One hugely overlooked factor in putting is that of the weight of the putter that you use.
A senior golfer more than any other can be affected by the weight of the putter because of the way that the weight affects the swing of the putter through the ball. Find out whether a heavy putter head could really benefit your putting with this tip.
Problems of using a light putter.
The ideal putting stroke is one where the putter swings backwards and forwards in a straight line towards the target. If a putter is very light it is extremely difficult to manipulate the putter to swing naturally, particularly if, as an older person, the muscles in the shoulders and arms are less flexible, stiff or weaker than they once used to be. If the putter is very light in weight, as it is taken backwards away from the ball there is a tendency for it to move around and wobble off line. This is because it becomes too easy to use the smaller muscles in the wrists and hands to control the putter. Also, in the forward swing, the wrists and hands have a tendency to dominate and 'flick' the putter through the ball rather than letting it swing as it is difficult to feel the putter in the hands through the weight being too light. With a putter that is too light these factors cause inconsistency in distance control on longer putts through a lack of feel, and inconsistency in accuracy on the shorter putts as the club is twisted too easily through impact.
Benefits of using a heavy putter.
If a putter has a heavy head it dictates the swing of the club far more as it is harder to move the club off line. The putter will swing slower, more deliberately and with better rhythm as the smaller muscles in the hands and wrists are unable to manipulate the club so much. Imagine the extreme of a putter weighted like a sledgehammer. It would be very difficult to push and pull the sledgehammer through the ball and so the golfer would naturally let it swing slowly back and forth using its momentum rather than the power of the holder.
With a heavier putter the tendency will be to use the bigger muscles in the shoulders to swing the club and so there will be less movement off line through the ball promoting a more accurate putt. Also the putter will swing in a more pendulum-like fashion with better rhythm and a more balanced length of back swing and forward swing - all giving the golfer more control of distance of putt.
To make your current putter heavier you could do one of two things - Either buy some lead tape from your local professional which is a heavy adhesive tape that you can stick to the head of the putter, or have your putter cut down by two to three inches. This second option lessens the total weight of the putter but redistributes the weight so that there is more in the head end of the club, thus promoting more club head feel.
The other, more favourable, option is to simply buy a heavier putter. Whichever option is chosen, putting with a club of a heavier variety is surely a way to improve putting for the senior golfer.