There’s no question that Putting is one of the most important aspects of golf and I have provided a detailed step-by-step guide on how to putt perfectly like a Pro. I remember taking several 2-hour long lessons on putting basics back when I started golfing in college.
Let me clarify that this guide is for beginner, intermediate or even advanced golfers that need some help or refresher on effective putting basics. It is NOT a golf swing guide.
I mentioned in the title that this guide can get you to the level of all-time Pro Putter, Tiger Woods. I used the Golf.com ranking of the top 10 best putters of all time found here.
It will take a lot of practice to get to the Pro level but if you don’t get to position #1, maybe you can settle for the 9th position currently held by Robert Tyre Jones Jr. who was an American amateur golfer who mastered putting and ended up co-founding the Masters Tournament.
In 2008, Mark Sweeney, a NY Times Golf reporter and statistical analyst for some PGA Tour players wrote this about Tiger Wood’s dominance in the sport;
“What really diﬀerentiates Woods from everyone else is his ability to make more putts from the critical range of 10 to 25 feet.” (Source: Mark Broadie)
In June 2010, U.S. Open winner Geoﬀ Ogilvy said, “I think by now every player on tour is aware that the biggest reason Tiger is the best is that he putts the best.” (Source: Mark Broadie)
Tiger Woods and Bobby Jones are revered putters known for their exceptional skills on the green. They didn’t get there by chance. What was their motivation? Might you have the same motivation to get better at golf and especially at putting as they are/were?
Let’s start there. Must you get good at putting or can you just be a so-so putter and still shoot in the 70s? The answer to that is a resounding, “Yes, you must get good at putting!”
I’ll explain some more why mastering putting as a skill is important.
Why being a good putter is important?
Like all other sports, you earn points, get medals, or even take the World Cup if are able to score the highest. World Cup, in this case, applies to Soccer but the point is that scoring is key. For golf, it is the same thing. The player or team with the lowest score after 18 holes (or 36 for professional tournaments) wins the match or tournament. You can read this WikiHow Guide on keeping golf score.
Simply put, the better you are at putting, the lower your score will be. And we all know a lower score is always more fun!
According to Golf Digest, 35% of your shots in a round of golf are putts. That means if you can improve your putting by just 10%, that’s 3 and a half strokes off your game. That’s a huge difference!
Putting is everything in golf. It’s how you score. It’s how you make a living playing golf – if you are a Pro golfer. It’s also the most difficult part of the game to master. The average golfer takes more than two minutes to complete a putt, while the pros take half that time.
In a typical golf tournament, the winners get prize money and tons of money as the ad revenue paid by advertisers is high given the target audience is relatively wealthy. If you are playing to make a living, this sport could be your way out.
Unfortunately, putting can also be one of the most difficult skills to master. But with a little practice and some helpful tips, you can improve your putting game and start scoring lower scores in no time.
Mastering the perfect putting stroke takes time and practice. It took me about 6 months to finally get it down. I’m still not perfect, but I’ve gotten a lot better. If you want to improve your putting, here are some tips that helped me.
And that’s why Putting like a Pro consistently is important:
Golf is called a sport of missed opportunities because it is so easy to make a mistake and lose the chance at winning big. Consistent accurate putting will determine your score. If you can learn to put it perfectly through several practice and training sessions, your game will definitely improve.
There are different types of putts in golf you need to know.
There are 5 types of putts but you won’t have to learn them in detail here. Here are the five putts;
The straight putt is when the hole is in front of you and the ball travels directly into the hole without curving. This is the easiest of them all you should get good making successful straight putts before trying the four others below.
The video below shows how you can Putt straight correctly;
The breaking putt is when the hole is to the side of you then you will be able to take advantage of those opportunities and win more often than not. There are several strategies to get a breaking putt right but you have to determine where the hole is in relation to the ball as it breaks from the line.
The uphill putt is when the hole is located above the level of your feet. You will be able to take advantage of those opportunities and win more often than not. The main rule for this type of putt is that the ball should be hit harder than a normal putt
Downhill putt is the hole is located below the level of your feet. You will be able to take advantage of those opportunities and win more often than not. The main rule for this type of putt is that the ball should be hit softer than a normal putt.
Lag putts are long distance putts that are meant to stop close topping is a common way to get the ball close to the hole. The main objective of this putt is not to sink the ball but rather to stop it as close to the hole as possible so that your next putt will be an easy one.
As you play 9 or complete 18-hole golf, you will come across several types of putts that require more advanced skills to get it right. However, some may be more advanced skills that you’ll learn after you’ve mastered putting correctly. For now, let’s focus on the basics and get you started on the right path so that you can avoid 3-putting or even 4-putting which could be disastrous to your game and your score.
