10 ways to sink more putts, according to a Top 100 Teacher
I believe there’s both an art and a science to being a good putter, and while it appears to be an easy skill, it holds players to a high standard.
Putting requires a super consistent setup and the ability to aim your putter face with precision, while also having a body position that allows for a consistent stroke path. Not to mention, even after doing all of this correctly, you still need to dial in distance control to even have a chance to sink the shot!
How to make more putts
Too many amateurs overlook the importance of putting practice — but it’s time to change that if you really want to see lower scores.
By following my 10 tips below, you’ll be able to formulate a better understanding of good putting technique, which will help you monitor both your putter setup and motion. With a little more focused practice time, you’ll start to make more putts and see lower scores.
1. Proper posture
Proper putting posture is where you bend forward from your hips, helping you to get both of your arms to hang. This proper posture and light connectivity will help create consistency in both contact and path.
2. Eyes relatively over the line
When you get into good putting posture and your eye line is relatively over the ball, it can make it much easier to aim well and truly see the line. This is especially true for shorter putts, where aiming your putter face becomes extremely important.
Remember, the closer your eyes are to being over the aim line, the less distorted the view.
3. Parallel lines – shoulders and forearms
Once you dial in the small details like posture, ball positioning, and eye line, you can now focus on your body alignments — allowing you to roll the ball true and parallel to your target.
Ideally, your shoulders and forearms will be parallel to your aim line, with the arms swinging along the shoulder line. This is to help create a consistent path.
4. Build your setup around your putter face
Most good putters aim their putter face to the target first, and then they set their body to the putter. The downside to aiming the body first is that it shouldn’t point towards the target, and many golfers who set it first tend to struggle aiming their putter face directly to the target.
5. Proper arc to match your style
The path of a putting stroke is constantly debated, and can certainly be a point of discussion. But I like what my good friend and fellow GOLF Top 100 Teacher Stan Utley once said, go “straight back and straight through on an incline plane.”
This makes so much sense to me.
Every player is unique, with each using different putter styles. But one constant should remain the same for everyone: Find the arc that best matches your stroke.
6. Proper putter to match your arc
I personally believe that your putter should fit you perfectly. That’s because, in my opinion, it’s the most important club in your bag for scoring.
On a daily basis, I see so many putters that are historically too long for the golfer — which is throwing off their entire stroke.
Since there are an incredible number of factors that go into a putter fitting, always be sure you go with experts who know how to determine things like arc and path based off your tendencies.
I always recommend my students check out True Spec Golf, which allows them to try all models and shafts, helping the experts determine what works best.
7. Alignment mirror to help with short putts
I don’t generally teach with a lot of training aids, but the exception is when it comes to putting practice — since having the perfect setup can lead to converting more putts — especially shorter ones.
A putting mirror will allow you to learn how to aim your putter face, while also showing you how to get into good posture, setting your body up the right way.
Even a small amount of focused training with a mirror can lead to fewer strokes during your next round.
8. Lots of distance control practice
Obviously, we all want to take just one putt on each hole. Realistically, that’s asking a lot for any golfer — even for the pros that you see on TV.
That’s why distance control is so critical, because if you can roll your first putt close enough to just tap in the second, you’ll relieve lots of stress; and see lower scores because of it.
So how do you conquer distance control? With focused practice time, helping you get a good feel for how to roll the ball the right speed.
No, it’s not as much fun as pounding your driver, but this type of practice will pay off on the scorecard much more quickly.
9. Try this 3-foot incremental drill
If you master 3-foot putts, you’re almost guaranteed to see your scores dip. So one of my favorite drills is a 3-foot incremental drill, where you set balls at three feet from the hole and gradually move back.
Start with the shortest putt and move back. As you move farther from the hole, the size of your stroke will increase — so this drill helps develop both feel and control based upon the total distance.
By building up your muscle memory, you can then carry this feel over to the course.
10. The backstroke is the engine
When it comes to controlling distance while putting, the size of your backstroke is the engine.
If you swing your putter back far enough and you allow the putter to simply fall on the ball, it should roll the ball to the desired distance. That’s because the backstroke controls the distance that the ball rolls, and this should allow rhythm to be relatively even.
On shorter putts, be small enough to keep the stroke moving. On larger putts, be large enough to keep it smooth.