[Editor's Note: The following article was written by Todd Casabella, Director of Instruction at Grey Hawk Golf Club in Lagrange. Todd is a member of the Professional Golfers' Association of America and a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor.]
The only expression I’m tired of hearing someone say more than “the next Tiger Woods” is “there’s an app for that”. But there are some great free apps that have nothing to do with golf that you can use to help your game. Two that I like to help you with your putting are a heart rate monitor and metronome.
Let’s talk a little about putting. There are all kinds of putting stroke philosophies; straight back straight through, swing it on an arc, inside down the line, etc. They all work. If you watch the PGA Tour you’ll see all kinds of strokes making a lot of putts. One thing they have in common is great rhythm and tempo. To develop this you need to understand that you don’t hit the golf ball harder to hit it different distances. The putting stroke lasts about a second and should always be the same tempo. From the time the putter starts back, to the moment of impact, to the time the stroke is finished should always be the same. The longer the putt the longer and faster the stroke but the tempo is constant. For short putts the putter swing is shorter and slower but the tempo remains the same as the long putt.
Let’s talk how to establish this consistent tempo. First download the apps. You should be able to find them for free. Use the heart rate monitor first and find your resting heart rate. My resting heart rate is 66. Now I program the metronome to beat at 66 pace in 4/4 time. This will provide a click, click, click noise that will correspond with my natural rhythm. As the metronome is beating we are going to do some different drills.
First is simply to hit some straight three foot putts into the hole. I would recommend at least twenty. Make the putter swing back and through with each click, click – back swing, click – through swing. Now, using 5 balls place them in a row in 5 feet intervals. Place the first ball at 5 feet and the 5th ball about 25 feet away. Start at 5 feet and continually stroke the putt in rhythm with the clicks. As you move back to each ball keep the rhythm of the clicks. Now the putter will naturally start to swing longer and faster. Repeat this drill at least ten times. Do this three times a week for a month and you’ll be on your way to improved putting.