Now let’s get into the guide.
The first and most important step to nailing your putts is having the proper body positioning and posture. This will ensure that you have a strong base, are balanced, and can make a smooth stroke.
I’ll explain in detail.
Steps 1: Get the body positioning right, it’s Key:
Start by assuming your address position. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, weight equally balanced on the balls of both feet. You can either have your feet slightly open or closed, depending on what feels most comfortable for you.
Get your feet, shoulders, arms and hips ready:
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, and your weight should be distributed evenly on both feet. You also want to make sure that your shoulders are square to the target line. From this position, you knees should be bent slightly, and your hips should be hinged so that your back is straight. This will give you the most stability possible when making your stroke.
Bend forward from your hips so that your arms hang down naturally and you are looking directly down at the ball. This will help you make a smooth stroke without any unnecessary movement.
Get a Good Stance:
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your weight evenly distributed. Your knees should be slightly bent and your back straight. This means your lead shoulder (for right-handers) should be lower than your trail shoulder, and your chin should be up.
The image below shows how your posture should be positioned. You can see from the picture that the back is flat shape as shown by the red line, hands facing straight down and feet spread apart.
Your arms should hang down naturally from your shoulders, with the putter grip placed in the palm of your lead hand (left hand if you are right-handed, right hand if you are left-handed).
Next, position the ball in the center of your stance. You want to make sure that when you look down, the putter is dead-center behind the ball. This will ensure that you make solid contact with the ball every time.
Below is a summary of posture prep;
- -Your feet should be shoulder-width apart
- -Bend your knees slightly and keep your weight on the balls of your feet
- -Keep your back straight and tilt your hips forward so that your stomach is closer to the ground
- -Keep your arms close to your body and relaxed
- -Grip the putter with both hands and position your hands so that they are even with each other
- -Look up at the hole and align your putter blade with the ball
Step 2: Position your wrist and Get the crib correctly:
Now that you’re in the proper position, it’s time to focus on your wrists – positioning them to make sure that you can Putt correctly. Your wrists should be “hinged” so that they can move freely during the stroke. This will give you more control over the putter and help you make a more consistent stroke.
To achieve this hinging motion, simply bend your elbows and tuck your hands in toward your chest. From this position, you should be able to move your wrists freely without moving your arms.
Now that you have the proper grip and wrist position, it’s time to focus on making a smooth stroke. The key here is to keep your wrists “locked” during the stroke. This will help you maintain control of the putter and make a more consistent stroke.
To do this, simply cock your wrists back as you start the stroke. This will help you maintain control of the putter throughout the entire stroke.
Once you’ve cocked your wrists, it’s time to begin the stroke. The key here is to keep your hands ahead of the putter head and to swing the putter back and through on a consistent path.
To do this, simply take the putter back smoothly, keeping your hands ahead of the putter head. As you reach the top of your backswing, your wrists should be “cocked” and your elbows should be in close to your body.
From here, simply swing the putter back and through on a consistent path, keeping your wrists locked. As you reach the top of your follow-through, your arms should be extended and your wrists should be “uncocked”.
The proper thumb position on the golf putter is critical to having a good stroke. The closer your thumb is to the shaft, the more control you will have over the putter head. I would recommend finding a comfortable position for your thumb that allows you to have control over the putter head but doesn’t fatigue your hand after
The stroke is the most important part of putting and it all startsens at impact. At impact, you want to make sure that the putter head is square to the ball and that your hands are in front of the putter head. This will ensure that you make solid contact with the ball and that the putter head follows through on a consistent path.
To do this, simply cock your wrists back as you approach the ball, and then swing the putter back and through on a consistent path. As you reach impact, your wrists should be “cocked” and your hands should be in front of the putter head.
There are different schools of thought on how to best grip a putter but they all come down to 2 main ways which are:
The Vardon Grip –
This is placing the club in your lead hand (left if you are right-handed, right if you are left-handed), position your pinky finger on top of the shaft and then place your other fingers underneath. Your thumb should be positioned opposite of your pinky finger, on the backside of the shaft.
The Claw Grip –
Claw grip is where the thumb is down the back, V’s formed by the index finger and thumb on each hand, and the other fingers lightly curled around the shaft.
For beginners, is best for you? it’s recommended to try both and see which one feels the best for you. There is no wrong answer here, it’s all about finding what works best for you.
I prefer to have the putter running at an angle to my grip but can also have the putter running straight through your grip. If you are a beginner, I would recommend having the putter running at an angle to your grip. This will help you with accuracy and keeping the ball on line.
