By Austin Peters
Putting seems to be the simplest stroke on the golf course, yet we all find ourselves putting far too often while playing. Let’s take a look at some basics to help improve that. First and foremost you must have a solid balanced stance and correct ball position. When positioning the ball, it should be slightly closer to the hole from the center of your stance. Doing so will allow you to hit the ball as your putter begins to rise from the lowest point on the swing. This way you strike the ball evenly, helping ensure the ball begins rolling end over end rather than to hop or skip.
The main component to putting is your stroke itself. Now, I could dive into details about different putters matching different strokes, but let’s keep it to the basics for now. Since the putting stroke is very simple, it is also very easy to use the wrong body parts to make a stroke, examples being your wrists and/or arms. Putting should be done with a turn of your shoulders where your arms/elbows/wrists (in whichever position is most comfortable) stay locked in place. This allows for the most consistent stroke in terms of being repetitive, controlling direction, and using the correct power.
Power control is the most difficult aspect of putting because it not only controls the distance you will have left if you miss, but it also dictates the line you should take. How many times have we all three putted because we left a putt short or blew it way past the hole? I’m sure far too many to count. The best way to learn how to control the distance of your putts is to have the mindset of “pushing” your ball to the hole. This will create a shorter backswing which in turn will ensure acceleration through the ball. One of the most common downfalls I see from amateurs is that they decelerate on their putts (and all short shots in general), not only is this practice terribly inconsistent, it’s extremely difficult to control. Now, let’s take these tips and head on out to lower those scores.
Austin Peters is a PGA Pro based out of the Los Angeles area. In 2015 he earned his entry to the PGA Championship after he placed T-5 in his debut at the PGA National Championship qualifying event. Today he continues to play in PGA Tour Events and offers lessons to professional, amateur, and beginning golfers alike. You can contact Austin via email at [email protected] or by phone at (303) 475-0692