A Quick Cure For Putting Woes

In resent years I have discovered a new technique that has taken 6 strokes off of my golf score. The amazing thing is that it’s all about putting. I use to average 38 puts per round, now I average 32.

For years I have tried to improve my putting. I have taken lessons, bought the latest equipment, and experimented with different techniques. All most all of these helped to some degree, but then I would slip back to my 38 putt rounds.

Have you ever had the experience of trying out a new putter in the store that really seamed to work? Then when you got to the course it didn’t perform any better then your old one. There is a reason for this phenomenon. You’ve heard the expression “this putter fits my eye”. When you look down at the new putter blade for some reason the line to the hole looks clearer. This increases your confidence and you put a better stroke on the ball. Unfortunately after a period of time this goes away. You could continue to go out and buy new putters, but that will get expensive.

My discovery is a new putting stroke. In fact it’s three new putting strokes. That’s right I show up at the golf course with three putting strokes. I have no idea which one I’m going to use that day until I go to the practice green. I’m looking for that stroke that fits my eye. As you have seen by watching the pro’s there are many ways and styles that can be effective. Here are my putting strokes.


This stroke requires a relaxed fluid motion. Square up your body, use the rotation of your shoulders to stroke through the ball and down the line. Grip should be loose. It is imperative to keep you head down and still. Another good checkpoint on this stroke is to have your head directly over the ball.


I stumbled on this and man dose it work. The theory here is to address the ball and line up your putt. Now, close the face of your putter blade so its aiming 6 to 8 inches left of target. (This is a little firmer grip then normal). Now rotate your upper body to the right 9 (don’t move your feet) until the blade is back in line with the target. This will give you a whole new look at the line.


I use this stroke on rough or bumpy greens a lot. Bend your knees and get lower to the ground. Take a short back swing and accelerate through the ball with an upward stroke. This will put over spin on the ball and it will keep a truer track.

Traditional style is the style that most teaching pro’s like. Its greatest asset is that it makes you use your large muscles (your shoulders). When your nerves are amped up your small muscles will fail you. It’s imperative in all putting strokes to keep your wrists and hands still through the stroke. The two other key essentials in any putting stroke are; your back swing must stay on line with the target and you must accelerate through the ball.

Closed Face style is my favorite. It has two assets, the first one is a totally different view of the line, and the second is it’s easier to keep your back swing on the line. This is a great cure for the yips.

Top Spin style is a must for rough or sanded greens. I live in the northwest and as you might imagine, our greens get a lot of rain in the winter. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve used this stroke on fast greens, it just felt right for the day.

You may wonder if one stroke works better for short putts and one for long putts. My answer is no, but I have changed to another stroke in the middle of a round. You see its all about confidence. When I look down that line, I need to believe that putt will track to the hole.

Let’s talk about the yips. I define them as an inability of your body to perform a task that your mind wants. We have all had the experience of standing over a 5 foot putt and our nerves blowing it for us. This becomes more apparent as we age. Our best defense against this disabling affliction is confidence. You can’t think your way through a putting stroke. You can’t tell yourself how many inches to take your putter back and how hard to hit it, to make a 6 foot putt. It’s all about feel and confidence.

How can you develop confidence? Have you ever gone to the driving range and counted the number of golfers hitting their driver? They want to see how far they can hit it. When I go to the range I use this drill. I pick a green or flag at about 115 yards out. I must hit 10 balls in a row on that green. If I hit 9 and then miss, I must start over. Only after I hit 10 in a row can I graduate to my next club. You can use this same drill in putting. Start out with 4 balls at 4 feet and then graduate to 5 feet. This will build consistency and confidence in your putting game.

Analyze your golf game. It is imperative that you know where you are now before you can improve. When you ask the guys in my group for their score on a hole, you will probably hear an answer like 42 or 31. The first number represents the score for the hole and the second number is their putts for that hole. Keep your cards and take an average of the last ten rounds to establish average number of putts per round.