Putting is often overlooked by beginning golfers, and the long ball get’s more attention on the range, but don’t forget, no club in the bag is used more than the putter. The key to mastering the putter is practicing proper form on the putting green, until your stroke is smooth second nature. It’s important to feel confident in your putter, and technique, so you can focus on the putt itself.
Grip the putter lightly. No matter the grip style you use, grip pressure is key to a consistent putting stroke. Just enough pressure to prevent slipping between your hands and the putter grip is all that is needed.
Keep your eyes directly over the ball at address. Ideally, you want to have your eyes directly over your line of putt to avoid distorting your viewpoint while trying to aim. This can easily be tested by dropping a second golf ball from your lead eye (the one closest to the hole). If you are set up correctly, the ball you drop will land on top of the first ball you are set up to.
Stand a distance from the ball so that, with your arms hanging in a comfortable position (this will help relieve tension in the stroke). Combining this approach with Tip 2 will create a setup made for a consistent stroke.
Swing the putter back then forward through the ball by turning your shoulders slightly. Rhythm and tempo are the key here. This will also help with matching the back and through stroke.
Keep a consistent tempo for all putts. To putt the ball farther or shorter, the stroke is lengthened or shortened respectively, causing the putter to cover more or less distance in the same time, and allowing you to control the pace of the putter when it hits the ball.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice your distance control on a putting green by attempting to putt the ball various distances while not aiming at a hole, instead simply aiming to putt along a line a set distance away. Proper distance control ensures that with a proper read, you will make the putt, and with an improper read, you will keep the ball close for your second putt.
Practice making short putts, from 4 feet and closer, by arranging a set of three to five balls around the hole on all sides, then putting each ball, with the goal being to not miss any of the putts. Many players over think short putts, and struggle on the course, however a player who has worked on distance control must practice the “gimme” putts, to ensure he saves a two putt when the distance control put him in position to do so.