Let’s be honest here, without a half-decent putting game, your entire round is going to suffer. Without this, it’s easy to rack up high scores as you three-putt, or worse, on a regular basis.
Now, if you are starting out with golf, then it’s going to be difficult to get those numbers of putts down quickly enough. In saying that, there are some tips that should make a difference, and these tips will apply no matter your current standard or level of play.
Table of Contents
Tip 1 - Judge Beside the Ball, Not Behind
The first tip is going to involve you probably changing everything you have been doing. Stop only judging the putt from behind the ball. Instead, you need to get to the side of the ball as well.
The reason for this is that we tend to be quite good at judging the break of the ball according to the roll of the green, but that’s not the only thing we need to judge.
Instead, you must look at the distance, and it has been shown time and time again that we tend to under-estimate the distance, and sometimes by up to 25%.
What that means is you could look at a putt that is actually 25 feet, and you will think that it’s only a 20 foot putt. You then put in less power as you think it has less distance to travel, and that’s why you come up short.
Tip 2 - Read Things from the Down Side
Here’s another reading tip, always read things from the down side. If you aren’t sure what that is, then this quick explanation will make a difference.
You should always look at reading the putt from the lower side. So, if your putt is going to be uphill, then read things from behind the ball. However, if your putt is going to be going downhill, then go behind the hole and read it from that side.
The reason for this is simple. You need to consider the upward slope to judge the power in the stroke as that needs to be built into the calculation, or you will come up short.
Tip 3 - Work On Your Grip
Without a good grip, your putt is going to be all over the place. In fact, one of the main reasons for people missing a putt is because their putter is either open or closed when it comes to that point of contact.
Now, it’s impossible to say the best grip for you. It all depends on the putter you have, your swing motion, and even the size of your hands. However, one main point is to go to your local club pro and ask them to help.
You want the grip to be firm, but not overly firm. That causes tension in the hands and wrists, and you will tire and this has a negative impact on your shot.
So, master your grip, and the rest of your putting game is going to follow.
Tip 4 - Swing Length and Distance Control
This tip is focused on something that people tend to do naturally.
With a long putt, we tend to give it a long swing length to the point where some people almost over-extend the swing. However, we give a short putt a much shorter swing length as if we are replicating the distance with the swing.
However, this isn’t correct.
With a short putt, you do need a shorter backswing, but you need a long follow through. With a long putt, you need a longer backswing, but the follow through is long just as it is with a short putt.
The aim is to have your putt feeling as if there’s an acceleration toward the ball and then an almost graceful, smooth swing after it. If you reduce the backswing too much, then you will ‘hit’ the ball and that increases the chances of throwing things off course.
Tip 5 - Keep Your Wrists Quiet
You need to look at keeping your wrists quiet with your putting stroke. If your wrists move around, or flick, then the putter is going to twist and turn throughout the stroke.
If that happens, then don’t be surprise when your putt goes off your intended line. This tip is tied in with the earlier one regarding working on your grip. You don’t want to hold too tight, or too loose as too loose will result in those flicks appearing.
Tip 6 - Keep Your Head Still
Keeping your head still while putting is more important than most people realize. If you lift or move your head while putting, it means your shoulders are going to move, and that means your entire stance is altered.
Your head should remain still from the moment you are adopting your stance right through to after the point when the ball has been struck. Any movement in between those times will result in you changing absolutely everything, and the ball is then more likely to go off its line.
Tip 7 - Hit Slightly Up On Your Putt
The final tip that we have is for you to hit slightly up on your putt. Now, your putter is going to have a loft of around 3 degrees, and that makes a difference.
The problem is that the ball does sit down in the grass, even though the grass is exceptionally short, and to hit up on it, you need to have the ball positioned closer to your front foot. Then, it should be the case of the putter hitting the ball at the correct position to then hit it up ever so slightly in a natural way.
This simple movement can make a real difference to how the ball acts on the green. Also, it makes a difference to your putt.
So, those are just a few tips that you should be incorporating into your putting game in order to then putt better. It does take some time, as well as some practice, on your part to perfect this entire thing. However, keep on trying, and those scores should start to tumble.