How To Do Everything
5 important putting-stroke basics every golfer should know
The act of making a putting stroke is a simple art. The basics can make or break you on the green. Get those right, and much of your technique will fall into place. It will free you up to focus on what's happening on the green itself, and breed the kind of comfortable confidence that all great putters have. — Joe Plecker, Director of Instruction, Landings Club, Savannah, Ga., Golf Digest Best in State Teacher
How to Make a Putting Stroke: The Basics
- Weight balanced on both feet
- Place ball position forward
- Check posture at setup
- Match tempo back and through
- Keep your head down
Putting Stroke Basics #1: Balance Your feet
Getting balanced on your feet gets you into something called skeletal alignment. But without getting too deep into the jargon, it helps keep you stable, and it eliminates pressure throughout your body to relieve tension. When you start your putting stroke in a tense, imbalanced, rigid position, your ability to hit delicate putts will suffer.
Putting Stroke Basics #2: Ball Position Forward
All good putters hit up on the ball. Anyware between two degrees, and four degrees. With your sternum located in the middle of your balanced stance, placing the ball slightly forward will ensure the ball is past the bottom of the arc, and ensure a slight rise.
Putting Stroke Basics #3: Check Posture
No two postures will be the same in putting, but again, it's all about stability, and comfort. With your knees slightly bent, tilt your hips down until your fingertips touch the top of your kneecaps, then grip your putter. As you can see, my posture has allowed my arms not to be excessively bent, but they're not arrow straight either.
Putting Stroke Basics #4: Match Stroke Tempo
The feeling of the putterhead during the stroke should be one of letting the putterhead fall. All acceleration is due to gravity. When I see players trying to jam the putter through, it twists the clubhead open or closed. It's not just their distance control that suffers, it's their direction, too.
Putting Stroke Basics #5: Keep Head Down
It's bad advice for your full swing, but good on the putting green. I see a lot of players jump out of their posture as soon as they hit the putt. You should still be comfortable in your posture long after the ball has gone, and the putterhead has stopped moving completely.