Basic Putting Lessons, How to use your Putter

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.

Basic putting lessons are as simple as practicing getting the ball in the hole. This can even be practiced at home with a putting practice 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.

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.

Grip

The way you grip the putter is generally personal preference, but I would suggest once you get comfortable with gripping the putter to just stay with it and never change.

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.

Basic-putting-lessons

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.Basic-putting-lessons

There are a lot of other ways to grip the putter so what feels comfortable through experimentation is generally the best way to go.

Setup

The 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.

Putting Stroke

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 short video Touring Professional Stuart Appleby will give you some handy tips for the short putts.

Take note of his putting stroke and how there is no movement in his lower body during the stroke.

Practice

To putt consistently well you will need to practice, but implementing some of the basics will help enhance your putting skills a lot faster.

To make learning putting even more simple I would suggest reading 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.

 

 

10 thoughts on “Basic Putting Lessons, How to use your Putter

  1. Marlaine

    I love to golf, but my short game is horrible. I can usually get to the green in 2 or 3, but then see you later, nice score. It’s a bit of a joke between me and my husband, who can putt well but has difficulty driving straight. These are good tips, and the video was helpful. It’s something yes, I should practice more!

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Marlaine

      Thanks for your comments.

      Yes putting is important and needs to be practised to gain confidence on the greens out on the golf course. I hope this blog provided you with some help guidance on improving your putting which will help lower your scores.

      Cheers

      Chris

  2. Jeremy Hood

    I definitely need to spend more time practicing putting and chipping. I can’t tell you how many timesI get to the green relatively easily just to blow it with my putter.

    One of issues I think is the facilities in my area. Most of the courses in my town are not that great and then every once in a while we go out of town and the greens roll so fast compared to what I am used to its hard to get a feel for it.

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Jeremy

      I appreciate your comments.

      Yes being able to Chip and Putt is essential to playing good golf and shooting some lower scorers. Being able to adapt to the different speeds of the greens requires a little practice. Spending 10 mins on the practice green at the course you are playing will normally help you get a feel before your round.

      Cheers

      Chris

  3. Bobby

    Putting is one of the parts of my golf game that I neglect. I don’t play enough in the first place, to have time to spend practicing with my putter. I get out and play, when I have the chance. When I do get to the green with a chance for par or birdie, I end up three-putting my way to a bogey Your website is very informative, well thought out and thorough. I will bookmark and visit again for more great golf tips. Thanks.

    Bobby

    1. Chris Post author

      Thanks Bobby

      I appreciate your feedback.

      Yes it can be difficult to find time to practice putting and golf in general because most have busy work schedules. Putting can be practiced at home and is ideal to get some confidence for holing those shorter putts which will help eliminate 3 putts. Practising putting on a practice putting green at a golf course is the best way. This can be as little as 30 minutes per week.

      Cheers

      Chris

  4. Chris

    Hi Chris! Great article. I tried playing golfas well a few years ago. It’s really expensive over here in Germany. However, reading your article makes me want to start over and try it again. I think I’ll bookmark your page and come back when I’m ready to start practicing 🙂

    All the best and keep up the good work,

    chris

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Chris

      I appreciate your comments.

      Sounds good. There will always be a good golf course for you to play at when you are ready. Yes keep checking back for updates as I will be offering more basic guidance on golf in the coming weeks.

      Cheers

  5. Bill-Morgan

    Very informative post. As a golfer for many years I agree it is important to go back to the basics. Themore you play the more you start unconsciously making adjustments that are comfortable and not necessarily correct.

    I have found getting a golf buddy to video you while playing, is a real eye opener. You get to see what you are doing wrong.

    1. Chris Post author

      Hi Bill

      I appreciate your comments.

      Yes sometimes what feels comfortable is not the best way to play the game but this is generally ingrained through habit. The longer you leave it the worse it gets.

      Some golfers have implemented some very unorthodox styles which have worked for them though. As for the video, yes the camera doesn’t lie.

      Cheers

      Chris

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