The art of putting

– February 26, 2015

José Ferreira, PGA Golf Professional, is the Academy Manager and Head Professional at the TaylorMade Fitting Centre in Quinta do Lago. A fully qualified Portuguese professional, he has been coaching since 2006. José has researched not only the game but also the most effective teaching methods and strongly believes that golfers do not realise the true value of putting. When explaining the vital importance of effective putting, José emphasises that putting represents about 40% of our score. “Over time I have heard statements about putting being personal and that each person has their own style. Well, OK, but let me say that the swing is also personal and each player has their own style. Quite simply, there is a better way to putt just as there is a better way of swinging the club. In reality, we all have a different DNA and therefore there will be no two swings alike and so we must try to establish the very best fundamentals in all areas of the game, including putting” A sophisticated aid for developing a sound putting technique is the Sam Putt Lab available at the TaylorMade Fitting Centre and it is one of the most technically advanced putting aids in today’s market. José reveals that the device “is based on ultrasound technology and collects a range of information, including the position of the putter face at address and impact; the hand rotation and swing path. It not only helps us to teach but also establishes the best putter for each individual player. At the Paul McGinley Academy we combine video with the Sam Putt Lab to more accurately diagnose a player’s problems and then correct them.” Here we see José utilising the Sam Putt Lab with the ball, putter and player all being analysed by the sophisticated equipment.

Moving on to the putting green, José demonstrates the incorrect position compared to the correct position for effective, consistent putting. “In images 1 and 2 my setup is incorrect. At address I did not have my eyes directly over the ball causing me to miss the sweet spot. My grip is far too high up the putter and by doing this I cannot take advantage of the counter balance weighting system resulting in serious inconsistency on my swing path.” “After adjusting the setup, note the result in images 3 and 4. Now I have addressed the putter with my eyes over the ball and the aiming line. As a result of this action I have much greater success in finding the sweet spot which in turn helps to improve my swing path as my motion becomes more pendulum-like resulting in greater consistency. The fact that 84% of putting direction is related to the position of the face at impact with the other 16% associated with swing path tells you all you need to know about what you should you practise.” Based on his extensive experience, José strongly recommends regular practice with training aids such as those available at the TaylorMade Fitting Centre. Images 5 and 6 illustrate José using the aids to practise effective putting. José Ferreira is passionate about the importance of putting. Choosing the correct putter is only the beginning as effective, regular practice can lead to fewer putts and better scores. Inside or outdoors, golfers have plenty of opportunities to practise putting. What are you waiting for?

PHOTOS: Sara Alves