How Close To Stand To The Golf Ball When Putting

Last updated: August 6, 2021

There is a lot of ambiguity in the golfing world when the distance between you and the golf ball is concerned. This ambiguity is even more apparent in the case of putting.

Golfers, particularly amateurs, either stand too close or too far when they’re putting. This eventually leads to missing the putt and gaining an unnecessary stroke.

Interestingly, there is no agreed-upon measure of the distance between you and the golf ball. How close you should stand while putting depends on several variables, including your height, arm length, and many others. 

Besides, a successful putt involves various other factors that affect the distance between you and the golf ball. These include the initial setup, your posture, stance, and ball position. Therefore, there is no simple answer to how close to stand to the golf ball when putting.

For instance, one popular argument is that you should stand 9 or 10 inches away from the ball. This might work perfectly for some but not for others. If someone has to bend their back to an uncomfortable position or their arms are getting stretched, it means the distance is either too short or too long. 

This article will discuss each of these factors in detail and help you decide for yourself how close to stand to the golf ball when putting.

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Putting Setup

The setup is arguably the most crucial part of making a successful putt. A slight mistake in the setup and all your hard work will go down the drain. Here is a tried and tested setup that works for most golfers. 

You should keep your shoulders squared, arms close to your body, and your line of sight should be narrow. Also, while you do all this, try to keep your body as still as possible.

Even the slightest instability or movement can cause the putt to be a horrendous one. For best results, keep looking at the ball at all times so that your body eliminates any inclination to move. 

Putting Posture

For starters, stand approximately one foot away from the ball. The ball should be slightly forward than the center of both your feet and your feet should be shoulder-width apart from each other.

Get into your normal putting position. If your arms are overstretched, you might want to move towards the ball a little. Do the opposite if your back is feeling more strained than usual.

You can follow this simple technique for figuring out your ideal arm position. Begin with bending your body (both knees and hips) so that your eyes are directly above the target line.

Then, let the putter rest on your thighs and let your arms drop freely directly below your shoulders. Now bring your upper arms slightly back so that your arms are bent slightly at the elbows. This is the optimal arm position for putting.

Related: Best Putters You Can Buy Today

Putting Stance

Your stance will ultimately decide how close to stand to the golf ball when putting. Follow all the steps mentioned above and make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart from each other.

In addition, your shoulders should be level, meaning there shouldn’t be any tilt on either side, and the ball should be a little ahead of the center of both your feet. 

Furthermore, your body weight should be equally distributed on each of your feet, and the club shaft should be roughly at a right angle (90 degrees). As explained above, keep your eyes directly above the target line, and your knees, hips, and shoulders should run parallel to the target line. 

Recently, putting mirrors have become a popular tool for improving your posture and stance. You can visualize yourself in these mirrors alongside the target line to precisely align your body accordingly. 

Putting Grip

Your grip and the putter length play a critical role in deciding how close to stand to the golf ball when putting. After following all the above steps, if you have to hold the putter from either too far up or too far down, there is something wrong with your grip.

The ideal putter grip is quite similar to that of a few irons but with slight variations. If you’re a right-handed golfer, the best way to hold is to place the club in your left hand at the junction where your fingers meet your palm. 

However, when putters are concerned, the club position needs to be a bit different. Here, you should place the golf club more towards the center of your palm. Also, it would be best if you held the putter upright with the club handle somewhat in line with your wrist.

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