Niagara Gazette

Sports

May 18, 2013

RUGGIERO: Top players thrive on greens

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — In today’s game, serious players should get fitted. Here are just a few of the characteristics of a putter that are certainly important:

1. Lie Angle. Your putter’s base should be flat on the ground when you are addressing your ball. How a player positions his/her hands varies from player to player, and so will every player‘s lie angle calculation.

2. Loft. Yes, putters have loft, some more than others. If you play on fast greens, you don’t want a lot of loft on your putter. Conversely, if your greens are slow, then a more lofted putter, say three or four degrees, would be more appropriate.

3. Length. Putters come in a vast variety of lengths. I personally have always preferred a short shaft because I like my arms to feel ‘long’ over my ball. You must get a shaft length that suits your stance and feel.

There are other features to consider, such as balance and head weight. To get the best chance for success on the greens, get a putter that suits you.

•••

PUTTING TIP: If there is anything I think great putters have in common, it is that they are NOT mechanical about the skill. Brad Faxon, a fantastic putter, says that he sees putting more as an art form than a motorized skill. He considers his putter a “paintbrush” and when he putts, he likes to visualize the roll of the ball, it’s curve and path, rather than lining up with exactness and striking a putt robotically.

I’ve tried it and I’m putting very well and tension free. If you can convince yourself that putting is not ‘life or death’ and you simplify, your putting will get easier, and more efficient.

•••

Here’s a question I received by a reader concerning a previous story:

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