5 Best Golf Putting Tips | The Ultimate Guide to Putting
Proper putting technique is something every golfer needs to master. Once you have perfected your swing and achieved mastery of all of the other clubs in your inventory, you need to focus on putting. Even the most experienced golfer can find perfect putting a challenge, but a few good tactics can put you in good stead.
Our golf putting tips and guide includes all the main things you need to know to improve your chances of getting the ball in the hole and bringing down your handicap.
Golf Putting Skills & Tips
Before you start thinking about refined putting techniques and skills, you will first need to understand the fundamentals of good putting.
The Basics of Putting
Firstly, you will need to ensure you are maintaining good grip of your putter. There are various ways you can grip your putter, with each approach having the potential to impact your shot. For best results, go for a firmer grip.
When adopting a firm grip, you will need to ensure your hands and wrist, as well as your arms, remain as still as possible. To ensure good putting performance, you will also need to ensure you have adopted a correct stance.
With grip and stance mastered, you will need to ensure you are positioned correctly. Your head should be directly positioned over the ball itself. You also need to think about putting stroke.
Your stroke will have to be adapted to contend with various factors, including the distance the ball needs to travel, the condition of the green, the clubface of the putter you are using, as well as weather conditions.
Remember, your putting stroke is directly impacted by the shoulders. You should keep your wrists as locked and still as possible when carrying out a stroke to ensure the best results.
Your legs should also remain as still as possible, with your weight evenly distributed across each foot.
Selecting a Suitable Putter
Many golfing novices make the mistake of thinking that putter selection is relatively narrow, especially when compared to other golf club varieties. In fact, you have a surprising amount of range when it comes to selecting putter styles.
Each type of putter has its own distinct benefits and drawbacks, with each one offering unique advantages when contending with various situations on the green. The main thing you should be looking at when selecting a suitable putter is the head design.
The unique head design and shape of a putter will provide you with better results, depending on the exact putting scenario.
Blade putters are a good option for those golfers who tend to putt with an arcing stroke. Blade putters are easy to distinguish by their straighter head and thin profile.
A heel-toe weighted putter is another option to consider. Otherwise known as a peripheral-weighted putter, this type of club is essentially an advanced version of a conventional blade putter. The key difference between this type of putter and a standard blade putter is that it is thinner and longer in design.
The additional weight found in the toe and heel of the putter head generally allows for better accuracy when putting. However, they can be difficult to master if you are unfamiliar with them. A weighted putter will require plenty of practice in order to utilise it properly on the green.
A more manageable option is a mallet putter. This type of putter has a relatively large face, although the head of the putter can come in an assortment of shapes. As the name would suggest, this type of putter visually resembles a mallet.
If you are looking to deploy a straighter back stroke, a mallet putter is a good option. They are an ideal option for golfers looking to straighten their putting strokes with minimal effort. They are also a good choice for the beginner looking for simplicity.
Understanding Green Conditions
The way you use your putter and hit the ball should be determined by the condition of the green you are playing on. If you are fairly experienced with golf courses, you should be able to determine the conditions of the green by visual inspection alone. Reading the green is an essential step you need to take prior to reaching for your putter and deploying your stroke.
One of the first things you should be looking out for is the slope of the green. You are unlikely to encounter a green that is totally flat. Every green will have some degree of sloping. However, sloping should not be seen as a barrier to delivering a good stroke.
In fact, slopes can be used to your advantage. To get a good view of any slopes, position yourself behind the target hole and visualise the path of your ball. Identify any sloping contours on the green itself, as this will give you an idea of where your ball might veer off track.
You also need to think about the condition of the grass on the green. Longer grasses are more stubborn and will require you hit the ball with greater force in order to ensure it carries well. If the green you are playing on is particularly short, you will only need to deploy a small amount of force when putting to get your ball to the hole.
Different types of grass will also offer different levels of friction, with varying drag affecting how smoothly your ball will travel. Physically touching and inspecting the grass with your fingers will allow you to get a good idea of its condition. This tactile inspection is important for those who want to make precise adjustments to their putting style.
As we have already mentioned, the style of your grip on your putter will have a big impact on how you swing. One of the most commonly adopted grips when putting is the reverse overlap. Not only is this grip one of the easiest to master, it can also be one of the most effective when it comes to putting effectively.
A reverse overlap is fairly easy to get to grips with. To begin, you should use your left hand to grip the putter. Your right hand should then be placed on the putter grip, just below your left hand. You should then lift your left index finger and firmly wrap it across the fingers of your other hand.
