It was the time of, The Tiger Woods era of early 2000! A time when golf fans held their breath as Tiger took aim with his driver, and opponents shook in their cleats as he approached the green. And when it came to putting, Tiger was a machine. Seriously, the guy rarely missed a putt. It was almost unfair.
But don’t worry; you don’t need to be better at putting god like Tiger. Putting is everything in golf, accounting for almost half of your shots on the course.
Keep it simple. Make sure your setup and stroke are simple enough. And practice your speed control because, let’s face it, nobody likes a putt that rolls right past the hole.
Develop a pre-shot routine to stay focused and putt better with confidence. Remember, the ball can’t go in if you don’t take the shot.
Let’s dive into some tips to help you improve your putting and avoid those dreaded three-putts.
How to Putt
To become a putting master, you must be skilled in several areas. Sure, we’ll focus on putting stroke in this article but remember the other essential skills like green reading, distance control, and aim. You know, guess, and hope for the best.
Before we dive into the putting stroke, let’s talk about the most crucial aspect of putting. This is, choosing the right putter. Trust me; this isn’t something you want to overlook. Different putters are designed for different strokes, so picking the wrong one is like trying to hit a baseball with a golf club. It’s not going to end well.
Putter length is also important, so don’t be that guy with a putter that’s too long or short. It’s like wearing shoes that are two sizes too big or small. It could be a better look.
You can focus on improving your stroke when you’ve found the right putter. But let’s be real; putting can be frustrating. It’s like trying to fold a fitted sheet or parallel park on a busy street. A little luck may help, but practice, patience, and much hard work are required.
Don’t rush, and keep it simple. Also, most importantly, have fun. Remember, even the best putters in the world miss sometimes. So, embrace the process; before you know it, you’ll sink putts like a pro.
Putting 101: The Setup
You can make a big difference in putting by paying attention to the little details. If your putter isn’t square at impact, toss it into the nearest water hazard and go fishing instead. We will discuss all topics in this section. So get ready; here we are!
A great setup starts from the ground up when it comes to putting. Your legs and feet are doing more work than you might think during a putting stroke. So, let’s talk stance.
In general, you want your feet shoulder-width apart with your feet square. We’re not asking you to do the splits, but a stable stance will help you avoid any accidental cartwheels during your stroke.
Now, let’s talk about the ball position. You want to aim for the front center of your stance, like a bullseye. It’s like playing darts, except you aim for the hole instead of the wall. Easy, right?
But wait, there’s a limitation. It might be time to widen your stance if facing longer putts or windy conditions. Think of it like building a fortress to withstand the storm. With a wider stance, you’ll have more stability and less chance of getting blown away by the wind.
So, there you have it. A rock-solid stance and ball position will give you the foundation for a killer putting stroke. And who knows, with some practice, you might just become the next Tiger Woods of putting. But please, don’t let the fame go to your head. Stay humble and keep practicing. After all, even Tiger Woods had to start somewhere.
Hands and Wrists
Are your hands and wrists feeling left out of your golf game? They’re crucial to your short game, especially in putting. But don’t get too handsy (wink wink) – one of the biggest mistakes many novice golfers make is relying too heavily on their wrist action during their stroke.
The goal is to keep your hands and wrists calm and collected during your swing, like a zen master chugging a pumpkin spice latte. You can allow a little hinge in your wrists, but be careful not to go overboard – we’re playing golf, not doing the limbo!
Positioning your wrists at the start of your stroke is also key. If your hands are too low, the toe of your putter will be raised off the ground like a little pointer finger. Kicking the ball instead of hitting it is possible if your hands are too high.
Ideally, you want the toe of your putter to be just slightly raised off the ground, like a little wave saying hello to the ball. This will allow you to take the putter back straight and slightly inside on longer putts, like a confident cat walking down the runway.
So remember, precision and finesse are just as important as raw power when it comes to your short game. And if you can do it all with a smile and a sense of humor, even better – after all, laughter is the best medicine for a slice or a hook!
Now, let’s talk about posture. No, not the posture you use to impress your boss during a Zoom call; we’re discussing putting posture in golf. One of the most important fundamentals of putting is getting your posture right. And if you’ve ever watched the pros on the PGA tour, you’ll notice they stand tall and proud like a redwood tree, unlike the hunchback of Notre Dame.
So what’s the deal with standing upright? It allows your arms to hang freely from your shoulders and look suave. Plus, it reduces muscle tension and takes the pressure off your lower back – you can save all that is crouching and groaning when looking for your lost ball in the woods.
