Golf Putting is probably the part of golf that is neglected the most in terms of practice, but if you don’t practice it there is no way around it! You simply can’t shoot good scores and will need some golf putting instruction.
Basic putting lessons are as simple as practicing getting the ball in the hole. This can even be practiced at home with a golf practice putting mat, or even a putt return on your carpet.
Many golfers actually strike the ball very well and yet they play off many different handicaps. Being able to consistently putt well means you can hit the ball average, and still beat your handicap. This is where golf putting lessons can really help a keen golfer and there are many putting lessons online available.
For a professional, this would mean still shooting under par just because their short game saved them. There are a number of professionals who are very good at this, and when they do occasionally strike the ball well, they win tournaments.
Yes, there are some basic technical aspects you need to implement to putt well, but they are rather simple.
The way you grip the putter is generally personal preference, but It would be suggested that once a player gets comfortable with gripping the putter, they should just stay with it and make sure they have their own personal best putting grip.
Golfers that are changing their putting grips all the time generally struggle with putting, so don’t follow them.
The following is a common putting grip used by a lot of the worlds best golfers.
Place your left hand at the top of the club with your thumb pointing directly down the handle. Place your right hand with the right thumb pointing straight down the putter handle.
All that happens now is your left index finger will make contact with your right pinky, ring finger, and middle finger, and your right index finger and thumb will be on the bottom of the putter handle as shown.
There are a lot of other ways to grip the putter so what feels comfortable through experimentation is generally the best way to go.
The golf setup for a putt is almost like the full swing in which your arms hang straight down from the shoulders, but the difference is your eyes are directly over the ball. This means you will be bending from the hips to reach the ball.
To determine if you are close enough to the ball just drop a ball from your eyeline whilst in your setup position, and if it lands in the vicinity of the ball you are going to putt, you are good to go.
Practice putting mirrors are also a great help in getting you in the correct setup position.
Stance and Ball Position
The best ball position is slightly forward of centre but not by much.
The ideal stance width is mainly personal preference, but you want to be comfortable. You will see a range of different stance positions based on which putter a player uses and what feels comfortable.
The putting stroke contains zero lower body movement, and the arms and shoulders move together as one movement with no wrist break. This is easy to practice and is much like a pendulum motion.
The key to distance control is rhythm and tempo. Practicing holing a lot of short putts will increase confidence out on the golf course when needed.
In the below putting lessons video, Touring Professional Stuart Appleby will give you some handy tips for the short putts on the practice putting green.
Take note of his putting stroke and how there is no movement of his lower body during the putting stroke.
To putt consistently well you will need to practice, but implementing some of the basics will help enhance your putting skills a lot faster. A golf putting mat or a practice putting mat would be good to setup at home to work on your putting skills and putting stroke. Indoor putting mats are a great way to feel comfortable with a putter in the hands.
Golf putting games are another great way of becoming a more consistent putter. Spending some time out on the putting green with some buddies will help a golfer become a much better putter.
As for choosing a putter, there are many golf putters on the market to help a golfer hole more putts. These include used golf putters, custom golf putters and some of the top rated putters. One of the more fancied brands are the odyssey golf putters made by Callaway Golf.
To make learning putting even more simple It would be suggested to read Bob Rotellas Putting Out of Your Mind book. The putting stroke is not difficult, and he will help you understand that it really is no different to doing an everyday activity.
He gets you to focus on getting the ball to your target with minimal effort or thought.
I wonder if Stephen Curry or Lebron James think about mechanics of how they shoot whilst playing basketball? I highly doubt it! Their only thought is to swish the basketball straight through the hoop, and they do this consistently. Golf is no different.
Bob also explains how important a preshot routine is. This can be the most simple routine you like as long as it is consistent.
The longer putts need to be practiced and different speed of greens require different feel. This one unfortunately does need to be practiced at a golf course to get the feel of the speed of the greens.
If you have ever played lawn bowls the two are similar expect golf greens have different breaks which you will pick up on as you play more golf.
Implementing some of these basics will keep it simple for you out there, and also help you hole more putts which equals lower scores.
If you have any question, feel free to ask them below.
Ever felt stuck about what golf ball to use?
Read our detailed post on How to Choose Golf Balls.