How To Putt In Golf: 7 Things The Pros Do Differently

Did Tiger Woods ever miss a meaningful putt in his prime? Professional golfers make so many putts, while high handicappers seem to 3-putt every hole.

This is the biggest difference between a scratch golfer and a player trying to break 100. Is possible to learn how to putt in golf like a pro?

Yes, we believe you can improve your putting by studying what the best in the world do on the greens.

Figure out what they do differently and you can learn how to putt in golf like a pro. We can help!

We have identified 7 things about a professional golfer’s approach to putting that is different than your technique.

More than likely, you can’t change all 7 but improve in a couple of areas and you will start to learn how to putt in golf like a pro. Let’s get started.

how to putt like a pro.

7 Things The Pros Do Differently – Learn How To Putt In Golf

1. Practice With A Purpose

We get it. A professional golfer plays the game full-time and you have to balance work, family, and other commitments.

We agree that you don’t have as much time to work on your game, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how to putt in golf like a pro.

The key is to practice with a purpose. Build a practice routine and hold yourself accountable to it.

You want your practice to include all facets of putting. Lag putting, short putts, and even putting from off the green.

Do you think Justin Thomas ever encounters a putt in a tournament that he hasn’t practiced hundreds of times?

That should be your goal. Spend enough time on the practice green and roll enough different types of putts that you are never surprised on the course.

Work on putts of different lengths. Hit putts with different breaks. Try putts from the fringe. If it could happen on the course, you should practice it.

If you want to learn how to putt in golf like a pro, learn to prepare like a pro.

A golfer makes a putt close to the hole.

2. Full-Time Caddy

We understand that it doesn’t make sense for you to hire a full-time caddy, but we can’t ignore this key difference between a professional and a weekend warrior.

Professional golfers have an employee whose full-time job is to help them play better golf, including assisting them with putting.

This is a huge advantage and helps them putt better than you in several different ways.

The most obvious is that they can get a second opinion on reading greens. Two sets of eyes will always be better than one.

Reading putts isn’t the only way a caddy helps. They can identify a small flaw in your stroke and give you a pep talk when you are frustrated.

Yes, we know this information won’t help you learn how to putt in golf like a pro, but it is important to understand this key difference.

You should set achievable goals for your golf game and understand that you don’t have the same tools, support, and time as professional golfers.

3. Consistent Putting Fundamentals

It is true that there are many different ways to putt well – conventional, cross-handed, armlock, “the claw“, broom-style, and even belly putter (before it was made illegal).

We don’t care “how” you do it, but if you want to learn how to putt in golf like a pro, you need consistent putting fundamentals.

Your stroke needs to be repeatable and easy to execute when you are feeling pressure or nerves.

Here are some of the putting fundamentals that professional golfers execute each time they “roll the rock”:

  • Stay Still your torso and head should stay still during your putting stroke – a common mistake is looking up prior to finishing your stroke.
  • Let Your Big Muscles Do The Work – you want to create a pendulum motion – your larger muscles (shoulders) should control your stoke, not your hands.
  • Remove Your Wrists – you don’t want your wrists to hinge during your stroke – this can cause you to flinch or yip putts!

We don’t want you to lose your natural feel for the greens and think too much when you play, so focus on these fundamentals when you practice.

Create muscle memory that will translate to the course. The best putters execute these fundamentals without thinking about them once they start their rounds.

A clear mind makes more putts. Create a putting stroke with strong fundamentals and you will be on your way to learning how to putt in golf like a pro.

A golfer makes a putt while another golfer watches

4. Green Reading Is A Science

Why do you miss putts? Is it because you make a bad stroke or because you choose the wrong line? We bet the answer is “both”.

You can hit a perfect putt, but it won’t go in the hole if you picked the wrong aiming point. This is why green reading is critical to your success.

Professional golfers have turned this into a science. They feel the slope with their feet. They scan the putt with their eyes. They even have tricks to understand the grain of the grass.

If you want to learn how to putt in golf like a pro, you must understand how to read greens.

The first thing you need to do is to settle on a system you will use. You should follow the same process on each putt.

You can design your own routine. Do you like to circle the putt or only look at it from behind the ball? Make sure it is efficient – always be aware of your pace of play!

Don’t know where to start? There are standard systems used by golfers all over the world.

Plumb-bobbing has been around for decades and the Aimpoint system has become popular in the last few years.

Just like everything else in golf, you will need to practice. Learning to read greens like a professional golfer is a trial & error exercise.

Read a putt, hit the putt, and assess your read. Repeat. Start your ball on the correct line and you can learn how to putt in golf like a pro.

A golfer reads the green before making a putt.

5. Learn To Handle The Pressure

Golf nerves are strange. They can come out of nowhere and they make it nearly impossible to execute your normal putting stroke.

Learning to handle pressure is critical for professional golfers. They have to make clutch putts with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line.

We bet you get nervous about a small side bet or when trying to break 90 for the first time.

If you want to learn how to putt in golf like a professional you will need to execute when you feel the butterflies in your stomach.

There are several ways to attack this problem. A fundamentally strong putting stroke will hold up better under pressure, but you may also need tips to ignore your nerves.

The first step is to recognize you are feeling nervous. Trying to pretend like you don’t care won’t help you make that 5-footer for par.

Embrace the nerves and address them. Take a deep breath, reflect on all of the times you have made a critical putt, and confidently roll the ball toward the hole.

Learn to putt with confidence and your golf handicap will start to drop!

A golf putter next to a ball

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Use Putting Improvement Devices

You can learn a lot by watching professional golfers practice. Pay attention to how they practice their putting.

The vast majority of them use “putting improvement devices” – if it helps them fine-tune their stroke, we are pretty sure it can help you get better.

Learn how to putt in golf like a pro by using the same products they trust. There are hundreds of these devices on the market, but they fall into three categories.

  • Putting Mirrors – these devices will help you set up with a square face and ensure your eyes are in the correct place in relation to the golf ball.
  • Putting Gates – made popular by Tiger Woods, they help you get your ball started on your desired line.

These putting aids can significantly improve your putting and are inexpensive. Learn how to putt in golf like the pros by using the devices they use.

A golfer makes a putt on a practice green.

7. Play On Better Greens

Yes, this is a bit sarcastic, but it can’t be ignored. Players on the PGA Tour play on near-perfect putting surfaces every week.

Are they tricky? Yes. Are they super fast? Yes. Have you ever seen a PGA Tour event on a course that was recently aerated and top-dressed with sand? No.

Our point is simple. Be fair to yourself when you compare your putting to professionals. We aren’t really talking apples to apples.

The quality of the greens will impact how many putts you make during your round. This is not an excuse, this is a fact.

Instead of trying to learn how to putt in golf like a pro, simply focus on improving your stroke and confidence.

Track your putting statistics every time you play, create goals for yourself, and celebrate when you achieve a goal.

You can learn from paying attention to how professional golfers prepare to play – we suspect golf will not become your career, but you can improve.

Golf is a marathon, not a sprint. Change your approach to putting and get a little better every time you practice or play! Good luck!

Up Next: Deep Dive On Reading Greens

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Ray has been playing golf for 35+ years, including being part of his High School and College golf teams. While he still enjoys playing in amateur tournaments, Ray now focuses on growing the game of golf through teaching and coaching. He has two sons that both play golf competitively and loves spending time watching them compete. Ray continues to play in local amateur golf events and currently has a +2 handicap.

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