But don’t get too cocky and stand up straight like a tin soldier – you still want to maintain a slight knee flex. Otherwise, you’ll look like you’re about to take a nap instead of a swing. And when you lock your knees, it creates unnecessary tension in your stroke and makes you look more constipated than confident. So start your putting stance, lose, and relax like a beach bum enjoying a mai tai.
Remember, good posture is not just about looking sharp. It’s about optimizing your swing and reducing the risk of injury. So keep it loose and cool, and remember to stand up straight – your mom would be proud.
Arms, Shoulders, and Elbows
Are you tired of your putter feeling like a separate entity from your arms? Want to keep everything flowing smoothly like a cool jazz band? The angle determines everything.
Ideally, when you’re in your address position, you want the club shaft and left forearm to form a straight, continuous line – like a match made in golf heaven. But how do you achieve this perfect alignment? By arching your wrists downward a little, like you’re trying to show off your fresh wrist tattoo.
This little trick helps eliminate unnecessary angles and keeps your arms flowing as one smooth unit through your stroke. It’s like a beautiful synchronized swimming routine on the golf course.
Keep your right elbow tucked into your side as a protective shield while you’re at it. This helps to keep your putter steady and in control – like a knight defending his castle. And if you really want to up your game, try turning your left elbow in a little to avoid any pesky forearm rotation during your backstroke. Your putter and you form a secret handshake.
Remember, it’s all about the angle and the alignment in putting. And with a bit of wrist arching and elbow tucking, you’ll be putting like a pro.
Focus on Your Head and Eye Position
Let’s talk about the eyes. It is like the windows to the soul and to a great putting stroke. You must position those peepers correctly if you want to master putting. And it all starts with your foot position and posture.
The correct position of your feet and posture will also help you align your head and eyes. And let’s be real; your eyes are like the lead singer of your putting band. If they’re off, the whole song falls apart.
So what’s the ideal eye position? You want your eyes directly over the ball at the address or slightly inside. This ensures you stand safely from the ball and have enough room for a fluid stroke. Think of it like Goldilocks and the three bears. The distance doesn’t matter.
But that’s not all! Your head and eyes should also be slightly to the right (if you’re right-handed). This gives you a better view of the hole from your address position. It’s like putting on your best pair of glasses – suddenly, everything is crystal clear.
Lastly, make sure your eye line is parallel to the target line. How do you check this? By using the brim of your golf hat, of course! If the bill of your hat is parallel to the target line, your eyes are in the right position too. It’s like having a built-in measuring tool for your eyes.
So remember, when it comes to putting, it’s all about the eyes. Get them in the right position, and you’ll sink putts like a boss. And who knows, your eyes will start winking at the hole in appreciation.
Keep Your Head Still
What do all good putters have in common? They don’t shake their heads like a bobblehead on a car dashboard. Seriously, if you’re bobbing and weaving like Muhammad Ali during your stroke, you won’t sink many putts.
The key is to keep your head still from start to finish. Think of it like being frozen in time but with less frostbite. If you move your head even a bit, it’s like trying to balance a flamingo on a unicycle – it won’t work.
It’s hard to hit the ball consistently when your head bounces around like a beach ball at a concert. So practice keeping your head still until the ball is well on its way to the hole. It’s like trying to win a staring contest with the ball – don’t be the first one to blink.
Keeping your head still will also stay level and centered on your putts. You’ll be like a majestic oak tree, firmly planted and unshakable. And if you can minimize head movement during your stroke. It’s like trying to sneak out of a library without making a sound – the quieter, the better.
So remember, when it comes to putting, keep your head still and your eyes on the prize. And who knows, maybe your opponents will start calling you “The Statue” because of your unflinching stance.
Keep Your Head Down Through The Stroke
You’re excited to see your ball drop into the hole like a game of Plinko. But if you’re peeking too soon, you’ll miss the party – and end up with many putts that go to the right. A broken neck is like watching a movie without seeing the whole picture.
The problem with peeking is that it causes your head to move, leading to sloppy contact. It’s like trying to dance the Macarena while standing on a balance ball.
So here’s the solution. You must keep your head down during the stroke. After that, you can look up and do a little victory dance.
And when it comes to short putts, focus on something other than seeing the ball go in – focus on hearing it. It’s easy to tell if you’ve made it by listening to the ball drop into the hole.
So remember, when it comes to putting, keep your eyes on the ball and your head down until the stroke is complete. And who knows, maybe your opponents will start calling you “The Statue” because of your unflinching focus.
