Putters Pocket Compa

Putters Pocket Compa

by Jim McLean, Fran Pirozzolo

A PGA coach and a renowned sports psychologist team up to offer golfers 100 unique physical and mental techniques to improve their putting in a special package designed to slip into the golfer's pocket or bag.


A PGA coach and a renowned sports psychologist team up to offer golfers 100 unique physical and mental techniques to improve their putting in a special package designed to slip into the golfer's pocket or bag.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
3.64(w) x 5.24(h) x 0.43(d)

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Try Something New

If You've Had A Bad Season Of Putting, Try An Old Putter From Your Collection In The Garage Or Buy A New One (After You've Tested It Out On The Practice Green). Often A Fresh Start And Clear Head Are Enough To Get You Going Again.

Accelerate The Putter

One Of The Basic Elements Of Good Putting Is To Accelerate The Putter In The Impact Zone, While Keeping Its Face Square To The Hole. To Promote The Proper Action In The Hitting Area, Keep The Handle Of The Putter Moving Toward The Target.

When In Doubt, Plumb Bob

No Matter How Well You Read Greens, Occasionally One Will Baffle You. In These Circumstances, Plumb Bob A La Ben Crenshaw To Figure The Break. Here's How:

Hold The Putter In Front Of You, With Your Right Hand Grasping The Grip (Lefties Reverse Instructions). Obscure The Ball With The Lower Part Of The Putter's Shaft Before Looking Straight Ahead With Your Dominant Eye (Close Your Other Eye).

If The Shaft Appears To The Left Of The Hole, The Ball Will Break From Left To Right. If The Shaft Appears To The Right Of The Hole, The Ball Will Curve To The Left.

What To Do On Slow Putting Surfaces

On Slow Grass Greens, Play The Ball Farther Back In Your Stance And Put 60 Percent Of Your Weight On Your Left Foot. This Type Of Setup Decreases The Effective Loft Of The Putter, Because It Encourages Your Hands To Be Positioned Ahead Of The Ball. It Also Promotes A Slightly Downward Hit That's Best On Slow Surfaces.

What To Do On Fast Putting Surfaces

On Superfast Greens, Use A Heavier Putter,Which Is Much Easier To Move Slowly Than A Light Putter. Be Sure, Too, To Employ A Smooth, Even-Paced Putting Stroke.

How To Handle Big Left-To-Right Breakers

Play The Ball Off Your Left Instep In An Open Stance To Ensure That The Putterface Hits The Ball As It's Almost Closing. This Strategy Is Good Because It Virtually Guarantees That You Keep The Ball On The High Side Of The Hole.

Minimize Your Wrist Action For Super Control

If Your Direction And Distance Control Are Both Off, Chances Are Your Stroke Is Too Wristy. To Assume A Very Secure Grip And Take The Wrists Out Of Your Stroke, Drape Your Left Forefinger Over The Last Three Fingers Of Your Right Hand. This Type Of Grip Is Used By A High Percentage Of Tour Professionals.

How To Handle Big Right-To-Left Breakers

Play The Ball Nearer Your Right Foot To Ensure That The Putterface Remains, If Anything, Open And That You Keep The Ball On The High Side Of The Hole. Also Make Sure Never To Let The Heel Of The Putter Hit The Ball. Last, Accelerate The Putter Through The Impact Zone.

Point Your Thumbs Straight Down The Shaft

Point Your Thumbs Straight Down The Shaft Of The Putter To Keep The Palms Of Your Hands Parallel To Each Other And Enhance Your Feel For The Stroke. Many Great Putters Advocate This Grip Because It Also Reduces Any Twisting Of The Hands During The Stroke.

Stand Up Straighter On Long Putts

When Facing A Putt Of Over Thirty Feet, Stand Tall With Less Flex In Your Knees To Enhance Your Perception Of The Ball-To-Hole Line. This Address Position Will Also Allow Your Arms To Hang Naturally Under Your Shoulders And Promote A Free Swing Of The Putter On The Backswing And Downswing. Furthermore, The More Erect Your Posture, The Better Your Perception Of The Target Line And Hole.

Lean Your Weight Right

If You Seem To Be Bouncing The Ball Instead Of Rolling It Smoothly Across The Green, You're Probably Putting Too Much Weight On Your Left Foot At Address. Remedy Your Problem By Setting Up With 60 Percent Of Your Weight On Your Right Foot. Now Putt; You'll See The Difference Immediately!

Square Your Body To The Target

To Sink More Putts From That All-Familiar, Nerve-Racking Two-Foot Range, Take A Lesson From George Archer And Tom Kite. These Two Top Short-Range Putters Set Up With Their Feet, Knees, Hips, And Shoulders Parallel Or Square To The Target Line. So Should You.

How To Employ A Natural-Rhythm Stroke

To Promote A Smooth Inside, Down-The-Line Stroke Common To Great Putters Such As Brad Faxon And Ben Crenshaw, Align Your Eyes Inside (Not Over) The Ball-To-Hole Line.

