Golf Tips for Putting Low

By Sharon Penn
While this example of reading the green is a bit extreme, always try to recognize the contours of the putting surface.
While this example of reading the green is a bit extreme, always try to recognize the contours of the putting surface.

With some thought and practice, putting can become a strong part of your golf game. Golfers know that the putter can be the club used most frequently in any given 18-hole round of golf. Certain equipment and routines will help you putt low and sink the ball in one or two strokes.

Use the Right Putter

To putt well, use the right putter. The main putter designs are the classic blade putter, with a small club head and flat look. These putters are useful for harder and faster greens, where control is an issue. Experienced players who have a straight putting stroke will benefit from the blade putter. Peripheral weighted putters are used by both weekend warriors and professionals. The larger club head and unbalanced weighting is designed for the golfer with an in-to-out putting stroke. The heavy mallet putter looks somewhat like a wood and is designed with a deeper center of gravity, away from the face. This reduces the ball's backspin. Mallet putters are suitable for players with a straight forward-and-back stroke, and helps the golfer struggling to keep his wrists straight on the putt. Long “belly putters” assist the golfer in keeping the putt on line.

Set Up Properly

Set up for the putt by starting with a pre-shot routine. Examine the green from in back of the ball, and in back of the pin. You may want to crouch down to observe undulations in the green that will affect the direction of the ball. Take an uphill or downhill lie into consideration, and notice if the grass is shiny and your put will be with the grain. If so, the putt will be faster. Consider using a “reverse overlap” grip to help keep your wrists firm through the shot. Line your club face to the target line, and position the ball so that the logo is pointing to the hole. Square the club face to the ball.

The Pendulum Swing

With the ball positioned slightly forward of center in your stance, stand so that you feel balanced on your feet. Line up a dimple on the ball with a spot on your shirt, and keep these points even as you swing so that your body is still. Swing the club by moving your shoulders in a smooth, steady, pendulum motion, back and through the ball. For a downhill putt, aim for a spot just short of the hole. For an uphill putt, aim for a spot just behind the hole. Do not peek before you finish the shot, because looking up at the ball will move your body and the club off line.

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