Putting is the most personalized part of the game of golf. Its individuality can largely be attributed to how simple the actual process is. In its simplest form – putting is simply the act of trying to hit a ball with the right speed on the right line to get it to fall in a hole some distance away. Since the stroke itself is actually very rudimentary, golfers have taken advantage of this to produce many different forms of the putting stroke. As such, being an instructor of the game makes teaching this particular part of golf difficult. The challenge is that the saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” comes into play.
When you look into the amount of different styled putting strokes that are out on tour, then consider how many more amateurs are out there with their own unique style of strokes, you begin to understand how this part of the game can become difficult to teach. Golfers have been successful with an endless style of putting grips (as the normal requirements of a grip – wrists hinging and transfer of power, are not required), stroke path (cut stroke, in to in, square), stance (open, square, closed), putter design (from $5 garage sale blades to $500 mallet monstrosities) and even shaft length (belly putters and everything in between). So with all this in mind, how can one really provide tips on this part of the game? Well, interestingly there are some commonalities in the putting stroke of all successful putters that we can definitively say every golfer should employ into their golf games. Here they are:
1. Follow a consistent routine to determine the line of the putt, develop the feel, and setup to hit the ball on the intended line.
2. Set up to the ball with your knees slightly bent and your eyes over the ball or slightly inside the ball.
3. Keep your lower body and head still throughout the stroke. This prevents many common putting faults like stubbing the ground before the ball and trying to “steer” the ball into the cup.
4. Swing the putter with the same steady tempo, for all putts from 3 footers to 50 footers. Also ensure that your stroke is accelerating into the ball, a common fault is to decelerate – especially on short putts.
5. The putter face should be square to the target line at impact. It doesn’t matter what it does to get here, but as long as its square to your targeting line, you can be sure the ball should follow the path you lined up for it to take.
6. Finally, the last tip we would suggest covers each and every golfer on the greens – be confident in your stroke and trust your alignment. Doubt in putting shouldn’t be tolerated, you’d be surprised how confidence can translate to lower scores on the course. The game truly is a mental one, so take advantage by thinking positive.
That’s it. Other than that, you have full reign to putt however you please (within the rules of golf, preferably, which is another post altogether). These 6 simple tips transcend basically every putter on tour, and are pillars to a solid putting game. Take the time to consider these tips, and make sure their incorporated into your putting game!