Tips on Putting in Golf

By Denise Sullivan
Improve your golf scores by practicing on the putting surface before teeing off.
Improve your golf scores by practicing on the putting surface before teeing off.

Practicing your putting is one of the best things you can do to improve your golf game. As many as half the shots in a typical round of golf are taken on the putting green. If your putting technique is poor, you will have trouble posting a low score no matter how well you hit your drives or iron shots.

Putting From the Fringe

Adjust your putting stance when the ball is close to the edge of the green so the club does not hit the tall grass behind you on the swing. Set up your stance so the ball is in line with your back leg. Place your back foot firmly on either the green or on the fringe. Make sure to keep your entire foot on one level of grass to create a solid base for your stance. Rest most of your weight on your back leg on the backswing, then shift to the front leg on the follow-through. This will drive the face of the putter up as it moves forward. The up-and-down motion will impart topspin on the ball, so you may have to adjust the speed of your putt to not overshoot the hole.

Stay Still on the Follow-Through

Because the putt is such a short stroke compared to a drive or iron shot, it is easy to overlook the importance of the follow-through. Holding the follow-through keeps your body from moving during the stroke. After you hit the ball, watch its path by only turning your head. Keep the rest of your body still until you see the ball drop in the hole or stop rolling. Watching the results of the shot while remaining in position can also help you learn how to adjust your stroke on future putts.

Use Practice Aids to Check Your Form

Make the most of your time on the practice green by focusing on specific putting skills instead of aimlessly tapping the ball into the hole. Place a small cardboard target behind the hole to help you remember to drive the ball all the way to the back side of the cup. Try to visualize this target when you set up for a putt in your normal game of golf. Set an extra ball 6 inches behind the ball you are hitting to check the length and direction of your backswing. The club head should tap the second ball right before you start moving it forward on the swing.

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