Simple putting tips for your next golf game

Putting tips:  The elusive problem for all golfers!  How do you putt?  For starters: go
straight back with the putter – one inch for each  foot of distance the ball is from
the cup, and then straight though  with a smooth swing of equal distance beyond the
strike point.  Make the necessary minor adjustments for existing conditions.  You
must “see” the imaginary line – from the ball to the cup.

There  are very few putts
that you aim straight at the hole! Having said that, putting is mostly about speed,
not aim.  If the  putt breaks more than a couple of inches, you need to get both
right in order to make the putt (or get both *wrong*, such that  they cancel out).

Aim is more important out to about two feet.  Beyond that, you need both.  Outside of
ten feet, it’s all about  speed.  You’re not likely to make the putt no matter what
you do  and your read of the break isn’t likely to be off by more than a  foot or
two.  But boy, can you get the speed wrong by more than  that . . .In my experience,
almost all three-putts are caused by  poor speed control on the first putt (and a
resulting second putt  that’s more than two or three feet).


Putter alignment tips

The key is getting your putter’s face aligned properly.  Here are some tricks. After
you’ve lined up your putt and see  the intended line, place the ball down so that the
logo points  straight down the line — don’t point the logo at the hole  (unless it’s
a perfectly straight putt); point it at your line.  Then, simply align your putter
head so that it is perpendicular  to the logo.

Another trick is to pick out an intermediate target: a  discoloration in the green,
a repaired ball mark or a particular  blade of grass, that lies directly on your
intended line, but only  two or three feet in front of your golf ball. When you are aiming
your  putter head, forget about your line and the hole and focus on this
intermediate target.

Perhaps the easiest way to align your putter head correctly, is to  stand behind the
ball and look at your line– then carefully place  the putter head behind the ball
aiming towards your target line.  Then, making sure not to move the putter head, walk
around to the  side of the ball and take your putting posture.


Short putting is mainly about direction.

Aiming corrrectly and  making a perfect smooth stroke.

Longer putting is about getting  the distance right.

You know this if in the past your putt has finished 6 feet short  (insert snicker
here) or 6 feet long.  But almost never will it be  6 feet wide.

Since a firm putt tend to hold its line you should aways hit the  longer putt firmly
and be prepared to putt back to the hole.

That means that the best thing you can do to get your distance  right is go to the
practice green and hit twenty putts from 2 feet,  twenty putts from 6 feet, twenty
putts from 12 feet and twenty  putts from 20 feet.  Soon you will know how to judge
distance and  select how hard to stroke the golf ball at the same time.


The Routine.  Practice on the putting green before you hit the

– review the slope, grain, and layout of the green.
– estimate the distance.
– select your aiming point.
– setup your grip, feet, head, and putter head alignment.
– decide on your stoke for the distance.
– take a parallel practice swing.
– smile confidently to yourself.
– swing smoothly.
– wait.

Tips for how to putt better

Dropping in Those Long Putts

When faced with a long putt, carefully study the green for overall slope, individual
breaks, grain, wind speed and other factors that may influence your stoke.
Having decided on the proper target line, pick a spot along the line a few feet in
front of your ball and aim for that.

Once your feet and the face of your putter are squared to the target, begin to think
in terms of speed and distance.

Try to visualize the ball rolling along the desired path and into the hole. Then
make your putt with confidence. This is how to putt better!

Putt Like a Pendulum

When putting, your hands should always be slightly ahead of the club head and the
Your arms and shoulders should form a triangle that moves in unison during your back
swing and stroke-much like a pendulum.
Just slide the club back without breaking your wrists and the forward again. Be sure
to follow through straight along the line of your putt.

Place two clubs parallel to the line towards the cup on either side of the ball.
Check to see you are swinging your putter through a straight line.

Place a two by four parallel to the line towards the cub outside of the ball.  Check
to see you are swinging your putter through in a straight line.
Mark the sweet spot with a piece of tape (a half inch by a half inch should do it).
See if you can it the sweet spot with each putt.

Place 6 balls in a circle around the hole about 4 feet away.  Putt each one in
turn.  Can you make all six?  Remember to read the green before each.

In order to aim for the center of the hole, Place four tees in front of the hole
with enough room for a golf ball to squeak through. Try from two and four feet out.

For long putts, use the distance on the practice green.  Start with your short putt
routine and then hit three from 20 feet.  Then three more.  Then three more.  Are
they getting closer?
Remember 90 percent of long putting is judgement of distance.

Are you getting better yet?


Using three balls.

Find a straight putt at least 9 feet long on the putting green.
Start at 3 feet and putt each ball from the same placement.

