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Original Issue

Putting the long ones

One of the less conspicuous factors in any good round of golf is sound, steady approach putting. Regularly getting the long ones up close so that the second putt is a relatively routine tap-in—this takes a lot of worry and tension off your shoulders and promotes a comfortable frame of mind.

It helps in approach putting if you think primarily in terms of getting the distance right. Since I hit my short putts with a tap stroke, I find my feeling for distance is best if I tap the long putts too. I use a little free motion going back but I do not take the club back far. On the forward stroke. I try to "dead-wrist" it after impact. This, I realize, is an odd expression and I will explain it as best I can. After impact, whatever follow-through there is comes from the momentum and weight of the clubhead itself, not from any continued through-movement by the hands and wrists. Dead-wristing the putt gives me the sense of tap I like to have.

In regard to lining up, I follow the same fundamentals on long putts as on the short ones. I rest the left elbow lightly on the left hip bone. Both toes are on the same line, and, similarly, the knees, hips and shoulders are evenly aligned. This, I believe, helps develop a uniform motion and a square blade.

KATHY CORNELIUS, Miami Valley GC, Dayton, Ohio



NEXT WEEK: Jay Hebert on playing the long irons