Lessons Learned from Ernie Els' Putting Woes at the Masters

Never a dull moment at the Masters. Ernie Els, one of the all time favorite golfers on the PGA tour, made every golfer around the world feel normal after hitting 6 putts from within two feet on the first hole at Augusta National. Every golfer has missed a short putt, and of course we feel like an idiot when it happens. As upsetting as it was to watch Ernie missing short putt after short putt, this thought had to enter our minds: wow even the best miss short putts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YefULut6YrA

Once again, Ernie handled it with class after the round during his interviews. He said he has snakes in his head and probably needs a brain transplant, and also that he just cannot get the putter back. Amazing that he was able to have a sense of humor after that devastation. I know I have had the so called "yips" (thankfully after my playing career was over) and I am grateful to have been able to overcome them. I have also given many lessons to golfers who have trouble getting the putter back and through the ball without a twitch or two, and it is so frustrating that those golfers just want to give up the game.

I have used a few tips and drills with my students that have helped them get the joy back in putting by making more putts.

Tips:

  • Focus on developing a good putting routine where you look at the hole and then as soon as your eyes return to the ball start the putter head back.
  • Try putting looking at the hole.
  • Try different putting grips. The claw grip has had a lot of success along with the  oversize Super Stroke putter grip.

Drills:

  • Putt short putts looking at the hole. This has helped many golfers even play looking at the hole on their short putts
  • Hit putts with your left hand only (right handed for left handers).

Good luck and happy putting.