What it takes to be a great putter, according to a world-renowned putting coach

tiger woods reads putt

There is no one way to become a great putter.

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Putting is an art that few have mastered. But even among those who do become ascend to all-time great status, it’s still difficult to pinpoint similarities in their strokes.  

“When we look at golf, we look at technique,” world-renowned putting coach Phil Kenyon said on this week’s episode of Off the Course with Claude Harmon. “We try to look at commonalities between great putters, and I think there are very few.”

There are putters like Ben Crenshaw, who rode his languid stroke to 19 PGA Tour wins and two major championships. And then there are players like Tiger Woods who use traditional methods to produce success on the greens. Their techniques are wildly different, but the results they produce are similar — they get the ball in the hole.

These techniques might be different, but there are some things that link all great putters together. According to Kenyon, they’ve all acquired certain skills.

“They have the ability to start the ball on their intended line, control speed and read greens,” he said. “Over the years they’ve found a way for themselves to kind of marry those skills together and go out and perform with them. That would be the one common theme that I see is the development of their skill.”

But although there are a variety of methods to become a great putter, that is also among the biggest challenges. There is no one “correct” method to get the ball in the hole.

“There are so many ways you can do it,” Kenyon said. “What’s the right way for you?”

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.