Ottawa Golf Guru

greatly reduce the chance of hitting their target.  As humans, we are blessed with the brain power to simply look at our target and toss, launch or chuck an object at it without having to think about the bio-mechanics involved.  Yet, stick a putter in someone's hand and all they can think about is "keep your head down", "take the putter straight back", "don't decelerate", "don't pull it", "don't push it", etc. etc. etc.

That thought process is not a great path to success.  Rather, you've gotta free your mind to simply let it happen.  A great drill for this is to practice hitting putts while looking at the target.  Setup a 5 footer, setup to the ball, and hit ten shots where at impact you are looking at the target.  It is an amazingly freeing experience and I am sure you will be surprised by just how well you do.  Now hit 5 putts while looking at the ball and try to mimic the stroke you made when you were looking at the target.  Then repeat!  This will get you back to the basics of putting, which is to have a point-and-shoot mentality.

2.  Practice putting with your right hand (for right handed golfers)

The right wrist determines a lot in the putting stroke - direction, speed, loft, face angle - and there are many great players who struggle with keeping that right wrist quiet.  I don't believe that it is that necessary, for more information read my article "The best putting of your life".  The right wrist should remain loose, relaxed and natural.  If you practice putting with just your right hand, thinking only about target, you will feel how the right wrist acts and releases the putter face through impact.  Hit putts with just your right hand and feel the amazing natural release of the putter head rotating during and after impact.

3.  Gain confidence - it's hammer time!

Confidence is king when putting.  An office or living room is a great place to instill confidence in your putting stroke.  To do this, simply setup a cup (preferably a plastic one) three feet away, and practice hammering putts into it.  Again, and again, and again repeat this drill.  You'll notice that you miss very few and that, because you are hitting it hard, there is a natural confidence in your stroke.  Confidence that you can take to the course knowing that you hammered thousands putts into the heart of your cup in your office all winter and almost never missed!

Try these drills and I am sure you will be a better putter when you bring your stroke out to the golf course!

Lee Tamburano

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Here are the keys to hitting an amazing flop shot everytime

  • Hit it high.  Loft is your friend and you need loft to hit a flop shot successfully.  It you don't carry a wedge with loft exceeding 52 degrees I would suggest you invest in a 58 or 60 degree wedge.  It will give you a high initial launch angle necessary to halt the ball quickly on the green - you want your ball land like a butterfly with sore feet!
  • Add more loft.  Even with a 60 degree wedge, you should add more loft to launch the ball quickly.  To do this, simply rock the wedge back so the face is pointing more to the sky.
  • Grip the club lightly with both hands and allow loose and supple wrists as you waggle the club back and forth
  • Control the distance you want the ball to go by adjusting the length of your backswing.  To hit the ball higher and farther make a full backswing, for shorter flops - a shorter swing.  It is key is to always accelerate.
  • Release the club under the ball.  In order to flight the ball high and soft, you need to create an action through impact where the clubhead slides under the ball like a scythe.   You want to minimize contact with the ball to a slight touch as the club is passing beneath it.
  • Don't release the clubhead.  Do not turn the clubface over through impact, instead keep the face pointing at your target as long as possible.  This will encourage the ball to start online and reduce the chances of hitting the ball too far.
  • Watch contact.  A common fault when hitting flop shots is to peek, which causes your head to rise and often leads to a skulled shot.  Keep your eyes on the ground until well after the ball has left the clubface.
  • Allow a smile, as your ball jumps quickly in the air and lands softly on the green like a cotton ball!

Learn the flop shot and you will love the flop shot.  It is a fun shot to hit and will save you some strokes on your scorecard!

Lee Tamburano - Ottawa Golf Guru

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