WHEN the ball is on the green we need to learn to putt the ball into the hole.

This is one of the most important aspects of golf as it is the key to making your score.

When putting there are three main areas to work on – direction, distance and green reading.

To ensure that we putt the ball in the correct direction we need to align ourselves correctly (Picture 1).

Feet should be shoulder width apart parallel to the target line (straight line from ball to hole) along with the shoulders and hips.

Next we need to get our eyes over the ball so that we can see the intended line of the putt.

We can do this by bending forward from the hips.

Let your arms hang from your shoulders to hold the putter.

The grip on the putter is different than that of the full swing as we want to hold the putter down the life line in the hands.

This reduces the amount the wrists work in the putting stroke keeping the face square.

Generally speaking the putting stroke is a straight back and through motion with the face of the putter looking at the hole for the entire stroke.

To control the distance we vary the length of the stroke.

Try imagining a clock face, your head at 12 o’clock and ball down at 6 o’clock.

The back swing should be the same length as the through swing.

Swing back to 7 o’clock through to 5 o’clock either side of the ball. (See pictures left) You want to do this with an even rhythm; try thinking ‘tick-tock’.

To hit the ball further keep the rhythm the same and make the swing length longer (ie 8 o’clock forward to 4 o’clock).

Simon is giving free coaching sessions at Bowood on Saturdays (4-5pm, March 16, 23, 30), Wednesdays (6-7pm, March 20, 27) and Wednesday mornings (ladies only, 11am-12.15pm, March 20, 27). Book on 01249 823881 or email proshop@bowood.org.