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Original Issue

Recovering your putting stroke

The essence of good putting—indeed, the essence of golf—is to hit the ball squarely. When you are doing this you get a great deal of the ball on the putter, a great feeling of the grass, a great feeling for distance.

All golfers, but tournament players perhaps more than the others, know the value of preserving a good putting stroke. Nevertheless, everyone, including the most gifted and conscientious golfers, loses his stroke at certain times. All the experienced players have their own methods of getting it back again. When I begin to lose the line or my firmness goes off on the greens, I fall back on a relatively simple exercise to recover it. I like it because it is not too complicated and also because it gets you back on your stroke in such a way that it releases that fear of hitting the ball aggressively—which, as you know, can build up in a person who has been fighting a putting slump.

First, I take my left hand off the club and practice putting with my right hand only. Then I switch and putt with the left hand only. I find that when I putt with one hand I have to get set up more honestly to get my line and get the ball rolling. You cannot work the ball haphazardly and get away with anything at all—which you can when you putt with two hands.

Just one session on the practice green, practicing first with the right, then with the left and then with both hands, is quite often enough to set up again the right actions and a workably sound stroke.

MARY LENA FAULK, Glen Arven CC, Thomasville, Ga.



NEXT TIP: Art Smith on checking your iron play