If you make all 3 putts move back to 6 feet and so on to 9 feet. If
you miss any, you have to start over. Say you made the 3 at 3 feet
and now you have made your first ball  from 6 feet, and then you
miss the next putt. Start over at 3 feet.

Do this drill until you have completed 3 putts from 3, 6 and 9 feet
in a row.

Do this at least 3 days per week. You will be a much better putter
within 2 weeks.

Steve Bean, Fairmount Golf Course and Learning Center Riverside,

Golf techniques for reading greens

Putting Tips on Reading the Green.

Remember 90 percent of long putting is judgement of distance.  But we all know that
the greens can be harsh.  There are two tiered greens, sloping greens, upside down
plate greens, and greens that just happen to be an optical illusion.

Here are seven tips and techniques to read the green better.

– as you approach the green look for slope (note that most greens slope back to
front-I did say most!)

– look for the grain.  Treat it like slope.  If the grain is away from you, it will
be faster.  If the grain is towards you, it will be slower.

– look at the terrain.  Grass grows towards the sea, towards a setting sun, away
from mountains (tricky in a ravine), or with the direction of water supply.

– think about moisture.  Shaded, early morning, or evening greens can be slower.
Goes for rain and sleet also.

– think about sunshine.  Sitting in the hot sun can dry and make a green faster.

– watch the line of your partner’s putts.  Enough said.

– lastly, is the wind strong enough to have an effect?

Complicated Putts

Some putts seem so difficult because severe breaks or elevation changes put
additional pressure on the one faculty we need most to putt our very best, that is,
our imagination.

The best putters are said to have the best feel, but I think they
have the best imaginations. And that imagination leads to feel. Imagine that the
green is covered with silvery dew. Your putt would leave a distinct track on its way
to the cup.

Just imagine that track to help you determine the route of your putt, and
burn that track into your mind and even onto the green. The end of your imaginary dew
track should be right in the hole! Work at maintaining the track in your mind. Don’t
let the severity of the break or even the hole distract you.

Start your ball right on
that imaginary line, not on a line at the hole. Once the track is set in your
imagination, your job is only to hit the putt at the right pace. So dust off your
imagination, and dust the green in silvery dew to conquer those tricky sidehillers.

The Stroke (revisited)

Develop a routine for your put.

– review the slope, grain, and layout of the green. – estimate the distance. –
select your aiming point. – setup your grip, feet, head, and putter head alignment. –
decide on your stoke for the distance. – take a parallel practice swing. – smile
confidently to yourself. – swing smoothly. – wait.

And then, you will most likely not hear those three dreaded words in putting.
“You’re still away!”

More golf tips for putting

Putting Basics

Just like with your regular golf swing, a good putting stroke depends on some basic
fundamentals. Here’s some great tips:

First, start with your setup. You should always play the ball forward
in your stance. Your hands should be on line with the clubhead and ball. Keep your
eyes looking down on the ball. Next, your takeaway should be low keeping your wrists
firm. Move your arms in a pendulum-like motion and accelerate through the ball. The
length of your swing will determine the distance the ball will travel. Finally, be
sure to maintain your balance with no body movement. This will help keep the club
square through the ball. Follow these basic fundamentals and be sure to practice them
next time you’re on the putting green. If you do, you’ll develop a more consistent
putting stroke, and it won’t be long before those dreaded three-putts become fewer
and far between.

Tips to make more Putts:

As the Irish say, “99% of putts that don’t reach the cup don’t go  in, and the other
1% are always short”. Bottom line, beginning  golfers should ALWAYS play to go beyond
the hole. Ideally, your  misses will stop 18″ after the hole, but, practice makes

I’d rather see you be long by 3 feet than short by 6″. At least you  know the miss
MIGHT have gone in if lined up right. The short putt  stands as much chance of going
in as I do winning against Davis  Love III in match play.

Also, match the stroke of your putt with your golf swing. If you  have a short swing
(i.e. your left arm doesn’t go too far in the  air during your backswing), your
putting stroke should match. Same  with if you have a long swing. You should have a
long stroke. Your  Body doesn’t like you fighting it.

Lastly, the average golfer 3 putts or MORE 7-8 times a round.  OUCH!! One of the
primary reasons (besides being a beginner or  weekend golfer) is that your eyes LOVE
to play tricks. If you have  a 20 foot or longer putt, I guarantee you that your eyes
are going  to think that it is only 16 feet. Has to do with triangulation of  the
eyes. But who cares about the science of it. The fact is, until  you are skilled
enough to REALLY gauge distance, factor in a couple  feet for longer putts. You won’t
regret it!!

Tips on The Stroke.