The thumb of your left hand should be rested flat on the upper portion of the grip. If you have carried out the previous steps correctly, your thumb will provide you with essential support when putting, ensuring your putter face remains square come the moment of impact with the ball.
Essentially, your left hand will provide your putt with directional trajectory, while the right hand provides you with the force required to get the ball rolling across the green.
How to Putt using a Reverse Overlap Grip
5 Best Golf Putting Tips
Below we delve deeper into important elements to look out for when putting
- Mastering Balance
- Aiming your putter
- Putter Alignment
- Common Putting Mistakes
- Improving Putting Accuracy
Balance is an important part of any golfing technique, but it really comes into play when it comes to mastering putting. If your balance is distributed unevenly between your feet, your putting stroke can veer off course. When putting, your hands, arms, legs and upper body all need to work closely together to provide you with a superior.
Good balance ultimately boils down to ensuring weight is distributed correctly. You need to ensure that weight is distributed evenly between both feet. Less experienced golfers tend to put more weight on their back foot, as well as too much pressure in the toes, as opposed to the heel of the foot.
The more experienced golfer will demonstrate a more even balance between feet. To ensure you are observing proper balance, you will need to be able to remain stable when putting. If you have minimal core strength, this is something to focus on.
Basic exercises can help you achieve better stability, with many yoga techniques a good place to start. Strong core muscles are a must for maintaining good stance and balance when playing golf. If your core muscles need some urgent attention, now is the time to start exercising.
How to Aim Your Putter
Misaligning a golf shot can have a significant impact on direction and cause your ball to veer off target. While poor aim is an issue to consider throughout a game of golf, it is particularly impactful when it comes to handling a putter.
When you are finally on the green and within close reach of the hole, the possibility for error is magnified significantly. Therefore, understanding the dynamics of proper putter alignment is essential.
One of the biggest challenges faced by golfers at the green is aiming their putting shots lower than required. A good approach is to aim around fifty percent higher than the overall point of the hole. Such an approach means you have plenty of break room.
Unless you have masses of experience, you should avoid trying to aim your ball so it stops exactly at the position of the hole. Such an approach leaves you very little margin of error and will usually result in you falling short of target.
Simple Steps for Better Alignment
Less experienced golfers hoping to improve their putting accuracy might want to think about marking the balls they are using. Take a marker with a thick nib and draw two parallel lines on a ball. These lines need to be visible enough that they can be seen when aiming your putt shots.
These lines should also wrap completely around the ball itself, allowing them to be seen at all times. You may also want to add lines on the heads of the putters you are using. These will allow to make very precise alignments with marked balls.
Basically, you want the marks on your putter to match up with the marks on the ball come the moment of impact. You can use this technique to practice putting techniques at home, but can also incorporate such practice into quick drills on the golf course before you commence a full game of golf.
Common Putting Mistakes
Putting errors can be incredibly frustrating, but you should avoid overreacting if you make a mistake and instead focus on what went wrong and what to improve.
Hand-eye coordination is a key component of good putting technique, particularly when it comes to accuracy. It is even more important when putting, as you are aiming the ball differently to how you would be when using a different type of club. Poor aim is responsible for the majority of missed putts, as opposed to incorrect swings and strokes.
If you are looking to fine-tune your putting technique, you might find it beneficial to invest in an alignment stick. These training aids can be very useful during practice drill sessions. To use one of these, you need to first aim your putter in the direction of your desired target. Then, you need to take the alignment stick and position it between the putter face, as well as angle it to the right.
The alignment stick will give you a clear idea of where you should be aiming your putter, as well as let you know what adjustments you may need to make to ensure your ball finds its way to the target. When properly utilised, an alignment stick can demonstrate just how far off your aiming has been when putting.
Other Ways to Improve Putting Accuracy
To ensure the best in putting accuracy and precision, you should always be aiming your putter face at the target. The sole of the putter should be properly aligned behind the golf ball itself. Your head and eyes should always be positioned over the golf ball.
The positioning of your body also needs to be considered. Our knees, hips and feet should all be parallel to the target line. Your shoulders should also be parallel to the target line. Once you have positioned yourself correctly, you should then bend your elbows slightly.
You should notice a slight imbalance of your body weight at this point, with the majority of your bodyweight shifted to the left heel. You are then ready to start your putting stroke.