Which Putting Grip Should I Use?
It’s a question that golfers have debated for centuries, like the chicken or the egg dilemma. The truth is no single solution fits all.
Your best grip will give you the most confidence and make you put more often. You want something comfortable and stylish, like finding the perfect pair of shoes.
So what are some of the most prominent grips in the golfing world today? Well, hold onto your visors because here they are:
How does it work? Having the back of your right hand parallel to your left is important. You have to keep them both squarely aimed at the target. Doing this, you’ll have an easier time keeping the putter face square during the stroke.
And let’s talk about that right thumb. Ensure everything stays in line. It should extend down the shaft to below the right forefinger. Any farther and your right hand and wrist might start to feel like they’re in a chokehold. Any shorter, and you’ll sacrifice control like a driver with no steering wheel.
But remember the left hand. The back of your left hand should face the target, like a secret agent keeping an eye on things. This helps discourage your hand from rotating too much during the stroke.
Lastly, position both thumbs directly down the top of the handle. Just think, giving your putter a high-five but with your thumbs. And who doesn’t love a good high-five?
It is the traditional putting grip. Keep it loose and let your wrists move freely throughout the stroke, like a gymnast on the balance beam.
Finger Down the Shaft
Let’s remember the previous section. We have mentioned the sentence, ‘like a handshake between you and your putter’. Now, one million dollar questions. How about a way to mix things up? Something-something to make your grip stand out from the crowd? Enter the right pointer finger grip.
That’s right, instead of having your right hand in a traditional position. You place your pointer finger down the shaft of the putter. It’s like the finger is saying, “Hey putter, I’m in charge now.”
But why would you do this? Well, for some players, it can help keep the putter head from coming back on too inside of a line. It’s like a traffic cop directing cars to stay in their lane. And it can also help keep the club more square throughout the stroke, like a builder making sure everything is level.
So if you’re feeling adventurous, try the right pointer finger grip. It’s like putting on a fancy hat – it might look a little odd at first, but soon everyone will want to copy your style. And who knows, maybe your opponents will start calling you “The Pointer” because of your unique grip.
Left Hand Low (Cross-Handed)
How does it work? It’s like switching things up. The left hand goes over the right hand, not the other way around. It’s like giving your hands to a new best friend. Funny right?
And to be real, this grip wasn’t always the beauty of the ball. Think of it as a wallflower who suddenly becomes the life of the party.
If you’re daring and want to try something new, give the low left-hand grip a try. Once you master it, you’ll be an expert. Maybe your opponents will start calling you “The Spiethinator” because of your smooth putting stroke.
Why Left Hand Low Works
It’s a grip gaining popularity, like a viral TikTok dance. If you’re looking to switch things up, consider the low left-hand grip for these reasons:
First, it takes away the right hand from influencing the stroke too much. It’s like the left hand saying, “Okay, right hand, you can take a break now. I got this.”
If you’ve been struggling with your short putts, the left-hand low grip might help. If your left wrist tends to break down at impact, causing the putter face to close and miss short putts regularly, the low left-hand technique can help you keep things in line. It’s like a chiropractor for your putting stroke.
But that’s not all – if you tend to set up with open shoulders at the address, the low left-hand technique can help square things up. Using this grip, you’ll naturally square up your shoulders and keep the putter moving straight down the target line, like a train on its tracks.
How to Putt Cross Handed
Here’s how to do it:
- Hold the putter before you and rest the middle of your grip under the left thumb pad.
- Make no space between the left pinky and right forefinger. You can even overlap the right forefinger over the left finger.
- If your right hand is dominant, try the double overlap grip with your forefinger and middle finger.
- The low left-hand grip creates a more straight back and thorough putting stroke, so align properly.
- Get comfortable with the grip by practicing with your left hand on the club.
- Practice from different distances, starting at three feet and moving back in three feet increments.
Other Putting Grips
Is your right hand a little too handsy during your putting stroke? Don’t worry! The claw grip might be the solution for you. It’s like telling your right hand to take a chill pill and letting your left hand take control. Players like Tommy Fleetwood, Justin Rose, and Sergio Garcia have succeeded with this grip.
What are some of the advantages of the claw grip? Well, it puts your power hand into a passive position, changing the stroke from a hands-controlled motion to a swing-down-the-line motion. Plus, it can help eliminate those pesky left pulls.
But let’s be real; the claw grip can be a little awkward at first. It’s like trying to teach an old dog new tricks. The goal is to neutralize the right hand by taking it almost completely off the club. Here’s how to get started:
- Keep your left hand in a neutral position at the top of the club.
