Golf tips: Putting Basics

Take your stance with your eyes over the ball. Your shoulders and putter face should be square to the target line. The ball should be positioned off your left toe or instep.

Your stance should be steady with your weight favoring your left side. Begin your stroke with a low and slow takeaway. Follow through down the line toward your intermediate target.

Accelerate your stroke through the ball. Deceleration is the major cause of missed putts. A shortened backswing will give you a more accelerating stroke and follow-through.

To develop repeatable and successful putting mechanics. The only way to develop a successful putting stroke is through practice. The following basic elements are critical:

  • Eyes over the ball
  • Straight back and straight through motion
  • Accelerating stroke
  • Steady stance with weight favoring left side

To understand the stroke and strategy of putting There is no specific right way or wrong way to putt. Putting is the most individualized of all golf strokes. However, there are certain characteristics which are common among successful putters. Imitating these traits can give you a head start toward developing your own successful putting stroke. The only way to develop your own stroke and become a successful putter is to practice. Putting accounts for over 40% of your strokes on the course. A significant part of your practice time should be devoted to putting. Doing basic putting drills will assure solid putting mechanics. After you develop solid putting mechanics, you can make putting more fun by engaging in competitive putting practice. Find a practice partner and compete in as many competitive putting games and drills as possible. Organize a putting tournament. Enjoy your practice and have fun. It is the fastest way to improve your score.

Do and Don'ts
The most effective time to practice putting is after your round. Also, during the week, stop at the course after work and you will usually find the putting green open and waiting for you. Weekly practice will help reduce tension which is a major cause of putting problems.