How to Improve Putting in Golf

By Sharon Penn
There are no short cuts to improve your putting game other than consistent practice and timely advice from a golf pro.
There are no short cuts to improve your putting game other than consistent practice and timely advice from a golf pro.

We’ve all heard the saying “drive for show, and putt for dough.” Shaving a few putts off your golf game is the surest way to lower your score. Some high handicap golfers often take as many strokes on the green as it took them to get there. If you are having trouble putting, go back to the basics, then go to a practice green and work to groove your putting motion.

Practice on the putting green before a round, particularly if you are playing an unfamiliar course. Even one you play regularly can have faster or slower greens depending on conditions.

Read the green to see if your putt is straight or there are contours that will make it break left or right. Notice if the grass between your ball and the hole is shiny; if so, the putt is with the grain and will go faster. Watch how the putts of others behave on the green to get an idea of speed and break.

Pick a target line. Aim the logo of your ball exactly along that line to increase your accuracy.

Begin your setup by standing square to the target line with your legs shoulder-distance apart.

Use a reverse overlapping grip with your left index finger over your right hand (right-handed players) for a locked-in feel. Bend your knees, hang your arms and place your eyes directly over the ball. Your hands will be forward in your stance, and your weight will be shifted toward the left foot.

Take a practice swing, concentrating on moving your shoulders in a pendulum motion. Do not break your wrists. Your arms, shoulders and feet should be parallel to the target line.

Hit the ball with a firm left wrist and the putter head and your body square to the target line. A rule of thumb is to take the putter back 5 inches for a 5-foot putt, and forward 5 inches for the follow through. Keep the club head low to the ground and swing smoothly through the ball.

About the Author

Sharon Penn is a writer based in South Florida. A professional writer since 1981, she has created numerous materials for a Princeton advertising agency. Her articles have appeared in "Golf Journal" and on industry blogs. Penn has traveled extensively, is an avid golfer and is eager to share her interests with her readers. She holds a Master of Science in Education.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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