Coaching for the quick
Tuesday Tip: Sink more putts with three keys from Rory McIlroy
By Ryan Adams, PGA
“Drive for show, putt for dough.”
How many times have that one been repeated? It is probably too many times, but the old saying Golf is for everyone rings true, from the pros all the way to the three-footer that you must break 90.
The “dough” has only increased on tour, making putts all the more important to make. Case in point — Rory McIlroy making birdie on the 18th hole at the 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Classic on Monday for a just over $1.5 million winner’s check.
No matter what you’re putting for the next time you play, copying a few of McIlroy’s fundamentals can give you a nice foundation to lean on when you need to make one.
Here’s what to focus on:
Proper putting posture. McIlroys posture is the same every time he gets into a putt. There’s no hunch, no excessive knee bend — it looks just right. Its easy to replicate the putting posture. Before you address a putting stroke, place your feet together. Next, align your putter to the ball and take a stance with straight legs. Then bend at the hips and flex your knees slightly. You’ll feel more centered and the eyes will be over the ball, which is ideal for a good putting stroke.
Think “flow” not “jab.” Many golfers make the error of putting the putter back well and then attempting to hit the ball with a quick jab. This makes the putt go offline immediately. McIlroy does an excellent job of being free-flowing with his putter — once it’s pulled back, the club comes through with the same motion. Once you get over the ball, this isn’t the time to try to help the ball into the hole with a jerky motion. Let your putterhead run naturally.
Keep your head steady. It can be hard not to “peek” and see where your putt is headed but since the putting stroke is so short, even the slightest look up can ruin a perfect stroke. McIlroy goes all the way through impact without moving his head, which helps him stay in posture and makes it easier to stroke the ball solidly — right into the center of the cup.
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