The K-factor – The Key to solid putts
By Michael Balderstone, BSI Founder and PGA Master Professional
The key to great putting is to consistently control the pace of your putts. One of the main reasons why most golfers cannot control their pace on the greens is that they do not hit the sweet-spot of the face consistently. I’m not talking about striking the ball out of the toe or the heel, but rather out the bottom of the face to make you more than likely to thin your putts. You do this because you’ve been told to hit the ball on the way up to get the ball rolling. Hitting the on the way up is fine for your driver as the ball is on a tee peg, but the ball is resting on the ground when we putt, so the upward strike can only lead to a strike out of the bottom of the face. This in turn leads to a lack of feel and therefore a loss of control.
The solution is in the wet-up. I like my players to set up in a position that I call the K-factor. This involves placing more weight on the front foot at address, which encourages a shallow descending/ flat approach into the ball, crucial for solid contact.
Here’s what to do
SET UP with your weight distributed 50-50. Now nudge your hips a couple of inches towards the target, until your front leg is vertical. It is vital that the weight shift is done with the hips and not with the upper body or knees, and make sure your hips do not open to the target as they do for chipping. The ball should be positioned in the front half of your stance. You will notice that your back leg is at an angle and most weight is on your front foot. If you try this in front of a full-length mirror, the reflection should resemble a basic ‘K’ shape formed by your legs and arms. Don’t try to make a perfect ‘K’ though, that’s not the idea.
Try this next time you are on the practice putting green, I guarantee that the strike will feel very different and they sound will also be more solid. You may roll the ball too far at first and will need some practice to get the feel for the distance. Once it’s there you won’t have to struggle to get the ball to the hole anymore.