Alignment is critical you have the proper grip and stance, the next step is to align your putter correctly. This is arguably the most important part of putting as it will determine whether or not you hit your putts on line.
There are 2 main ways to align your putter:
1. Aiming the clubface:
simple way to do this is to take your putter and set it up behind the ball. Make sure that the clubface is square to the target line and then take your stance.
2. Aligning your body:
Another way to align your putter is by aligning your body. For this, you want to set up behind good way to practice your stoke is to set up a cup or can at a distance and try to hit it. As you get better, move the cup or can further away.
How to grip the putter like a god:
To ensure a good grip on the putter, you need to hold it lightly in your hands with a relaxed grip. Your dominant hand should be positioned lower on the grip than your non-dominant hand. This will give you more control over the putter during your stroke.
The image below shows how you can grip your putter correctly:
You now need to get to the start-line of the putt:
When you are ready to take your putt, there are a few things you need to do before you actually hit the ball.
- -First, take a deep breath and relax your body.
- -Next, align your putter blade with the ball and make sure the sweet spot is lined up with the center of the ball.
- -Now, take a few practice swings without hitting the ball. This will help you get a feel for the speed and distance of your putt.
- -When you are ready, take your shot and try to hit the ball as close to the hole as possible.
You can also watch videos on Youtube explaining how to get the grip right.
Step 3: Take charge of your pace, this will determine if the Putt leads to a successful score or Undesired rolling
After getting the posture, and grip right, avoid a missed score with the ball going off or not reaching the green because of miscalculated pace.
After mastering the grip, your next step is to control your pace to accurately make that score.
The pace is everything when it comes to putting. Too much pace and you’ll sail right by the hole, too little pace and you’ll be left short. Finding the perfect pace can be tricky but there are a few things you can do to help you find that sweet spot. It’s important to find that happy medium pace where the ball rolls at a consistent speed and doesn’t veer off course.
How to practice and get the perfect medium pace for a successful score:
To practice your pace, first thing you need to do is find a flat spot. You don’t want any hills or slopes as they will affect the speed of the ball.
Once you’ve found a flat spot, set up a cup or can at a distance and try to hit it. As you get better, move the cup or can further away.
A common method used to do this is called star drill and involves setting up 5 cups or cans and 5 balls. You place the cups or cans in a star formation with one in the middle and the others around it.
Start with the closest cup and hit the ball. The goal is to have the ball stop in or near the cup. If it doesn’t, move on to the next cup or can and try again.
You want to do this drill slowly at first to get a feel for the perfect pace. As you get better, you can increase by hitting the ball too hard and then each time you hit the ball, make a conscious effort to hit it softer until you find that perfect pace.
Below is a summary of Putting practice tips to get control of the ball pace.
- -Set up a row of five balls on the putting green.
- -Start with the ball closest to the hole and take a few practice swings without hitting the ball.
- -When you are ready, take your putt and try to hit the ball as close to the hole as possible.
- -Repeat this process with the rest of the balls in the row.
- -After you have hit all five balls, move back and repeat the process.
Various sources revealed that the average PGA Tour’s player gets to a speed of around 168 mph with their driver, while a high-level male amateur can hit 160 mph. A 5 handicap would be around 147 mph
Trackman reported that the highest recorded ball speed is 226 mph by Connor Powers during the Quarterfinals of the 2014 World Long Drive Championship.
What do these golf speed stats mean for beginner golfers?
If you’re a beginner golfer, your speed could be in the low-hundreds from 120 to 130 mph but as you continue to practice and get better at Putting, your speed will increase. In addition to finding a great spot to practice your pace and doing a lot of practice, you may also get a metronome to help you keep track of your speed.
The metronome will make a ‘tick’ sound and you want to hit the ball on the downswing when you hear the ‘tick’. This will help you find that perfect pace and timing.
There are you need to focus on two things: your ball striking and clubface control. Your ball-striking is how well you hit the ball and your clubface control is how well you control the face of the club.
These two things are important because if you don’t have good ball striking, you won’t make good contact with the ball and it will go off course.
Again, getting the pace right is hinged on your ability to excel at controlling the following;
- 1. Your grip
- 2. Your posture
- 3. Wrist cock
How to Putt successfully on a break:
The final aspect of making a successful put is to account for the break. This is where the ball will deviate from a straight line due to the contours of the green. To judge the break, you need to take a look at the hole from different angles and pick out any high or low spots. Once you have done this, you can adjust your aim accordingly.
Once you have your starting point, take your putter back keeping your eye on the ball and the spot where you want it to start. When you are ready, make your stroke and hit the ball squarely with the putter to start it on your intended line.