The putting stroke has a very simple goal.  The putter head should  move straight
back from the hole and move straight through the ball  straight to the hole.

Do you notice the use of the word straight?

Try to keep the putter head from touching the grass, even in the  practice or set
up.  Hover.

When you stroke the golf ball, keep your head still.  No looking or  watching.  Make the
stroke, then look second.  For anything under  six feet be sure to keep the swing
path straight.



Tips to improve your putting

Putting Introduction.

There is no question improving your putting can have the most impact on your score
in the shortest period of time.  And at the end of the day, where did your 107 shots
come from?  Ever miss a two-footer?  Me neither, but that we can fix easily.

I think you should make a note next time you play of how many putts you took in the
round.  Make a note of the number of three-putts.  Turning eight of those into two
putts just put you under a hundred!

That being said, the best place you can spend your practice time in on a putting
green.  Or, to be honest, your carpet will help with the first step, the set up.

When was the last time you spent 30 minutes on the practice green?  A-Hah.  Thought

The Set Up.

The Grip you use in putting is NOT the grip you use to rip the ball off the tee.

Most Pros use the reverse overlap grip.  You can tell if you are using this grip if
the pads of your thumbs are down the front side of the club.  Many putters make the
front of the grip flat to help with that.

Next, you be aware of your index finger on your right hand.  It can be wrapped
around the club or flat along the grip pointed to the ground.

Putting is a very personal thing so make sure this feels relaxed to you.  Relaxed,
smooth, natural.

Your Eye over the Ball.

Find a stance that is comfortable to you with one goal in mind.  You must have your
eye directly over the ball on line to the hole.  If your putter is inside (between
your eyes and your feet) you will pull left (and miss).  If your putter head is
outside your line, you will tend to push right (and miss).

You will see golfers with their head bent over horizontally so that looking to the
pin is done with a swivel motion.  That’s a sign they are lining up properly.

Not lining your eyes over the ball and to the pin is an all-too-common mistake made
by golfers and you haven’t even started to read the green yet. Get the set up so you
can aim where you choose.

Aim on Short Puts.

For short puts, the set up is very important.  You must have the club face directed
straight at the target.  In the old days you had to be able to judge a 90% perfectly.

Now putters help you out with putter-heads that assist (see the Odyssey putter
below).  Do not strike the ball till you check this alignment.  You will be suprised
how often you find your alignment is not aimed at the hole.

Then do a practice putt.  Do NOT move six inches from the ball and aim at the hole.
That is a different shot.  Move six inches from the ball and do a practice swing
parrallel to your set up.  Then when you align it again, you will have practiced the
correct shot.

How to make a good golf putting stroke – the basics

Putting: Back to Basics

We’re back to putting again. We feel that strongly about it. The average golfer
could easily make up 10 strokes a ROUND by putting properly. And it is much
easier to practice putting then driving or fairway shots in your house or yard!

The game of golf should be learned from the green back to the tee. That means
putting, chipping, fairway shots, and THEN drives. Remember, most shots in a
round are from around the green!!!! The average golfer’s tendency, when putting,
is to use too much of their wrists and arms, thus breaking down their wrists
through the putt. No! No!! NO!!!! DO NOT BREAK YOUR WRISTS!! First it hurts (ok,
couldn’t resist), second, you LOSE CONTROL!!!

To become a great putter, the perfect combination of shoulders and arms should
be used throughout the putt. Any wrist action involved is through the motion of
the weight of the putter.

During your putt, concentrate on your shoulders really the putting stroke. On
the backswing, your left shoulder moves down and your right shoulder moves up,
focusing on your shoulders becoming synchronized. Your left wrist should stay
nice and firm throughout.

In order to set up the putting grip, first place the grip in the palm of your
left hand, and your entire hand around the grip. Place your right hand
underneath your left, in a similar palm grip. Overlap your right hand with your
left index finger.

Your palms should be opposite to one another, for a nice locked-in feeling.
When setting up to address the ball, make sure your eyes are over the ball,
specifically your left eye (if you are a right hand golfer).

Bend your knees slightly, and hang your arms over the ball.

Shift your weight slightly forward on your left foot, favoring the left side of
your body. Your hands should also be slightly forward in your stance.

Before making your stroke, make sure your arms, shoulders, knees and feet are
all parallel with your target line.

Keep all these elements in tact, and you should see improved putting in no
time. .

Standard rule of thumb. Five foot putt, bring (sweep) your putter back five
inches, follow through five inches.

Why do most putts miss? Because the stance and the putter head are NOT square
to the target line (for such cool people playing this game, isn’t the word
square used a lot?).

