This is the first lesson. And we are going to start with the 3 to 4 foot putt! It sounds easy, but there a few main fundamentals that will carry over to all the golf shots. So, focus on learning these key skills to make all future lessons easier!
#1 The Grip: exactly how one holds the club at this point is not as important as having the student take a comfortable hold of the putter. It would be best if their hands are kept close together, but this too can be learned later. The only thing to teach at this point is that both thumbs should be pointing straight down the shaft. Most putter grips have a flat surface that makes it natural for the thumbs to rest on top.
#2 Keep You Head Still: A core fundamental that should be taught right away. Although it may seem elementary and easy to keep one's head steady while making such a short putt, videoing the students swing many times will reveal that the head is moving. . . Even if the student feels it is rock steady.
#3 Do Not Let the Left Wrist Break or Bend: In other words, one should never let the putter head pass the left wrist during a stroke. Again, video is worth 1000 words when explaining this to a student.
#4 Rock the Shoulders: Do Not Use the Hands: explain to the student why using the big muscles of the shoulders is important when they get nervous under the pressure of competition. It is always good to reinforce or set the image of the player winning future golf tournaments. This vision or goal is a great motivator.
#5 Keep the Backswing as Short As Possible: most beginners will take the putter back maybe a foot or more. This of course makes it that much harder to return the putter head sweet spot back to the ball. Tell your student, "Try to take it back as short as possible, but just far enough to get the ball to the hole." Demonstrating that one only needs to take the putter back an inch or two on a short putt is an easy way for the student to visually and quickly understand the concept.
#6 Use a Two Count Tempo: It is never too early to start teaching good tempo. Have the student count out loud while making their strokes. Some counts include "One - Two," "Rock - Roll," and "Tick- Tock." Just make sure the student counts out loud and they use the same tempo from stroke to stroke.
HOMEWORK - PRACTICE GOALS: Try to practice enough to make 5 putts in a row before moving on to Lesson #2.