Putting is one of the most integral and talked about aspects of golf. Some believe that it is the easiest part of the entire sport as there are no out of bounds, no bunkers, and any other obstructions. You’re on a smooth and level surface, and the hole is much closer to you than while playing any other shot.
However, several golfers struggle with putting. Many of them will play brilliantly until they reach the green, but eventually, their putting ability costs them dearly.
By working on your putting skills, you will be able to close the games more efficiently and gain more strokes in the process. Moreover, improving putting significantly can put you on the path to becoming a scratch golfer.
In this article, we’ll share some valuable putting tips that will help you improve your putting dramatically. Our advice and techniques will help you make significantly more putts than you already do.
We have divided these putting tips into two categories. One of them is related to assessing the putt, and the other deals with the execution. The former will talk more about the best techniques for judging the distance, and the latter will be about how to execute the putt.
Reading The Putt
These are the four most important factors that will help you read your putts better.
1. Distance Judgement is Critical
Your ability to judge the distance from you to the hole is vital for improving your putting skills. Many golfers are “depth-deficient” despite having excellent eyesight.
This means they perceive the location of the hole to be closer than it actually is. They struggle to ascertain the distance from them to the hole and ultimately miss the putt.
To remedy this, you can follow this drill to get better at judging the distance. Pick a random spot within 20 feet and get a mental picture of that. Then, close your eyes and point to where you think the spot lies. Now open your eyes and see how close you are.
Even if you’re too far off, don’t get discouraged. Instead, it would be best to practice this technique multiple times until your distance judgment gets better.
You should also try to judge the distance from the side of the putt and not from behind it. This will give you a much better understanding of the total putt length. You’ll immediately notice a stark difference between the two methods.
Another technique that you can use is to “walk” the putt. Here you need to look at the putt from the side, point your putter at the ball, and simply move the putter head from the direction of the ball to the direction of the hole.
You must do this at a pace at which you want your ball to roll into the hole. Doing this will help your brain use the right amount of energy when you hit the ball.
2. Assess the Green From The Low Side
There is a lot of debate in the golfing world about whether you should read putts from behind the hole or the ball. However, it depends on the type of putt from where you should read it.
This is very important as your eyes need to understand the slope and the distance correctly.
Here is a simple technique that you can use to eliminate the confusion. If you’re putting downhill, you should read it from behind the hole.
And if you’re putting uphill, then reading from behind the ball is the way to go. Essentially, you have to read the putt from the low side of the putt.
3. The Setup
The setup is another crucial part of mastering the art of putting. The setup can make or break your chances of making the putt. You should keep your arms relaxed, shoulders squared, and your line of sight should be narrow.
Also, while you do all this, your body should be as still as possible. Even the slightest movement or instability can cause the putt to be a horrible one.
Keep your eyes fixed on the hole at all times so that your body eliminates any inclination to move.
4. Judging the Speed of The Green
The speed of the green is how fast the ball will roll on the green because of the amount of grass. Different greens have different speeds, and judging the speed of the green is one of the key factors that will decide whether you make the putt or not.
Here is a simple drill that will help you judge the speed of the green more efficiently. Throw a few balls near the first cut of the green.
Now without worrying about the direction, hit the balls one by one to reach the first cut. Hit the ball that is closest to the first cut in the beginning, then move on to the farther-placed balls.
Each time you hit the ball, and it reaches closer to the first cut, you have a better understanding of the speed of the green. Repeat this drill a few more times until you can accurately judge the speed.
Executing the Putt
Pay attention to the following three important aspects of putting that will help you reduce your putting strokes down to 2 and even 1.
The posture is undoubtedly the most critical aspect of putting. Fixing your posture will also include external factors such as the putter length, as choosing a longer or shorter putter can reduce your chances of making the putt.
The right putter length depends on the golfer’s height. Usually, putter length ranges from 33 inches to 35 inches; however, many tall players use putters that are up to 38 inches long.
The best way to fix your posture is by ensuring that your body is bent at such an angle that it produces a consistent motion with ease. For that, you’ll need a putter that is suited to your height, so you’re not too upright or too bent.
We recommend that you follow our suggestions while putting. Stand roughly one foot away from the ball. The ball should be slightly forward than the middle of your feet, and your feet should be shoulder-width apart from each other.
Also, bend 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 arm position is optimal for putting.
Now, grab the putter and try taking a shot. You’ll notice a much better putt than you usually do. Of course, you’ll have to practice this technique regularly to fix your posture for good.
2. The Stance
We have already covered a considerable amount of information about the proper stance in the posture section. First of all, get in position as explained above. Make sure your feet are shoulders width apart from each other.
Also, your shoulders should be level, meaning there shouldn’t be any tilt on either side, and the ball should be slightly forward than the middle of your feet.
Furthermore, the club shaft should be roughly at a right angle (90 degrees), and your body weight should be equally distributed on each of your feet.
As explained above, your eyes must be directly above the target line, and your hips, knees, and shoulders should run parallel to the target line.
Recently, putting mirrors have emerged as an excellent tool for improving your stance and posture. These mirrors allow you to visualize yourself alongside the target line to precisely align your body accordingly.
3. The Grip
The putter grip is somewhat similar to that of a few irons but with subtle variations. If you’re a right-handed golfer, you would usually grip the club in your left hand at the junction where your fingers meet your palm.
However, in the case of putters, the club position needs to be slightly different. Here, the club should be located more towards the center of your palm.
The club needs to be a little more upright, and the club handle should be somewhat in line with your wrist. Now bring your right hand and hold the putter.
From here, get in the correct posture, as explained above, and take a shot. You’ll notice a stark difference in your putts.
Be Consistent and Confident
Like any other sport, psychology plays a vital role in golf as well. Being mentally prepared will help you remain consistent in your performance.
You need to practice the putting tips we have mentioned to get the best results. By consistently practicing, you’re training your body to get better at putting and eventually mastering the technique.
Also, being confident will go a long way in making more putts. If you believe that you can make a putt, chances are you will. It is a positive feedback loop, the more putts you make, the more confident you’ll be, and ultimately you’ll make even more putts.