Knowing how to putt is a combination of guesswork, chance, and keeping your fingers crossed. Or is it?
While we may pretend to be accurately reading and hitting our putts, most of us can surely admit that luck plays a major part in the success of our ball reaching the bottom of the cup.
Yes, putting can be one of the most difficult parts of golf to master, but it doesn’t have to be.
Hitting your putts with ease, consistency, and repeatability is what we’re here for, as your short game is the cornerstone of a successful, competitive overall score.
We’re bringing you our 8 best tips on how to putt better. Whether you’re new to golf or a veteran looking to break 90, we got you covered with our easy, foolproof pointers that will have you putting with confidence.
In this article, we will cover:
- How To Putt Better: 8 Easy Tips
- How To Grip Your Putter Like You Know What You’re Doing
- Putting Tips: Proper Set-Up
- How To Improve Putting: Building The Best Putting Stroke
- Putting Tips: Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s get into it!
How To Putt Better: 8 Easy Tips
Try these next time you’re out on the practice green learning how to putt. Remember, practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does make it permanent, so use your time wisely and efficiently when you’re trying to make changes.
1. Assess The Green (Lows & Highs)
Different putts demand a different read: if your putt is downhill, read it from behind the hole; if it’s uphill, read it from behind the ball.
In both instances, you’ll be reading the green from the low side. Assessments made from the low side allow you to read the sight lines of your target perpendicular to the slope, which will give you a better understanding of your break.
2. Eliminate The Background Noise
And this doesn’t just go for turning down the decimals. For the best-putting results, we’re talking about aiming for the horizontal line.
To work off of the horizontal line, look for a flat line in the distance and compare how much the green in front of you tilts in comparison. This will give you a clear view of the line without distractions.
Often enough, the green’s apron tilts and reacts differently to the horizontal line; don’t let this get you side-tracked. Eliminate the background noise.
3. Watch Your Weight
At the break, you want to be leaning away and especially during the address. Not only does keeping your weight evenly balanced promote better ball rotation, but it also encourages a more upright swing, where you’ll find yourself making better contact with the ball on an even swing plane.
Here, you’ll want to visualize the ball going into the cup. Just like watching the ball enter your glove if you’re playing baseball, you’re doing almost the reverse of that in your short game.
Find your entry point and allow your swing form and stroke to react to what you’re seeing. Manifest it, baby!
5. A Circular Stroke
Maintaining a circular stroke helps promote a more consistent and controlled putting stroke.
We’re looking for a smooth, pendulum-like motion that keeps the putter head on a consistent path throughout the stroke, while a circular putting stroke also promotes better control of the putter head.
You’ll be able to easily control the speed and direction of your putts this way.
6. Control Your Backstroke
Having a controlled backstroke is crucial in giving you optimal distance management.
By adjusting the length of your backstroke, you can adjust the speed and distance that the ball will travel. This can help you avoid hitting the ball too hard or too soft and give you a better chance of getting the ball close to the hole.
To have a better handle, try visualizing your stroke, focusing on the smoothness of the swing, and practicing at different lengths, working your way up to longer strokes with increased distance demands.
7. Minimize The Moving Parts
How to get better at putting? To secure those short-putt successes, the focus is going to be more on accuracy than it is power. Starting off on the correct line is imperative, or in other words, the fewer moving parts, the better.
Too much movement and you could find your putter off-square to the target, a lack of head control and thereby speed management, frequent mis-hits, among other less desirable elements of a poor short game.
8. Respect The Putt
A good attitude is going to take your fair on the green as well as in life. Respecting the challenge of a decent putt is an exciting way to look at improving your golf game.
Take your time with your reads and your set-up, practice with feedback, film yourself, and critique your form; you’ll already be miles ahead of golfers with inflated egos.
How To Grip Your Putter Like You Know What You’re Doing
Really, the correct grip is entirely up to you, as most of the grips we see today—from the tourneys to casual rounds with friends—are a variation of the reverse overlap grip.
What’s great about this grip is that it gives you a square face toward the target line, the most accurate and repeatable stroke you can have on the green. To achieve a reverse overlap grip:
- Place your left hand at the top of the grip, with your thumb pointing straight down the shaft.
- Your right hand should be on the grip just below your left hand. The pinky finger of your right hand should rest over your left index finger.
