Putting is a key element of the game of golf. It happens on every hole and is something that no golfer can avoid. Therefore it makes sense to focus time and effort into practicing your putting technique on the green. Having your short game dialed in can be a great way to get a competitive edge on your fellow golfers.
In this guide we dig deeper into the importance of putting as well as looking at what some of the best golf putting tips and golf putting drills are so that you can quickly and easily get to work on improving your putts from all distances and on all different types of green types.
Why Is Putting In Golf Important?
Putting in golf is important because it is the one stroke that is guaranteed to happen on every hole. If you are a competitive golfer it’s important to have a good putting technique because strokes can easily be lost on the green. People often think golf is all about being able to drive the ball far. However, they are often surprised to learn that around 40% of total shots are putts. Just think of the amount of shots that you can save by being smart about your putting game.
Some of the best putters on the PGA Tour include Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Jordan Speith (BleacherReport). They all recognize the importance of putting technique for good golf scores and focus their practice relentlessly on this. They are able to get almost every putt to go to the desired location. Golfers understand the importance of being able to make “clutch” putts to gain or keep momentum during a round. Alternatively, missing putts that you feel that you should make can be a major reason for losing momentum during a round.
Best Golf Putting Tips
Below we cover our top putting tips that can help you to improve your scores on the greens.
1) Align Your Body for Great Putting Technique
You can align your body movement for putting by setting up directly behind the golf ball. Then, lean forward at a 45-degree angle, which will take pressure off of your lead shoulder. Then use the appropriate stance and grip for your situation. By being correctly aligned , you can have a better look at the hole and use the power of gravity to your advantage. With your shoulders , hips, knees and feet in line, it will give you more control over the distance that your putts go and provides a better putting technique.
2) Focus on the Goal Line
While most people focus on their ball when putting, it’s actually better to try and look at a point in front of that golf ball–the goal line, which is just beyond where you want your ball to finish. This will help you become more relaxed and swing freely. Plus, when you focus on the goal line, it also helps you ensure that your putting stroke is actually on line with the desired target and it also breaks down a longer difficult putt into a shorter more manageable distance.
3) Learn How to Read Greens
Reading greens is no easy task–it can take a year or two to really get it down, but it’s time well spent. There are many things to consider when reading a green, but the amount of slope the green has, and how that affects the way the ball rolls after you putt is most important.
A quick tip to read greens better is to move your eyes on the green up and down, not side to side. This will help you see smaller details in the green’s contour.
4) Use a Putter that Fits You Properly
Using a golf putter that is suitable for your game is important. Getting the size right and having the correct grip are two factors that can make using a putter more effective for you.
A proper grip is important because it needs to be comfortable and ensure that you can deliver the putter at an even pace to ensure the ball rolls straight. With the right putter fitting you will be able to feel comfortable making your swing and be able to manage the tempo and accuracy of your putts much more easily.
5) Hit Your Putting Stroke Firm Enough
Hitting your putts firm enough to reach the hole is essential. This doesn’t mean hitting your putts so hard that they then roll off the green and cause more problems for you but it is worth always remembering that you will never be able to make a putt if it doesn’t reach it in the first place. The key is being able to roll the ball to the correct distance.
6) Keep Your Head Down on the Backswing
Keeping your head down on the backswing will help you stop your hands from chopping during the backswing and will also keep your head behind the ball throughout the swing (and not distracted by looking at the flagstick). This is much more difficult to do than it sounds, but it is a great golf putting tip to work on when looking to improve your putting technique. By keeping focused with your head down , you will end up making a much better putt due better ball position and focusing on getting the body movement basics right that go into reaching your desired target.
7) Create a larger target around the hole
Create a larger target around the pin to reduce the number of three putts that you make. This is an important tip for those golfers who regularly three putt. A golf hole in itself is a small target but by creating a larger circle around the hole to aim for what you do is create something that is much more manageable. It is always worth remembering that there is no shame in taking two putts from mid to long range distances.
8) Practice, Practice, Practice!
Practicing over and over again is what separates average putters from those that make a higher percentage of putts first time with very little three putts. Investing home training equipment such as a golf putting mat is a great way to get started as it will open up opportunities to work on some putting drills more often.
Best Golf Putting Drills
Below we cover three really easy golf putting drills that anybody will be able to incorporate into their golf routine.
1. The “Tippy-Tap” Drill.
This drill is very simple and may be used with any type of putting device, including a putting green. The Tippy-Tap drill involves putting a ball in the middle of the green, then simply tapping it with the putter. The aim of this is to improve the tempo of your putting stroke. This may be achieved by making ten taps in quick succession, using perfect posture, and then following this up with ten taps in slow motion. To make the drill work, try and hit each putt at least three or four times before moving on to the next hole.
2. The Putt-all-the-Way-Down Drill.
This drill is one of the most effective at developing putting skills. This drill involves hitting putts from a variety of distances with the aim of stopping the drill once it gets to the bottom of the hole. To begin, the golfer must stand over a ball in a drill range and then hits ten straight putts from varying distances with the distance gradually increasing as the drill progresses. What’s great about this drill is that it takes a while for it to finish and requires good concentration and really has a focus on game improvement.
3. Clock Drill
The clock drill is a great drill that helps you make the most of your putting practice. This drill involves practicing your putting form and consistency with short putts from a range of angles. The clock drill involves placing the ball in the middle of the green, then striking it with a putting stroke that is “within five minutes” of the time on each clock. It aims to improve your putting tempo and precision by getting quick repetitions in from the same distance each time.
To conclude as you can see putting in golf is an extremely important part of the game. It can have a massive effect on your score and your overall enjoyment of the game. Amateurs usually take around 40 per round with pros more around the low thirties (18Birdies). The next time you play a round of golf try to focus on one area of your putting each hole and work on it until you feel you’ve made progress. You’d be surprised to see how many of your total shots are made from the green. It is well worth keeping track of your putting strokes per round so that you can stay on top of your progress.
As you can see there are a wide range of putting drills that you can do so if you are serious about improving your putting stroke then it is well worth investing in a good indoor green such as the Perfect Practice Putting Mat (full review here) so that you can work on your game from home.