- Cock your right hand to the side with your palm facing towards your body.
- Wrap your thumb on your bottom hand around the club.
- Almost eliminate your right hand from the stroke.
If you want to dive deeper into the claw grip, read out the whole article in our Putting Grip Encyclopedia. It’s like a treasure trove of putting grip knowledge.
Grip Pressure 101
When it comes to gripping the putter, less is more. A death grip is a recipe for disaster, so try to keep your grip light and relaxed. Use your hands to feel the putting stroke, and let the putter do the work.
If you struggle with a death grip, consider switching to a more prominent grip like the Fatso. These grips make it harder to squeeze too tightly and can also take the wrists out of play. They come in fun colors and patterns to show off your style on the greens.
Best Putting Stroke: What’s the Correct Method?
You’ve got the right setup and grip, but what about your putting stroke? Here are three main types of strokes.
First up is the straight back, straight-through stroke. This is a simple and straightforward method where you take the putter straight back and straight through the ball. It’s a great option for beginners or anyone looking to simplify their stroke.
The second type of stroke is the arcing stroke. With this method, the putter head moves inside on the backstroke and then arcs back outside on the follow-through. It’s popular for players who prefer a more natural, flowing motion.
Finally, there’s the SBST (straight back, straight through) stroke with an inside-to-square-to-inside (or STS) path. It’s a hybrid of the first two strokes. It involves taking the putter straight back, then slightly inside on the backswing before coming straight back through the ball on a straight path.
So, which stroke should you aim for? It mainly depends on you!
Creating Your Perfect Stroke
When it comes to having a consistent putting stroke, having the proper setup is crucial. Make sure to align yourself properly and position the ball correctly. Remember to focus on keeping your shoulders, arms, and hands working together smoothly. This will help you maintain the correct putter path and avoid cutting across your airline.
But a good stroke isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to putting. It would help if you also worked on adding topspin to your putts. This will create a nice end-over-end roll and help you control your speed.
Don’t Forget Your Putting Tempo
Now let’s talk about the final piece of the “perfect putting” puzzle. Like with the full swing, a consistent tempo is crucial to a good putting stroke.
Most pro golfers have a 3:1 ratio of the backswing to downswing time in their full swing. But with putting, the ratio is different. Tour players typically take roughly twice as long on their backswing as on their forward swing.
This slower tempo helps ensure that you’re not rushing through your stroke and allows you to maintain a smooth, controlled rhythm. Rushing through your stroke is one of the amateur golfers’ most common mistakes. It can lead to inconsistent and erratic results.
So, when working on your putting stroke, focus on developing a repeatable tempo that works for you. Try a slightly longer backswing than a forward swing, and ensure you’re not rushing through your stroke. With practice, you’ll be able to develop a smooth, consistent putting tempo that will help you sink more putts on the course.
Want to become a putting pro? Then, it all starts with the right setup position. You need to be stable, square, and aligned to your intended line. Once you have that down, it’s time to find the perfect grip that works for you.
The stroke is only part of the equation. You must also read greens, control your putting speed, and aim the putter.
Remember, practice doesn’t make golf perfect, but it makes a more permanent and consistent putting stroke. If you’re serious about improving your putting game, consider getting a custom putter fitting to maximize your stroke. Good luck and happy putting!
Why is putting so hard in golf?
Let’s face it, putting speed and distance control can be tricky to master. There is no guarantee that your body can always determine the exact amount of force or speed required. This is where practice comes in.
By consistently working on your putting stroke and using drills to improve your distance control, you can start to make more putts and lower your scores. But don’t forget to also pay attention to the slope and break of the green, as this can greatly affect the speed and distance of your putts.
What is the most difficult part of putting?
Hitting the ball too hard or too soft can throw off your entire shot, especially on short-cut greens. It’s all about finding that sweet spot, that perfect weight or power that will allow the ball to roll smoothly along your planned path. And let’s be honest, we’ve all had those putts where we hit it way too hard and watch in despair as the ball rolls past the hole and keeps on going.
How do you calm your nerves when putting?
This technique is known as deep breathing, and it can help calm your nerves and focus your mind before making a crucial putt. Many professional golfers use deep breathing to stay calm under pressure, and you can too.
Starting with a deep breath, stand behind your ball. Slowly exhale after holding your breath. Repeat this process a few times until you feel relaxed.
By taking a moment to breathe deeply, you can reduce tension and anxiety, which can help you make a more confident and accurate stroke.