March 20 2012
Back to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking goes Luke Donald, as the steady Englishman chipped away at the lead late Sunday to eventually get into a sudden-death playoff with three others. That playoff lasted only 20 minutes -- Donald won on the first extra hole with a stuck approach to win the Transitions Championship.
While he's a world-class ball-striker, it's Donald's putting that has set him apart. I don't think there is anyone on the PGA TOUR that I use more as an example on how to setup a putt than Luke Donald. His setup is built in a way that allows Luke to be instinctive and make a natural putting stroke, rather than one that is controlled and manufactured.
In fact, it's so good it seems all he needs to do is engage his shoulders, and the path of the putter head and angle of the putter face will work together and match up at impact. As this occurs, Donald does a tremendous job of allowing the stroke to be relatively matched up on both sides of the arc, with a very consistent ending.
One of the things that can help your putting is thinking about the end point of your stroke. You may have noticed last week that Luke would hold his finish on every putt. At the TOUR Academies, we call this the end point of the putting stroke. A good rule of the thumb is to allow the putterhead to accelerate through impact, and then come to a complete stop at the end point. Do this before you turn and look to see if the ball goes in.
A good end point will improve your chances of releasing the putterhead and making solid contact. As this improves, you will get better feedback on your stroke and build the trust necessary to be a great putter.