Grip The Club Lightly

One Of The Surest Ways To Enhance Your Feel For Judging Distance Is To Hold The Club More Lightly Than Firmly. On A Scale Of One To Ten (One Being Very Light And Ten Being Very Firm), Use A Grip Pressure That Does Not Exceed Three.

If You're Holding The Club Correctly, A Friend Should Be Able To Pull The Putter Out Of Your Hands Easily. Also, When You Stroke Your Putts There Will Be A Very Slight Play In The Shaft.

Stabilize Your Stance In Strong Winds

On Windy Days, It's Easy To Lose Your Balance. Therefore, When Putting, Widen Your Stance By A Few Inches To Build A Strong Foundation For Staying Steady Over The Ball And Employing A Solid Back-And-Through Stroking Action.

Look, No Glove!

The Majority Of Professional Golfers Wear A Glove When Hitting Every Shot During A Round Of Golf—Except When Putting. The Reason Is That Holding The Putter In Their Bare Hands Enhances Their Feel, Or Touch.

Because Touch Is Extra Critical On The Greens, Try Taking Your Glove Off When Putting. You May Be Surprised By The Difference It Makes.

What To Do When Putting Into Grain

When The Blades Of Grass Along The Ball-To-Hole Line Are Running Toward You, There Will Be A Dullness To The Green (When Running Toward The Hole, The Green Will Be Shiny). In This Situation, Hit The Ball More Firmly, Making Sure To Accelerate The Putterhead Past The Ball.

When Desperate, Go Southpaw Style

If You Practice Hard And Just Can't Get The Knack Of Putting Or If You Have The Yips, Try Putting Left-Handed (Or Right-Handed If You Normally Putt Left-Handed). This Might Sound Like An Off-The-Wall Tip, But Trust Me, It Can Work. The Reason Is That Trying Something Radically New Will Totally Alter Your Mind-Set, Help You Relax, And Hole Putts, Simply Because You Don't Expect To Do Anything Miraculous.

Try A Pigeon-Toed Stance

Moving Off The Ball, Or Swaying The Body Away From The Target, Is A Very Common Problem Among Amateur Golfers. If You Think This Might Be The Reason For Your Putting Problems, Try Setting Up With A Pigeon-Toed Stance, Like Arnold Palmer. This Unorthodox Address Position Will Surely Lock You Into Position And Keep You Steady Throughout The Stroke.

The Secret To Sinking Very Long Putts

If You Leave Putts Of Fifty Or More Feet—Well Short Of The Hole—And Tend To Have Poor Directional Control, Allow Your Right Wrist To Hinge Slightly On The Backswing. This Adjustment Will Make Your Stroke Less Mechanical, Enhancing Your Feel For The Correct Distance.

Top Lag Putters Have Some Play In The Wrists, So Don't Freeze Them When Facing A Long Putt.

Try This Practice Drill To Help You Judge Pace Better

If You're One Of Those Golfers Who Habitually Hits Long Putts Well Past The Hole, Here's A Practice Drill That Will Help You Learn To Pace Or Feed The Ball To The Hole.

Drop A Few Balls Down On The Practice Green, About Thirty To Fifty Feet From The Fringe On The Opposite Side. Next, Hit A Ball Across The Green And Try To Have It Stop Just Short Of The Fringe. Repeat. Keep Practicing Until None Of The Balls Hits The Border Between The Green And The Fringe.

How To Master The Short Putt

If Short Putts Give You Trouble, Conquer Your Fears With This Drill:

Place Three Balls Three Feet Away From The Hole, Three Balls Four Feet Away, And Three Balls Five Feet Away. Stroke A Putt Into The Hole. Repeat. When You're Able To Sink All Nine Balls Consecutively, You'll Feel Confident That You've Succeeded Under Pressure.

Remember Your Success With This Drill When You Face A Short Putt On The Course.

Pop Your Putts

If Your Normally Smooth, Arms-And-Shoulders Pendulum-Style Putting Stroke Gets Too Stiff Or Starts To Promote Clubhead Deceleration, Employ A Pop Stroke By Hinging Your Right Wrist On The Backstroke And Holding That Position On The Downswing And Into Impact—All The Time Limiting The Movement Of The Top End Of The Putter. Trying A New Putter Can Sometimes Help You Recover From A Putting Slump. Most Good Putters Let The Putter's Handle Play The "Lead" On The Downswing. Depend On The Plumb-Bob Method When Confused About The Break In A Green. When Putting On Slow Greens, Play The Ball Farther Back In Your Stance.

Meet the Author

Jim McLean, owner of the #1-ranked Jim McLean Golf Schools, has been rated one of the top five instructors in America for more than a decade. He has worked with more than 100 tour professionals and has written many books and DVDs, including The Golf Digest Book of Drills and The X Factor Swing. The coach of some of the game's greatest professionals, he lives in Miami, Florida.

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