Golf Tips on Putting

By John Wagner
Since putting accounts for almost half of your strokes, reserve extra time on the practice surface to work on your stroke.
Since putting accounts for almost half of your strokes, reserve extra time on the practice surface to work on your stroke.

If you are looking to take strokes off your golf game, focus on putting. Putting can account for up to 40 percent of your score. So if you're struggling to reach your golf goals this year, it may be time to put in more work on the putting green. Follow the tips below, and you will begin to lower your scores.

Alignment

Proper alignment is is one of the fundamentals of good putting. You want to be able to aim your putter face at your target on a consistent basis. You can make this simple by choosing an intermediate target when putting. Simply pick out a spot a few inches in front of your ball, along your intended line, and line your putter face up to that spot. You will be more effective lining your putter up to a target that is a few inches in front of you than you will lining up to a target 30 feet away.

Stroke

Watch the professionals on the PGA Tour each week and you will see they make their putting stroke using a shoulder motion. Letting your shoulders swing the putter back is a key fundamental to making a good stroke. You want to feel your hands remain passive during the stroke, and let your shoulders move the putter back and forth. The motion should feel like you are rocking your shoulders. This movement allows the putter to swing on the proper path and will produce a more consistent roll on your ball. A stroke in which your hands are too involved leads to inconsistent contact and can get the ball hopping in the air. As with your hands, your lower body should also remain passive during your putting stroke.

Distance Control

Controlling the distance you hit each putt can make life easier on the greens. Rather than sweating over a 4-foot putt, you can tap the ball in if you have good distance control. When looking at your putt, you need to be able to determine if your putt is uphill or downhill. Uphill putts will be slower and require a firmer stroke, while downhill putts will be faster and require a softer stroke. This will help you determine how far to take the putter back. One of the fundamentals of good distance control is taking the putter back the same distance as you swing it through. This creates a nice rhythm and pendulum motion.

About the Author

John Wagner is a certified golf instructor and professional golfer with more than 10 years of experience. As a certified GolfTEC, TPI Level 3 and Chuck Cook Golf Instructor, he has given more than 9,000 golf lessons.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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