This volume of the New Horizons Golf Approach Pocket Coach Series is dedicated to the artful skill of
putting. Putting is arguably the most important part of the game, at least when it comes to scoring.
The cup being the final destination of each hole and the smallest target location we play toward brings
out all kinds of mental demons that haunt our play. We are often able to play a hole 400 yards long in
two shots, yet take 3 shots to travel the final 20 feet. Although it seems simple enough, anyone can
be a good putter – Right! It is the most precise part of the game, for a variety of reasons. First, in
putting, the ball must travel almost the complete distance along the ground, and the imperfections in
the surface of the green can easily deflect the ball off the intended line of roll.
Additionally, because we are rolling the ball along the ground, we must read the entire surface of the
green from the ball to the cup. We must be able to read how the slopes and grain will influence the
roll of the ball. When playing shots through the air, we simply need to know how far to fly the ball.
This is much easier to predict. We know how far the ball flies with each club, if we swing properly. Of
course, we need to know how much release the shot will have, at least to keep it on the green.
We may also need to have a feel for how the wind will affect the shot. But we still have the whole
green as our target. And from 150 yards out a 30 yard deep and 30 yard wide green is a much
bigger target – by percentage – than a cup from 30 feet away. There’s even a better percentage of
hitting the fairway off the tee as compared to holing a 15-foot putt.
Besides, even in putting we need to read the wind on occasions. And we need to know how much roll
out the longer putts will have also. Putting simply is the most challenging part of the game.
Therefore, I propose we spend more time practicing our putting then any other part of the game.
Especially if scoring well is your concern. I also propose that juniors and beginners be taught the art
of putting before they are allowed to play on the golf course. Such a practice might require some
patience. However, the pay off will be well worth the wait.
In the first part of this Pocket Coach we will focus on developing a consistent roll of the ball, and a
fundamentally sound stroke. Then in part two we will focus on developing the skills needed to be an
excellent “holer” of putts. To be very good at holing your putts, you will need to develop confidence,
the ability to read the line of your putts, and a feel for controlling the strength of each putt. I will
propose drills that will help you achieve these goals. The fact is, rolling the ball well and having a
consistent stroke are important, but they will not guarantee that you hole a large percentage of your
Finally, in the third part of this Pocket Coach we will delve deeper into the art of putting. We will get to
know the state of mind and conduct that will keep you on track with being an excellent putter. One
last note before we get started, I am going to describe all the physical actions in terms of being a right-
sided golfer. I apologize to the left-handed golfer, but the condensed length of this Pocket Coach
book makes it too difficult to describe all actions from both sides of the ball.
This is the table of contents from The Art Of Putting. It may give
you some insights as to the topics covered in the New Horizons
Golf Approach Pocket Coach Volume Nine.
Table Of Contents
Part One – Rolling The Ball
The End-Over-End Roll
Pushing The Ball
The “Back-Push” Stroke
Part Two – The Drills
The Confidence Drill
The Line Drill
The Putt ‘Em Out Drill
Train, Train, Train
Part Three – The Art Of Putting
The Belief Game
Finding Your Rhythm
The Strength Of Imagery
Let’s Play Golf
Let’s Play G-O-L-F TM
Playing for a target score is only one way of implementing an on course strategy. I believe to truly
play the game you cannot worry so much about your scoring strategy. I think everyone is aware of
how well they are scoring, and they know they need to score as low as they can. So, since the idea
of scoring is always present you do not need to focus on it. Instead, focus on playing the game.
Truly playing the game involves feeling a game that fascinates you. It involves striving to play the
type of game you usually dream of playing. It’s about finding out your potential and
manifesting it in your play. It’s about engaging yourself in the ongoing drama of sport. It’s about
absorbing yourself into the possibility of expressing your true potential.
It’s about Gaming Out Life’s Fascinations.
So, when you walk out on the golf course, I’m inviting you to take the plunge, to go for it. I’m inviting
you to play golf without putting so much emphasis on scoring low. Win or lose, score low or high,
enjoy the adventure, keep a good attitude, and take something away from every round that makes
you a more accomplished golfer.
|New Horizons Golf Approach
I n n o v a t i v e C o a c h i n g F o r G o l f e r s