A Lesson Learned: Making more crucial putts

By Todd Anderson, PGA
Published on

It's great to see Adam Scott, one of golf's good guys, back on top of his game. Congratulations to him and his win at this past week's Valero Texas Open. Adam's always been a tremendous ball striker, even as his game and winnings were down, he was still among the leaders on Tour with his driving and greens-in-regulation. But it was the flat stick that seemed to be letting him down as of late. Well, until this past week. He only missed one putt of over six feet throughout the entire tournament -- and that was on the last hole. So overcoming some tough weather conditions and a surprisingly stern TPC San Antonio course, Adam came through for his seventh PGA Tour victory. And it was the re-emergence of his putting stroke that propelled his win and is this week's A Lesson Learned for you.

Last week, I heard Robert Allenby at The Players Championship talk about his "claw" putting grip. I had never really understood it but he sounded pretty convincing so I decided to go out and try it myself. I have to be honest, I'm making putts from all over the place right now. The lesson hit me convincingly. It's not the grip, the type of putter or even the style you use. It's three basic concepts that -- if you can master -- you'll make more crucial putts.

1.) Learn to read the greens: This takes time, patience and practice. Every putt is going to be a result of the speed and break you putt into your putt. Lots of people practice straight putts but learn to practice the ones the bend a bit and bend a lot. Think of it this way. Every putt is a straight putt until the break takes it. So by practicing these putts that turn, you're still working on your stroke just like the straight up the hill four footers you like to practice.

2.) Have a putting routine: The biggest enemy for many amateur players on the green is their overactive mind. By having a solid putting routine, you take the mind out of the equation once you're ready to make your stroke. Don't' over think those critical putts. Trust your stroke to make it.

3.) If your line is correct and your putter face is square, that's all the matters. I'm always surprised when players manipulate their grip, their clubs, whatever -- and don't pay attention to how far outside the line they bring their putter back...or how the putter face twists when they make contact.

You can get more great golf tips that you can take out onto the course with our Golf Genie Guide (// I hope these thoughts help you make more putts on your next round. Todd Anderson has been a PGA Profesional since 1996 and is currently the USA Dirstributor for Golf Genie Guide ( Anderson started his career in golf by selling golf balls at Benson Park Golf Course through a chain link fence and then his professional career at Miracle Hill Golf Course in Omaha, Nebraska (home to the world's longest straightest hole in one.) Todd has served in virtually every capacity as a professional including PGA Head Professional at Mircale Hill. Prior to becoming a professional, Todd won the 1992 Omanah World Herald Publinks Championship.

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