Good Putting Basics

Warm up on the Practice Green

Warming up before a round of golf can be the difference between a good round of golf or a bad one, especially in those early holes. Getting a feel for the practice green may not be the key to a good game but it certainly helps to get that rhythm and feel into your hands and arms. Try placing a marker or coin on the practice green and putt at it from various distances and angles. Start at around twenty to thirty five feet and then come in to ten feet, finally finish off those little tiddlers from around one foot. The use of a marker or coin instead of using the cup is to get you used to a small target so that when you are on the course the cup will look like the Grand Canyon!

Tips to Become a More Consistent Putter

Always think about getting the ball in the hole. If you just worry about getting it close this will often result in tentative putting and leaving the putt short. When reading a green always check out the putt from all angles, make a decision and stick with it. It’s easy to doubt yourself at times, trust your instincts.

Whenever you play golf and make good putts, try to remember those good putts and use that good formula for every other putt you stand over. Remember how good the stroke felt, the pace, and of course, the excitement. Try not to think about anything too much when standing over a putt. Clear your mind and focus on a target near the hole. Maybe a discoloured part of the green or just a particular blade of grass.

Downhill Putts

Downhill putts can be downright scary. The idea of putting it five or ten feet past the hole is a horrible thought. The best option is to make sure you give the ball every chance to get to the hole. How to do that is to allow for more break than you would normally find necessary. Because the ball is tracking down a sharp slope it will always roll towards the hole and breaking towards the hole. So its last movement before it stops is always nearer the hole. Going past the hole can be a good thing. You will be tracking back over old territory that you have seen for the return putt.

Judging Speed and Breaks

These are very important aspects to understand and learn in golf. Reading the grain of the green means knowing which angle the grass grows. A shiny or reflecting green means you are putting down the grain which means the putt will run faster. If you putt across the slope and running with the grain the putt will break more. Of course, putting across the slope against the grain means the putt will break less. So to summarise, against the grain the putt will slow, with the grain the putt will run on faster.

Long Putts

From thirty to forty feet away you will need a longer putting stroke and a wider stance. Try to picture the speed and line the putt will need. Picture how long a stroke you will require to get the ball to the hole. Always practice those long putts on the practice greens.

Unfamiliar Greens

When playing at courses other than your own, reading new greens can be frustrating. Firstly, try reading the green from about where your approach shot would be (around 140–150 yards) to get an idea of the high and low points in the green. When on the green check to see if the hole has been cut into the green on an angle. This can be handy to know for those short putts that may go wayward unexpectedly. Also try to putt so that the last roll breaks towards the hole to give you a better idea how the break will be for your next putt.