One of the best things about putting is that one quick tip can completely change how you putt it the next time you are on the golf course. It could be something about the position of the putter head or a distance control tip, but the key is that if you want to be a perfect putter, a few putting tips never hurt.
Here are our favorite putting tips for amateur golfers. You can start working on these today.
Golf putting tips
When you break down golf putting tips, you will find they are related to the putting stroke, speed control (or distance control), and alignment. If you can get good at these three things, you will make more long putts and be confident on those shorter putts.
- Head stays down until the putter moves beyond the lead foot
- Use the same pre-shot routine every single time
- Analyze the entire putt by walking all the way around the hole
- Understand that the speed of the practice green could be different than the course
- Practice consistency in the putting stroke with training aids or use a golf alignment stick
- Use golf balls that have a preferred feel
- Grip style can improve overall consistency in the putting stroke (, Cross-handed, reverse overlap, Claw grip, etc.)
- Keep the left wrist flat at impact
Professional golfers can get into a great position each time and follow the same routine before making a putt. To get this good, you need a consistent practice routine to learn what makes your putter head stay on the path.
There is no perfect putting stroke; instead, you will develop a putting style that you can trust or rely on, something that many players struggle with.
Ball position for putting
The best ball position at the setup for putting is about two inches from the left foot. This forward-of-center location allows for a square clubface at impact and a better roll on the putt.
Hitting down on a putt is a common mistake golfers make, but with a forward ball position, this should not be as much of a concern. The width of a golfer’s stance can vary; some like a wider stance for a more stable base. However, the ball position should still be closer to the lead foot. For more information on the proper golf stance, check out our article.
Where should the ball be in my putting stance?
The golf ball is in the ideal ball position when it is just an inch or two off of the front foot. The biggest mistake golfers make in setup and ball position is to place the ball off the trailing leg (right leg for right-handed players). Doing this creates too much spin, and the ball will not stay on the proper line.
Golfers tend to have a straight back and straight-through approach to putting or more of an arc-style stroke. In either of these methods, we still see the movement of the putter’s head back and then through the ball. Regardless of your putting stroke, this forward ball position is still ideal.
How close should you stand to the ball when putting?
Putting experts and experienced golfers have always suggested having your eyes over the ball when putting. You will stand about 2 and a half putter heads from the ball to get to this position. Standing too far from the ball develops issues with lie angle and alignment; standing too close to the ball creates an out-to-in style putting stroke.
The distance you stand from the ball when putting should be practiced. Setup with a golf tee marking the position of the putter head and one on the outside edge of the toe line. Pick a straight 7-foot putt and see how accurate you are from this position.
Then move the toe line back about a half inch and make some putts from this location. There is no perfect distance, but we do know that being closer to the ball is generally considered better than being too far.
Should you have an open stance when putting?
An open putting stance is a solution for golfers that struggle with alignment on the putting green. When your stance is square or closed, your body is closed to the target line, making it difficult to find the proper alignment and trust your line. An open stance gets the ball rolling on the proper line right from the start.
A full open stance is unnecessary for some players, and a slight turn of the lead foot is needed. The open stance can improve visibility and consistency depending on your body type and putting stroke style.
Should putting stance be wide or narrow?
A wider putting stance can give you a more stable base of support but too wide of a stance will make the putting stroke feel exaggerated and create bad habits. The key to a perfect putting stance width is to be comfortable; for some golfers, that is with feet about 6 inches apart; for others, it will be 12 inches or more.
When putting stances get very wide, there is also a tendency to make an unnecessarily large swing with too wide of an arc.
What happens when the stance is too wide?
When the stance is too wide for a full golf swing, it becomes incredibly difficult to transfer weight effectively. There is too much work to do to move the weight to the back foot and then forward to the front foot. A stance that is too wide for putting increases the chance of hitting up on the ball and decreases some of the consistency in the stroke.
Many new golfers stand with their feet too far apart as they are trying to get comfortable and feel stable. Over time you will find your golf swing and putting stroke is more efficient when feet are closer together, and the body can pivot better.
What is the key to putting straight?
Apart from being able to read greens speed and break, the key to a straight putt is a square clubface. Returning a square putter head to impact requires a flat left wrist, shoulders, and arms that control the movement of the putter.
Finding a grip that keeps the hands and wrists a little quieter in the stroke will help with putting straight.
In addition to the square clubface at impact, golfers that hit straight putts are also aware of their putter’s path. If a putter comes inside out or outside in, the ball will have a spin and roll that reflects that.
Make sure to check your alignment as well; keeping the putter on the proper path is easier when you are more aware of what a straight path to the hole looks like.
These golf-putting tips are not hard to implement in your game. In fact, all you need is a few minutes of practice on putting green, and these tips can make all the difference. Pay close attention to your setup and ball position to ensure that you hit the ball at the correct point in your stroke. For golf information be sure to check out AEC Info.