Open champion Henrik Stenson: My keys to putting
Henrik Stenson reveals his top putting tips..
Putting is one of the many things in life that needs lots of aspects working together to produce a good result. A car engine and a football team are two more.
If one aspect breaks down, the process is so interlinked that the chances of success are somewhere between slim and zero. If you are not holing enough putts, it is likely that one of the three crucial factors is not working correctly.
All I’m going to do here is pinpoint them so you can be aware of them, and if you feel they are not spot on, go see your pro for an expert opinion.
1 GREEN READING
A hugely underrated aspect of putting – if your green reading is poor, it is purely luck that you hole the putt. People can be naturally good green readers, but you can definitely improve by doing nothing more than finding a green with some slopes and hitting a lot of putts, watching how the ball reacts. Take the time to practise this.
If you get the slopes worked out, now you need to make sure you are aligned properly. That means shoulders, hips, feet and putter face. You must do what is comfortable for you, but it just has to be the same every time. Never feel like you need to manipulate the stroke to get the ball setting off where you think it needs to be; your set-up should do that naturally.
3 THE STROKE
Following on from No 2, if we have read it correctly (including judging pace) and aligned properly, this should be the final step – set the ball off on the right line. I have used a little training aid for this, but simply placing two tees in the ground just ahead of your ball is just as good. Start with them wide apart, then get gradually more narrow as you get better/more confident.