Marius Filmalter: Make more putts with a shorter pre-shot routine

Rory-McIlroy I can’t tell you how to split every fairway with a 315-yard drive like Rory McIlroy, but I can explain one secret of Rory’s game that I hope everyone reading this will try.
It is refreshing to see that many of the twentysomethings on Tour take significantly less time to hit the ball than generations past. On the greens, Rory follows a very speedy and consistent routine when putting. Follow these three steps to improve your putting and you’ll be as confident in your weekend match as Rory was at Congressional last week Step 1: Read the line Look quickly from behind the hole and behind your ball, but don’t beat it to death. Research shows that the majority of the time the line your brain first establishes as the correct line is more accurate than the line you will determine after having a second and third look at the hole.
To speed up play, make sure you read your line while your playing partners are putting. Also, begin reading your line as you walk down the green from the fairway or from the cart. You can often see the green contours from a distance better than up close. Step 2: Feel your speed Whether you take one or two practice strokes next to the ball or behind the ball, make sure you are watching the hole and concentrating on how your stroke feels to make the ball go the distance you want it to travel. This process helps your brain understand what your stroke should feel like for a particular length putt.
Try not to use more than two practice strokes because unless you are disciplined your practice strokes will get sloppier the more you make and can affect your actual stroke over the ball. Personally, I practice my distance control with my putting on the practice green so I do not ever take any practice strokes during a round. Step 3: Confidently Execute When you address the ball, take a quick glimpse at the hole and then pull the trigger. Standing over the ball thinking about the line, speed or mechanics is pointless. The longer you stand over the ball the more likely indecision or doubt will creep into your mind. I recommend that a player spends NO more than five seconds to address the ball with the putter, look at the hole and start your stroke.
Thanks for all your comments and questions I have received at blog@mariusgolf.com. Please keep them coming as I do take the time to address each and every one of them.
Also I want to congratulate John K. from Toronto, Ontario, who wrote to me last week to say he broke 80 for the first time. John has been working with Automatic Putting since April and said he had no three putts in breaking 80. Please visit www.mariusgolf.com and use promo code ‘radio’ in the checkout for $10 off your purchase. Until next time….cheers! (Photo: Al Tielemans/SI)

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