It takes more than reading golf tips in a magazine to improve, if you’re serious about breaking 80. Here’s a simple golf drill that helps you gauge speed on long putts. Speed is the key to lag putting. You want to get the ball within three feet of the hole. Your putter is about three feet long. Use it to measure a three-foot circle around the hole.
But judging speed on Poa annua greens is a challenge. So, you really have to putt with confidence because of the green’s blemishes and bumps. Throw a few pennies between you and the hole to simulate the conditions of the Poa annua grass.
Take five balls to the practice green. Stick tees in the ground at 30, 40, and 50 feet from the hole. Now try to putt five balls in a row from each tee to within three feet of the hole. Start at 40 feet, and then move to 30, and then to 50. Staggering your shots like this prevents you from just grooving a slightly longer stroke as you go. Don’t move to the next station until you get five straight putts within the circle.
This exercise is a great little golf drill. It puts you under the gun. When you get to the fourth putt, you’ll feel the heat to get the fifth within the circle. It takes more than reading golf tips in magazines to up you game. Using golf drills to improve your skills works well.
Use These Golf Tips to Shave Strokes from your Scores
If you’re serious about breaking 80, you’re always on the hunt for golf tips that can boost your game-especially putting. After all, putting is the name of the game. It’s also the fastest way to reduce your scores. An excellent person to glean putting tips from is Jack Nicholas. He ranks among the greatest putters of all time.
A key to Nicholas’s putting success was his setup. It was different than what other pros used, but had a lot of good things about it—things that might help you sink more putts—especially those pesky three to five footers. Let’s review Jack’s setup and see how it helped his putting.
Below are five keys to Nicholas’s setup:
- Stayed low in his posture
- Used a slightly open stance
- Positioned his head behind the ball
- Aligned eyes, shoulders, and torso square to putting line
- Used a slightly ascending blow
Nicholas’s setup was ideal for the greens of his day, which weren’t as well-manicured as today’s faster and slicker greens. It did four things for him—all critical to sinking more putts. It helped him:
- Aim and align the putt — Jack sets up hunched low over the ball, with a slightly open stance and the ball forward in his stance. He also had his front foot flared out and his putter shaft leaning slightly forward. Despite the slightly open stance, he aligned his eyes, shoulders, and torso with the putting line.
- Visualize the putting line clearly — Jack positions his head behind the ball, which he feels gives him a better look at the ball and the putting line. Anything that helps you see the putting line better can’t help but help you.
- Used a slightly ascending blow — Using ascending stroke was critical back then. It’s not a bad idea on today’s greens, either. A slightly ascending blow makes up for the slight imperfections in the green and gets the ball rolling quickly.
- Use the big muscles in his forearm — Jack uses a lot of forearm with little wrist movement. Using the bigger muscles of his forearm instead of the smaller ones in his wrist boost club control and cuts down on mistakes.
Ingraining one or more of Jack’s four golf tips in your putting game could shave strokes from your scores. That, in turn, could help you break 80. So, if you’re serious about going low and you’re not putting well, maybe it’s time to make some adjustments. Adopting Jack’s setup or some elements of it could be just what the doctored ordered.
Use These Seven Proven Golf Tips to Beat Poa Annua Greens
Did you see the Genesis Open a few weeks ago? If you did, you saw something a bit different. Many pros struggled with their putting. Golfers came up consistently short on long putts or missed easy four-footers going well past the hole. Witness Tiger Woods four-putting a hole from 18 feet long. That was something he hadn’t done in 22 years on the PGA Tour. Put simply, you don’t usually see Tour pros have this much trouble putting.
If you the PGA Tour closely though, the pros’ poor putting performance may not have come as a surprise. That’s because of the Tournament’s venue. The Riviera Golf Course ranks as one of the toughest Tour venues to putt on. It was rated the toughest on the Tour to putt on in 2011 and 2012. Pro golfers have rated course the second toughest a few times as well. One reason this venue is so tough to putt on is it Poa annua greens.
Poa Annua Tends to Dominate
Poa annua grass tends to dominate golfers. If you’re not used to it, it can be a real challenge to putt on. In other words, it can cost you strokes is easy to make mistakes on. That can cost you strokes, too. For weekend golfers like you and me, Poa annua grass can be almost an almost impossible challenge. It makes breaking 80 that much tougher. With going low in mind, we offer seven proven golf tips below on how to beat Poa annua grass. But first, let’s take a closer look at the grass itself.
Poa annua is a variety of bluegrass. Since there are hundreds of varieties, you often see them mixed together on greens. It also grows unevenly, which is why Poa annua greens sometimes look spotted or different shades. Courses try to limit the mixing of Poa annua, but that’s hard to do. Golfers carry Poa annua seeds on their shoes and clothes, and there’s no way to stop them from transferring seeds from hole to hole.
Plays Havoc with Putting Speed
Poa annua greens can drive you crazy. They can play havoc with a putt’s speed, making it easier to run the ball way past the hole on short putts. They can be bumpier than other kinds of greens as more golfers play on it, making it hard for putts to hold the line. And they can be slower as the day goes on, making it harder to get a good read on putts. Despite these flaws, you need to putt with confidence if you want to conquer Poa annua greens.
With all that in mind, below are seven golf tips on how to tame this tiger:
- Use a short hard, accelerating stroke. A short hard stroke imparts more energy to the ball at impact. That, in turn, can help you hold the intended line a bit better. Tiger Woods, who has played a lot on Poa annua grass growing up, often uses this type of stroke when he plays on Poa annua greens.
- Hit up on the ball to get it rolling. It’s a trick Mark O’Meara had great success on Poa annua using this type of stroke. This type of stroke gets the ball rolling quickly, which is what you have to do on this type of grass. That’s critical to sinking more putts on Poa annua greens.
- Use a putter with more loft than usual. Balls often sit in small indentations with Poa annua. That’s what happens when you play on these softer greens. If you have a putter with only 2 or 3 degrees of loft, you could have problems getting the ball started.
- Trust your line. Poa annua greens tend to have blemishes than Bent or Bermuda grass greens. AS we said above, they also tend to be bumpier than typical putting greens. So, it’s imperative that once you find the line, you don’t waver. Hit the ball solidly and trust your line.
- Set up to the ball for your best read. Don’t walk to the other side of the hole to gauge your putt. Instead, stand over your putt for a couple of seconds, like you’re going to putt the ball. Doing that gives you your best read.
- Play the maximum beak you can. The bumpiness and slowness of Poa Annua greens magnify breaks. That, in turn, can fool you. Play the most break you can see and feel.
- Exercise patience with Poa annua. Even a putt rolling on a good line can miss on Poa annua greens thanks to its flaws. Take a little extra time lining up your putts and stay calm if you miss an easy one. Getting mad won’t help.
A good golf drill to practice putting on Poa annua grass is to throw some pennies on the putting surface, then putt over them. The pennies simulate the bumps on a Poa annua green. This golf drill gives you a feel for putting on Poa annua grass.
Keep our seven golf tips in mind next time you play on a with Poa annua greens, and you’ll save yourself tons of strokes. That will help you go low on the course.