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Hit putts harder in winter
Slower, winter greens always take far less break than fast, closely cropped summer putting surfaces, so unless you can see a pronounced break or slope, hit the ball straight at the hole.

It is also true that in winter when we are inclined to play far less frequently, the first thing we lose tends to be feel and touch. So stroking the ball directly at the cup has many potential benefits.

First, it takes away doubt and uncertainty about the line, so should encourage a more authorative stroke. Second, if your line is always going to be the same, you are free to concentrate on weight of stroke, and the subsequent distance your ball will travel. Third, the putting surface will not be as true or pristine as a summer green, so you stand a much better chance of rolling your ball across the imperfections on the putting surface. Fourth, because you're always aiming at the hole, it should be much easier to see if your putting stroke is true, and setting the ball out on the correct line.

©    14 - FEBRUARY 2002

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