Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Stupid Drill I Came Up With...

One of the difficult parts of the game I struggle with is that I often feel I can make any putt on the green and most of the chips around the green. At the risk of sounding like I am tooting my own horn, I consider myself a solid, but unspectacular putter. I think this causes some inconsistency. Since I usually go for the hole regardless of the shot, I'll tend to make some putts and chips that the normal person would never make. On the other hand, I tend to have some very bad days and not get up and down or make that long 2 putt when I should.

One of the things that caught my eye in Dave Orr's "Reading the Greens and Understanding Touch" video ( Orr puts it..."it's where you LEAVE the chip that is important."

According to Orr, his studies showed that golfers by far made their highest percentage of putts when they were below the cup AND to the right of the fall line (for right handed golfers). It's not even close.

Obviously, the best putt left is on the fall line and below the cup, but the odds of a golfer being left with a putt where they are exactly on the fall line is very, very slim. So get in the "southeast" quadrant and you are in the best position to make the follow up putt and get up and down.

Now, that does not mean that you should never try to make a chip. In fact, when I started to think about it a little more, I know there's plenty of chips that I have a decent chance of making because there are makeable chip shots. I figure on those shots it's worth going for because if I miss the shot, I'm likely to be left with such a short putt that the break of the follow putt really won't be an issue. This provided I hit a decent chip. Your risk/reward values are probably a bit different from mine.

Anyway, here's the drill "I came up with."

Go the practice green and find a hole and a spot where you want to chip from. Now, go to the hole and find the fall line. I use my Exelys Breakmaster (this thing is G-R-E-A-T to find the exact fall line. Obviously, I cannot use this during a competitive round, but I figure I will be charting greens for competitive tournaments when I can and it also helps train my eye better.

Now, take a regular full length #2 pencil (pic below) and place it in the direction of the fall line and OVER the hole. It should cross over the hole.

I like to use a yellow pencil because it's easier for me to see the direction of the fall line with the yellow colored pencil from the spot where I am chipping from.

From there, hit about 3 or 4 shots with the goal of leaving the ball below the cup and to the right of the fall line. After hitting the shot, try and make the follow up putt with your putter. One thing I noticed was how much easier it was for me to get up and down when I left the chip in the right spot. I could leave a chip to 6 feet in the correct quadrant of the fall line and make that much easier than a 3 footer in the "North West Quadrant."


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