Essential Putting Tips:
- – Always start the ball on your intended start-line
- – Use a light grip on the putter and hold it in your dominant hand
- – Stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly distributed
- – Take a look at the size of the cup and try to hit the ball the same distance as the cup
- – Practice your stroke by setting up a few balls in a row and hitting them one after the other
- – Use your wrists to control the speed and direction of your putt
- – Control your pace by practicing putts of different lengths
If you happen to start the ball offline, don’t worry, there are ways to correct your stroke and get the ball back on track. First, take a look at how your putting stroke feels and make any necessary adjustments.
If your putter is off to the inside or outside of the ball at impact, you will need to make a stroke correction to get it back on track.
Second, take a look at your grip and ensure that you are holding the putter in a way that promotes a square clubface at impact.
Third, check your alignment and make sure that your body and the putter are lined up correctly with the target.
By making these small adjustments, you can get the ball back on your intended start-line and improve your chances of making a successful put.
Video Explanation of how to Putt:
Common mistakes made when putting
Some of the common mistakes made by golfers when puttig include;
Mistake #1: Hitting the ball too hard:
When you hit the ball too hard, it will fly past the hole. To avoid this, take a look at the size of the cup and try to hit the ball the same distance as the cup. Use your wrists to control the speed and direction of your put hitting it too soft, not taking the break into an account, and poor alignment.
Mistake #2; Hitting the ball too soft:
When you hit the ball too soft the ball may not get enough traction and force to get to the hole. This to Put Perfectly will result in the ball coming up short. To avoid this, make sure you have a good grip on the putter and that you are using your wrists to control the speed of the putt.
Mistake #3; Not taking the break into account:
The break is the curvature of the ball’s path as it rolls towards the hole to Put Perfectly. To make a successful putt, you need to take the break into account when making your stroke. Take a look at the putt from different angles and pick out a spot on the ground where you think the ball will end up. Once you have your target, take your putter back and aim for the spot. Make to Put Perfectly your stroke and hit the ball with enough speed to reach your target. If you hit it too hard, it will fly past the hole, if you hit it too soft, it will come up short.
Mistake #4; Poor alignment:
Poor alignment is one of the most common mistakes made when putting. When you are not properly aligned, to Put Perfectly it is difficult to make a successful putt. To avoid this, take a look at your target and make sure that you are lined up correctly with the ball. Then, take your putter back and aim for the spot where you want the ball to go. Make sure that your body and the putter are in line with to Put Perfectly your target, and then make your stroke. If you are still having trouble with alignment, try using a golf guide or ask a friend for help.
Q: Does putting require a lot of practice?
A: While it may seem like a simple task, putting actually requires a lot of skill and practice to master. The best way to improve your putting is to get out on the course and play as often as you can. The more you play, the better your putting will become.
Q: How do I know how hard to hit the ball?
A: The answer is practice and experimentation. Start by hitting some putts at different speeds and see how they react. Does the ball roll too fast and fly past the hole? Or does it come up short? Find a speed that gives you the best results and stick with it.
Q: I can’t seem to make putts when there is a lot of break. What can I do?
A: When you are facing a putt with a lot of break, it is important to take your time and pick out a spot on the ground where you think the ball will end up. Once you have your target, take your putter back and aim for the spot. Make your stroke and hit the ball with enough speed to reach your target. If you hit it too hard, it will fly past the hole, if you hit it too soft, it will come up short.
Q: I’ve been having trouble aligning my putts properly. Any tips?
A: If you are having trouble with alignment, try using a golf guide or ask a friend for help. Also, make sure to take your time and focus on your target. A good way to practice alignment is to set up a couple of golf balls in a straight line and then hit them one after the other. This will help you get a feel for how to line up your putts correctly.
Q: What is the best way to improve my putting?
A: The best way to improve your putting is to get out on the course and play as often as you can. The more you play, the better your putting will become. You can also try practicing at home or at the driving range. Hit a few putts every day and you will see your skills improve in no time. While most golf clubs may have strict and limited schedules for those practicing, speaking with the management of the golf course may go a long way. Tell them that you are just learning and would appreciate being given a chance to practice putting using one or two holes that may not be part of the main course. I was able to get more practice sessions this way. That human-to-human touch always works.
Hi there! I am Justin, one of the founders here at Golf Bagsy. I have been golfing since I was 12 and have participated in over 50 tournaments since 2018. When COVID took over the golf tournament schedules during the lockdowns, I spent a good amount of time doing research and writing about golf. I also provide part-time coaching for those looking to learn how to play golf and can be reached at email@example.com.