only one possible curve to the hole, one only possible start line and only one stroke with the golfer’s usual putting pace that will match the visualized read.

The not so good putters work out a line to the hole and then try to figure out some putting speed to get the ball to the hole on that line. Not very clever, huh? Nowhere as good as what the best putters do.

The worst putters come up with some sort of line and some sort of pace and hope like crazy that the combination will do some good.

Adam, join the first group. Learn your own personal ball speed to the hole for every putt. It’s really easy to say this…or type it… and you have to get your head around it and then make it part of your putting forever. I am working on a way for golfers to learn this aspect of putting with a minimum of time and effort.

Adam, of course further refinement is necessary but here are the big ideas. Grab hold of these and you’ll putt quite naturally. And then your scores will reflect your great talent and reward all the hard work you done over the years.

Kevin O’Neill
Specialist Putting Coach
Master Golf Teacher
Inventor of the DOT Putter
Director DOT Putting Company.