Posts tagged putting
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.

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.


  • 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.


  • 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.

How to Make More Short Putts

Although short putts are one of the most frequent shots played, it is one of the most feared. Short puttsAs a matter of fact, studies show that the fear of missing is one of the main reasons this shot is missed so often. Although no one makes 100% of these shots, this tip will help you make the short putt with increased confidence and success. When dealing with this shot, the player must do four things:

  1. Be absolutely certain that the putter face is aimed at your intended target. This sounds overly simple, but you'd be surprised how many putts are missed because the face was not pointed directly at the target. Try marking a line on your golf ball and then line this line to your target.  Then all you have to do is align the center mark on your putter with the line on the ball; if you have read the putt correctly and you have the correct speed, you will make more putts.
  1. Make sure you have a very specific target. Aim at something definite - a blade of grass or spot on the line of your putt. The theory is that if your target is the entire hole, a quarter inch left or right of that target will result in a miss.
  1. Stroke the ball hard enough to go 12 inches past the hole. When you hit the ball hard enough to go 12 inches past the hole, it is less likely to be affected by such things as grains of sand, or other impurities that might deflect the ball. A ball that is accelerating to the hole will hold its line much better than a ball that "dies" at the hole.
  1. Listen for the putt to go in the hole. This means you need to keep your head still and do not follow the ball with your eyes as it leaves the putter face. A good thought is to count to two before you look up.

Give these tips a try and you'll see improvement in your putting and your score. So practice it regularly. Good luck and have fun!

For more tips please visit our website at or stop by my office located at Old Trail Golf Course located just outside Charlottesville in Crozet, VA.

5 Ways to Get Your Golf Game Ready for Spring

As I drive into work every morning and see a snow covered driving range and golf course, I only have to think that the golfers are getting bored being stuck inside. The first thing I want to remind everyone is that Spring will be here on March 20th. This has been the busiest winter to date with golfers taking lessons in the indoor teaching center but there are also ways you can prepare at home. Here are 5 tips to get your game ready for the spring:

  1. Check your equipment. Do your clubs need to be re-gripped? How do the faces of your wedges look? Are the grooves worn down? Go through your golf bag and check your golf balls and get rid of any old golf balls. How do your gloves look? Take the time to do a club fitting to make sure you are playing the right clubs for your swing and your game. If you are playing with a club that is too flat your misses will have a tendency to go right and if the club is too upright your misses will be left. Find a facility that has a launch monitor that can fit your equipment and also do a gap fitting to see if you have any major gaps in between clubs. We use the GC2 launch monitor which will give you the feedback you need immediately.
  2. Get your mental game in check. Take some time to read some books on how to practice and how to think both on the golf course and while you practice. There are some good books out there written by Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott that I would highly recommend along with some of Bob Rotella's books. One of my favorites is the The Little Red Book by Harvey Penick. I would not read a lot of books on instruction because there is not a "one swing fits all" technique out there. Everyone is different and therefore everyone has a different swing.
  3. Practice putting indoors. Putting is something we can all do indoors on the carpet. Practice with the Putting Arc training aid and then when you get back outdoors you know your putting stroke will be ready to go. I like to practice putting to a quarter because then I know the hole will look large when I start playing again. Practice different distances to work on your speed control.
  4. Fitness. It is important to get your body ready from a fitness standpoint to be ready for theRedcord golf fitness program spring season. I encourage Yoga, Pilates, and any cardiovascular workout that you enjoy and work on your core strength. I would highly recommend finding someone that has a golf specific exercise program.  I use a Redcord program with my students, which is a core based program that has shown tremendous results for golfers. Fitness is important to prevent injuries and to add more yardage to your shots.
  5. Lessons. It has been a great winter in our indoor facility and it Winter Golf Programshas been very encouraging seeing so many golfers work on their game. I always hear golfers say, "I wish I would have worked on my game during the off season." If you choose to put your clubs away for the winter, save yourself some frustration by starting the season off with a series of lessons so you know what to work on and you will be way ahead of the game. It is important to find an instructor that you are comfortable with and will teach in a simple and concise way so you are not overwhelmed. Taking a lesson should be fun and you should see improvement quickly.

So get to work on these five items and I can guarantee you that you will enjoy the spring golf season with improved golf.  As I always remind golfers, playing better golf is more fun.

For more information please visit or stop by and visit us at Kandi Comer Golf located just outside Charlottesville at Old Trail Golf Club in Crozet, VA.