Put this in your muscle and visual memory bank:

Use a square tile floor. Place the putter head along one of the squares, and
align your feet using the square pattern of the floor to be, well, square to the

Now, take a little peek down the target line. MEMORIZE that look. That is a
square look, and that’s cool!

Golf Putting Drill


An great way in which to perfect your putting stroke is to practice with your
eyes shut. This drill will shift your attention away from the mechanics of the
stroke and force you to concentrate on feel.

The urge to lift your head too soon to see where the ball is going will vanish.
The net result will be less anxiety on putts of all distances.

Practice this drill:

Hit a series of 10-foot putts with your eyes closed. Make sure you are settled
in correctly. Then, simply concentrate on hitting the putt solidly with an
accelerating motion on the forward stroke, utilizing an ultra-smooth stroke (see
tip below on how to get that!)

Remember, the goal is to two putt.  One putting is icing on the cake.  Always
think of a two foot perimeter around the hole.  If you are 15 feet or further
away, try to sink in one, but ultimately, the best course of action for a
weekend golfer is to shoot within that two foot perimeter.

The secrets to judging speed and break.

This is one of the toughest parts of the golf game to improve…and usually it
takes practice and experience to make any significant change.  However, there
are some things you can do to help you improve your consistency on the greens
and help you to sink more putts.

First, keep the following in your mind when judging your putts or chips.

1. Examine the “Grain:” The term ‘grain’ is simply the direction is which the
grass grows.

This can be determined by looking for the ‘shine’ or ‘sheen’ of the putting

When the green reflects the sun and appears brighter, you are looking down

Putts down grain, or with the grain, will run faster.

Another method of determining grain is to stroke your putter in the fringe just
off the putting surface (make sure you are on the fringe and not on the actually

Fringe grass usually has the same grain as the green.

2. Read the Contour: When waking to the green, study the general slope of the

Remember, most greens are built higher at the back and lower toward the front.
This will definitely impact how you play a shot on the green…or even as you
approach the green.

When you are putting from the front of the green (assuming that it slopes
downward from back to front), the putt will be uphill. When you are putting from
the back, downhill.

Any putt across such a green will usually break toward the front lower portion
of the surface.

These are simply good “general” rules to keep in mind as you approach the

Now, think about these 2 elements (Contour and Grain) together.

– Putts running with the grain will tend to “run” faster.

– When you are putting cross-slope and your putts are running with the grain
they will break more.

– And likewise, if you are putting cross-slope against the grain, your putt
with break less.

– When you putt against the grain…give it a little “more.” Your putts will
tend to run slower so you may leave it short more often if you aren’t careful.

– When you putt downhill, with the grain, you putts will not only run faster
but they will break more.

– And the opposite is also true. If you are putting uphill, against the grain,
expect your putts to run slower and break less.

By keeping these very simple “rules” in mind and reading the greens as you
approach you should be able to improve your consistency on the greens and sink
more putts.

Plus, everyone knows…you drive for show and putt for dough.

Golf Plumb bob putting

Plumb Bobbing!

The rule of thumb when judging a break, and the size of the break,
is to use plumb bobbing.  Yes, that’s a real word (or words!)

First, you need to find your dominant eye.  Make a circle with your
thumb and forefinger, and with both eyes open, place an object in
the middle (i.e. a lamp, a flag, a picture, etc).  Now alternately
close the left eye, and the right.  Whichever eye “keeps” the
object in the middle is your dominant eye.  Do this when no one is
looking 🙂

Now, take this to the golf course.  Line up your putter, hanging
freely, behind your ball so that it matches up with the flag pin.

With your dominant eye open, you will see that the ball is to the
left, right, or straight on.  Straight on, no break.  If to the
left, the putt will generally break right to left.  Conversely, it
will break left to right if the pin is to the right.  The distance
between the ball and pin/hole is GENERALLY the amount of break.

This is not an exact science, but it will help you immensely if you
can’t read greens at all (like me).


Quick Putting Tip:

Drive for show, putt for dough.  It’s that simple.  Well, not
really, but we’ll get to that in a few issues!  Most of us get our
practice in on the 18 holes we play.  And that’s fine.  A driving
range is good for measuring distance, and is beneficial.  But how
much time and effort do we really have?

Let’s face it, practice is on the 18 holes we play.  Bottom line.
And that’s OK!

For a crude, but effective method of gaining the correct
backstroke, lay a two by four down on the ground.  Place the ball 2
inches from the two by four.  Take your putter, and place the
inside head against the two by four.  A good putting stroke will
keep the head of the putter alongside the two by four during your
back swing, and during your downswing.  Get the feel of it.  That’s
how your stroke should feel!