Improving your golf game on your summer to-do list? Here’s help: Matthew Closter, PGA pro and director of golf at the Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, VT, which offers an 18-hole course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and vacation packages through the nearby Woodstock Inn & Resort, has these tips for novices and longtime players.
Focus on setup: “One aspect of putting that beginners commonly struggle with is setup. It is easy, when not making a full swing, to forget about posture and its importance in the putting stroke. When addressing the ball for a putt it is important to get in an athletic position that allows your eyes to position directly over the ball. The knees must maintain a slight flex and the upper body must be tilted for- ward from the hips. All too often we see beginners in an upright position that does not allow their arms to swing freely from their shoulders. Once this athletic position is established at setup the player can then begin to fine tune their putting stroke.”
FOR EXPERIENCED PLAYERS
Work on distance control: “Even the most experienced of players will struggle at times with distance control. When a player finds themselves leaving putts short or hitting the ball past the hole, it is time to refine the length and tempo of the stroke. Many players have a natural tendency to follow the ball with their eyes once it leaves the putter face. This will undoubtedly lead to a change in tempo and most likely a follow through that is too long. If you find yourself in this position, focus on making sure that your backswing and through- swing are the same distance and same tempo. Practice hitting putts away from the hole while keeping the eyes still and ensuring that stroke has a defined end point. Get in the habit of holding this follow through position before turning the head to see where the ball goes.”