Following are best putting tips I know of and don't consistently use.
Thus, I am an average golfer. (I'm actually a little better than average but it doesn't feel that way)
This article will be light on technique. This is not to say I haven't read a lot about technique or that mine isn't good. I'm saying I'm woefully unqualified to teach proper putting technique or a proper putting stroke.
I do go through my favorite putting drills in another article that I know you will find helpful.
My Best Putting Tips...In no particular order
- Develop a routine and stick to it...matter what
- NEVER rush...but don't be slow
- Putt out Every time
- Learn and apply a proper and comfortable putting grip
- Get the golf ball TO THE HOLE...or better even, past it
- Listen for the ball to drop in the hole from 5 feet or less
- DO NOT look up at your putt until it is well on its way from beyond 5ft
- Set up the same way to your putt every time
- Putt your golf ball over a spot 1-3 inches in front of the ball on your line
- Practice putting with a wedge (this helps immensely with #8)
1.Develop a putting routine and stick to it...no matter what
Every...Every PGA tour pro and very good golfer has a specific routine they follow religiously for every type of shot they play during a round of golf, from full swing to putting. ESPECIALLY putting.
I don't. I mean I have one, but I get lazy and in a hurry for no particular reason. I let how I'm feeling that day determine my level of commitment to my routine on the green. No bueno!
Don't be like me. To be fair to me, I'm working on this.
2.NEVER Rush, but don't be slow
I tend to want to get the thing over with sometimes. Especially when putting.
Putting is a very simple task from a technical standpoint. You need very little physical skill and no athleticism. So we take it for granted. (Shame. It's pretty easy to improve your putting)
Know who doesn't take putting for granted?
Pros and legit low handicappers. They know (we all know) this is where we can throw away strokes needlessly. Or, with a little care, save them.
- Commit to not rushing to get the hole over with.
- Don't be slow.
- Make your read.
- Go through your routine.
- Drain that putt.
3.Putt out every time
Man, I love gimmes and I sometimes backhand a 4 footer to end a disaster hole.
I shouldn't do that...ever. And you shouldn't either. There is pressure involved in holing out a putt. Even if just a little.
Take the opportunity to expose yourself to that pressure and learn how to perform through it. Holing out under pressure is a skill that can be built.
Take advantage and your putting confidence will go through the roof. You'll quickly become a better putter too.
4.Learn and apply a proper and comfortable putting grip
I think the sole purpose of your putting grip is to help you deliver the putter face squarely into the back of the golf ball.
It's likely ok if you work your way into some type of unconventional putting grip, but I think you should start with the reverse overlap or cross-handed style and choose the one that is MOST comfortable AND helps you start your golf ball on your intended line.
There are minor variations for each, so play around until you find the one you like best. Then stick with it
5.Get the golf ball TO THE HOLE...or better even, past it
I got your back, Dave Pelz!
This is definitely a problem for me. For YEARS this has been my biggest bugaboo on putting greens. Particularly the course I currently play most. It has notoriously slow greens which are also a little choppy.
Now, we don't want to be pounding our ball past the hole with 5-foot comebackers all day. But, we want to pay particular attention to trying to putt our ball past the hole if it doesn't go in.
Let's assume you haven't practiced this yet. Commit yourself to get your ball past the hole if it doesn't go in during your next round. You will likely hole a few more putts and have shorter second putts.
6.Listen for the ball to drop in the hole from 5 feet and in
Peeking at your putt as it rolls toward the hole
almost ALWAYS makes you come out of your putting stance early. Coming out of your stance early affects your putting stroke...and not in a good way.
Your stroke will be crooked and so will your putt. The longer we stay in our stance the better we will putt...The End.
I've tested this dozens of times and my putting ALWAYS improves when I hear it fall in the cup. I am not consistent with it, thus I am an average putter.
Again, don't be like me. Do this ALL THE TIME.
7.DO NOT look up at your putt until it is well on its way from 5 ft and beyond
We want to see how our putt breaks if it misses once we get to longer putts. We need information that can only be gained by watching our putt as it rolls past(hopefully) or short of the hole if it doesn't go in.
8.Set up the same way to your putt every time
We want to build solid putting mechanics and eliminate as many variables as possible in our putting (or any part of our golf game).
Setting up with our stance, ball position, head position, hand position, etc. the same way every time gives us the best chance to make putts or make adjustments.
9.Putt your golf ball over a spot 1-3 inches in front of the ball on your line
This is straight out of the Dave Stockton school of putting.
This dude was a beast. He won 5 majors and did it ALL with his short game. Johnny Miller once said of him- and I'm paraphrasing: "His golf swing was an excuse to get the ball on the green." Gotta love old Johnny.
The idea is for you to lock in on your target line and not your putting stroke or technique. Your job is finished one your putt rolls over that 1-inch mark.
10.Practice putting with a wedge
I've putted with my wedge using my right hand to finish out a chip or a pitch for years. I don't usually bring my putter to the green when I'm practicing wedges.
I've started serious putting practice with my sand wedge using two hands for about the last month.
Here's what it's done for me:
- My setup is now rock-solid and I am VERY still over my putts. I'm also starting my ball on my line with greater consistency
My putting stance and stroke were haphazard at times. You can't be that way and hit a putt with a wedge. You get exposed quickly.
I putt with my sand wedge every day at home on my putting mat just outside my office. It has become my favorite little drill at home.
A Final Word on Putting tips
It isn't hard to improve putting. It's just the least sexy part of the game...until you get good at it and your scores start showing it.
THEN...you become a whole lot more fond of your putting practice.
I'd like to hear your experience if you try any or all of these putting tips. Just reply in the comments below.