Five tips to improve your game: putting down a tier

Five of Golf Monthly's top-25 coaches give advice on game improvement in a range of areas, from driving to chipping

Putting down a slope

Neil Plimmer Director of Junior Instruction, Horsham Golf & Fitness

Fault:

- Your long-range distance control is poor - You 3-putting regularly

Fix:

Putting up or down tiers in greens is a regular problem we all face. The issue is that with a step in the green, your usual distance perceptions are thrown out. This means that you need to do some extra planning. Firstly, take the time to walk the length of the putt, I've measured this one at 60ft. Have a look back to your ball from the level of the hole. By simply walking the length of the putt and looking back from the hole you'll have a much better natural sense for both the pace and the various breaks on the green. In this instance I have 60ft with a 4ft drop in height to the hole. That means I'll need a stroke to send the ball 56ft. As you run through your pre-shot process, make sure that your practice swing is meaningful. Try to feel the correct length within the swing. Finally, every putt is a journey, the destination for which is ultimately the hole. So don't try to get your ball within an imaginary dustbin lid around the hole. You should be aiming to knock it in!

How to putt down a tier:

Location: JOLF.com (mobile)


Neil has been a golf professional for over 20 years. He's joint owner of JOLF Ltd, which specialises in providing children and their families with opportunities to play golf, learn and compete in schools and at golf clubs. 


Teaching philosophy:

I aim to provide meaningful experiences of golf to children and their families in schools and at golf clubs so they can play independently, enjoy playing together and learn as they play. 'Play' is the heartbeat of the game of golf and drives the experiences that I provide everyone that I share time with, whether it be in a school or on the golf course. My philosophy is constantly changing, developing and adapting as I critically review and reflect on my experiences.


Biggest challenge:

Coaching is easy. Coaching people is the hard bit! Everyone plays and learns in different ways so this has to be respected. I aim to treat each person as an individual and not impose my views of the game, beliefs and values on them. Each person needs to take charge of themselves and their own game and utilise the skills and knowledge to deepen their awareness of their all-round game. I, as a coach, are there to share time on their journey, offering and providing support and advice when required.


Greatest success story:

Starting people off on their golfing journey, especially children and their families, is my mission. Every time this happens, I feel great pride and cannot wait to see and hear how their journey continues.