It is all about the little things when you put. You must position the club face, feet, left and right hand, and around 12 other things with a relaxed stroke.
The full swing is a complicated move with many moving parts that occur at high speeds to generate energy. However, putting is quite simple. Whether it’s a four-foot putt or a 40-foot putt, there aren’t a ton of changes.
What’s great about putting is that technology can’t beat it. The new driver technology and improved swing speeds have made golf courses obsolete, but putting remains challenging.
As Ben Hogan, the great Ben Hogan said once: “There is no similarity between golf and putting; they are two different games, one played in the air and the other on the ground.”
If Hogan had figured out putting like he did ball striking, he’d likely have twice as many wins. Today, I want help you putt better by helping you understand the correct technique. Ball position on the greens as it plays a pivotal role.
When putting, the ball position is important
Learning How to putt is one of the fundamental skills in playing golf. Tiger Woods actually learned how to play golf from the green back up to the tee. If you want to score higher than ever, master your putting!
Particularly, you need to dial in the fundamentals such as eye position, ball position, stance.
The ideal position to put a ball is in the front of your stance. Some golfers like to think of drawing an imaginary line from their left ear so the ball is off your front foot.
It is easier to hit the ball properly when the ball is in front-center position. If the ball is too far forward in your stance, it’s easy to hit up on it or hit pulled left putts. This can cause a ball to bounce and often ends up short of the hole.
If the ball is too far in the back of your stance, it’s easy to miss putts right. You can also change the low point of you stroke and accidentally hit it. The ball can fly off the putter face quickly and get out of line.
Distance from the Golf Ball
You might still be a little confused now that you know the ball position in putting. “How far should you stand from the ball when putting?”
This is a good question as it’s another important aspect of putting. If you are too close to the ball, your target line will tend to be left. It can affect your stroke and cause you to miss the putts right if you are too close to the ball.
Your eyes should be slightly under the ball, but not directly above it.
Putting your best foot forward
Once you have the right ball position and eye position, don’t forget about your stance too.
Your putt length will determine how your stance changes. For shorter distance putts, a narrower stance will be required. For longer putts, a wider stance will be necessary.
It will help you make consistent, smooth strokes by adjusting your stance according to the length of your putt.. If you have a narrow stance for a long putt, it’s easy to get some extra head or lower body “swaying” movement; neither of which you want in putting.
Throughout the stroke, try to keep your head as still and straight as possible. Do the same with your lower back to maintain your alignment and face.
Also, don’t forget about your weight distribution too. To ensure your bottom line is in the correct place, you want your weight to be 50/50 on each foot.
Arnold Palmer is a great example of this stance – his knees were pointed inward at address to ensure proper weight distribution. The better your lower body stability is, the more you will enjoy it!
Your putting posture plays a role in your stroke. Jordan Speith and Brad Faxon are two examples of great putters who use their arms only in their putting strokes. According to My TPIThe secret is in your hips.
“To get your shoulders nice and loose, use your hips. That’s right—your hips. Your rear end should be pushed out as you settle into your stance.
Notice how this “unlocks” your hip joints and allows you to easily hinge your upper body toward the ball without hunching your back. The less you hunch, the softer your shoulders and arms will hang, freeing you up to make the ideal pendulum-style stroke.”
Grip is the last fundamental. There is no one way to grip the putter – some golfers like the claw or left-hand low, while others prefer a traditional grip.
No matter how you grip the putter. Just make sure your grip pressure remains consistent. If you squeeze the life out of your putter it’ll add extra tension in your arms and upper body. It should be a five out of ten in terms of pressure.
Click here to read more about different putting gloves.
FAQs on Putting Stance & Setting Up
Do you have any questions about putting to lower scores? Continue reading our frequently asked question and answers to find out more about putting.
Do you need your head to be behind the ball while putting?
Your head should be slightly behind the golf ball. Think of it this way, if you drop a golfball from your nose, it should land above your putter head. Or, you can look slightly inside to ensure your eyes are below.
The main thing you don’t want is your eyes over the ball. This means you’re crowding the ball and leads to missing a lot of putts left.
Some players prefer their head laterally to the backwards. Phil Mickelson once said that this gives him a better perspective to see the putt break. Try different putting greens to discover what works best.
What are the best putting aids?
These training aids can help you master distance control.
- Putting TutorThis is a great way to practice your putts and understand the target line. This tool is suitable for either a left-handed or right-handed golfer and is used by PGA Tour players.
- EyeLine Golf Edge Putting Board: This makes it feel like you’re putting on a railroad track and creates a perfect 70-degree angle for your putting stroke.
When putting, should the hands be in front?
Yes, your hands should be slightly ahead of the ball when you are putting. Forward press in putting is also known as “forward press in putting” and it helps create a great rolling motion.
If your hands are behind a ball, it is likely that your wrists are too active during the stroke. This can lead to inconsistency on greens and is not recommended.
Click here to find out more about forward presses in putting.
What is the proper length of a putter?
A standard putter length for men should be 35 inches, but many golfers prefer a shorter one. In fact, most golfers should use 34-inch putters (unless you’re over six feet tall).
But there are other factors besides height to determine the ideal putter’s shaft length. Your preference in height and arm length will also play a major role in determining the length of your putter. Click here for more information about putter length.
What is the secret of good putting?
There are two simple secrets to great putting. The putter head you choose and the type of stroke you have aren’t the common denominators either.
If you look back in time, you will see that great putters each have their own style. Jack Nicklaus was very different from Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth. Each has their own style, routine, pace, and tempo.
They have two things in common. They can accelerate through the putt, and they can keep their head down for long enough.
To hit putts well, acceleration is key. Keep your head down to ensure you hit the putt straight and get the ball rolling. Regular practice is important for an indoor putting green doesn’t hurt either.
I think that most golfers would be better off putting in more effort to maintain a tight mown area and the fringe. These situations are too often where golfers resort to high-lofted wedges, which can lead to poor play. A lot of loft can cause inconsistency and lose shots around the green.
The general rule is: if you can putt it (even if it’s not on the green), putt it! Click here to find out more about putting from the green.
Do I need to look at the ball when putting?
Different players have different focus points when putting. Some golfers keep their eyes fixed on the ball and others look ahead.
Greg Norman, for example, prefers to see the back of golf balls. As “The Shark” said on his Website, “When I putt I don’t just look at the whole ball, I look at the back of the ball. By focusing on the back, you help ensure that you’ll strike the ball from straight behind it, which in turn will encourage you to make the proper low back-and-through stroke. It is only this type of stroke that imparts a true roll to the ball.”
There is no right or wrong answer. It’s up to you to test out looking at different parts of the golf ball in practice to see which ones gives you the most confidence and best roll on the greens.
Final Thoughts on The Putting Stroke
These putting tips should help you to never putt again, or at least minimize them. Putting is one the most important aspects of the game. Spend a lot of time putting if you want to get lower scores quickly.
To become a good player on the golf course, master the basics like grip, stance, ball position, and stance. If you find yourself missing putts right or left, start by looking at your setup position – specifically ball position. It’s easy to accidentally get the ball too far up (which leads to left misses) or too far back (which leads to right misses).
If you have a great round on the greens, take a video of your stroke afterward. This will allow you to create a template for when you have a cold putter on your greens.
Need more information on greens?
- Check out our best putting drills
- Learn more Golf ball markings for better accuracy