- Your left index finger should be positioned between the fingers of your right hand, with your left hand resting lightly on top of your right.
- Your thumbs should run straight down the center of the grip, with your palms facing each other
These grips make up just over 20% of putters on the PGA tour, a humbling figure when compared to the nearly 50% of pros relying on the reverse overlap. These guys know how to putt!
Putting Tips: Proper Set-Up
How to putt better also starts off with finding the proper set-up and the correct posture you’ll need to maximize your accuracy.
The best place to start for setting up your shot is neutral, with your feet, hips, and shoulder sitting parallel to the start line of your putt.
Some suggest opting for an open stance set-up, but that’s really something you should play with once you get a little more experience behind you.
|Set Up Style||Advantages||Drawbacks|
|Neutral||Accuracy; aligning your body and clubface for accurate, straight lines |
Consistency; makes for repeatable control
Swing; prompts a fluid swingline with little deviation
|Lack of customization |
Versatility; may be unsuitable for sloping putts
|Open||Natural distance control Less rigid than a square stance|
Ball positioning; moves slightly forward for better upward strokes and ball roll
|Inconsistent results; will take some time and practice to master|
How To Improve Putting: Building The Best Putting Stroke
Now that we’ve touched on how to improve your putting grip and set-up, let’s take a closer look at your stroke and get the most out of your shot:
Putting Distance & Power
You’ll never be able to concentrate your putting power, control the distance, and build a great shot without being able to accurately assess the green you’re working with.
Assessing your putting distance tends to come with an advanced feel, experience, and understanding of the green. To start, focus on these three factors:
- Speed—if the green is fast, you may need to hit the ball with less force to avoid overshooting the hole, whereas a slower green may require a more forceful stroke.
- Slope—if the green is sloping uphill, you’ll need to strike with more force to compensate for the incline, whereas a downhill slope requires less force.
- Break—look for any undulations, slopes, or contours that could impact your ball’s path.
Find The Putting Stroke That’s Right For You
There’s more than one way to peel an orange when it comes to putting the best stroke on each putt. Choose the most comfortable for you.
Straight Or Arced Stroke
The main difference between a straight putt and an arced putt is in the path of the ball as it travels toward the cup.
A straight putt is where you’re aiming to roll your ball in a straight line toward the hole with minimal or no lateral movement. This type of putt is typically used when there’s a short distance to the hole and the surface of the green is almost entirely flat and smooth.
An arced putt, however, involves a curved path toward the hole. When you’re making an arced putt, you’ll start by aiming off to one side of the hole, then having your ball curve towards the target.
This type of putt is often used when you have to negotiate a slope or contour on the green.
How To Choose The Correct Equipment
A golfer is only as good as their equipment; for choosing the correct putter, consider the following:
|Putter||Who’s It For?||Why?|
|Face-Balanced||Golfers with a straight-back or straight-through stroke||Lots of weight in the face with no toe-hang, aiding your square putting stroke|
|Moderate Toe Hang (Anser putters)||Golfers with a slight to moderate arc in their stroke||Toe and heel weighted for a larger sense of balance and wider sweet spot; improves your in-to-out stroke|
|High MOI Putters (i.e. moment of inertia)||You’re somewhere in the middle between a putting shot with an arc and a straight-through stroke||Offer face and mid-balanced counterweight with a slight toe hang; reduces inconsistent off-center rolls and twisting|
Putting Tips: Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Secret To Good Putting?
While there is no 1 be-all-end-all secret to knowing how to putt, the secret to good putting involves a number of factors and playing conditions.
With a proper reverse-overlap grip as well as correct alignment, posture, and the ability to read your breaks and control your swing in the smoothest, most consistent way, you’ll be setting yourself up for continued success in your short game.
What is A Good Putting Average?
A good putting average in golf is typically around 30 putts per round, although this can vary depending on factors such as the length and difficulty of the course.
Those who know how to putt the best average around 27 putts per round, while recreational players may average closer to 36.
How to get better at putting just got a little bit easier.
Remember to follow our 8 tips covering assessment, horizontal aiming, balance, visualization, circular, controlled strokes, and backstrokes, as well as body movement and attitude, and you’ll be putting better in no time.
The key is to practice with a purpose. Build a practice routine and hold yourself accountable to it.
See you on the dance floor!