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Phil Mickelson And Charl Schwartzel - Perfect Putting Strokes
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Phil Mickelson is a master of the short game -- including putting.

Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel stroked perfects putts on the final four holes of The Masters Golf 2011.

The next time you watch Schwartzel or Mickelson putting in tournament play on TV or in person, carefully watch their style. You may discover tips that will improve your own putting.

What are key features of a Mickelson putting stroke?

Let's assume your ball is on the green with a slight slope. To get a read on how much your putt will break you walk around the ball and the hole taking in the slope of the green. You visually pick a point to the left or right of the hole that will become your "target line." You want to stroke the ball so that it begins its path along this target line. As soon as it leaves your putter blade the ball begins its slow bend away from the target line and rolls into the heart of the cup. That is your goal.

  • Address. Phil stands loosely with his feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. He bends his knees just a bit and positions himself far enough from the ball that his eyes are not directly over the ball, but a few inches inside the ball position.
  • Ball position. Phil's ball is not in the center of his stance -- it is off center, a bit closer to the hole. This does two things: it allows him a better look down the target line, and it is positioned so that the putter makes contact with the ball just after the putter blade has reached the bottom of its arc. This results a momentary and ever-so-slight upward loft of the ball before it begins its roll along the target line.
  • Strength of putting stroke. The strength Phil applies to his putting stroke is the same whether it is a short putt or long putt. For a long putt, Phil increases the length of his backswing and follow-through. For a short putt it is just the opposite -- short backswing and follow-through. This enables every putting stroke to be similar -- differing only in the length of the swing.
  • Position of hands at impact. Phil grips the club softly, His wrists do not hinge on a putting stroke and he does not let the putter blade get ahead of his hands. This method gives him better control and consistency in his putting.

How can you improve your putting?

Better putting is the fastest way to lower your golf score. Missed putts -- especially short putts -- can ruin an otherwise good golf score. The biggest difference between the pro and the weekend golfer on short putts is two things: short putt mental attitude and short putt practice routine.

In addition learning a Mickelson putting style, learn how Masters Champion Charl Schwartzel prepared himself for putting the challenging greens at the Augusta National Golf Course. It was a perfect Schwartzel putt that gave him a birdie on the each of the final four holes in The Masters 2011 Golf Tournament.

Putting is also intensely personal. There seems to be an infinite number of makes and styles of putters on the market today. Choose one that you are comfortable with. As you watch golf tournaments you can see pros using different types of putters and a variety of putting styles. Make note of the differences. You can also learn a lot from a good putting instructional DVD such as one available from Purepoint Golf. Choose a putter and a putting style that works best for you -- and then practice!

Mickelson, Schwartzel other pros have developed perfect putting strokes. Learn from them and improve your putting,


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