Best Techniques for Getting the Putts Down

While discussing chip shots and bunker shots, we are only dealing with half of the equation. In this article, we are going to look into getting the putt ‘down’. In other words, we are going to talk about how you can make more putts to complete the up and down process as frequently as possible. There are few things in golf as frustrating as hitting a beautiful chip or bunker shot only to miss the putt and ruin your chance at a save.

Since you will hopefully have knocked the ball up close to the hole with the first half of the up and down effort, the tips below are going to be focused on short putts. During your next practice putting session, keep these fundamentals and techniques in mind.

  • Overall head stability. When discussing chipping fundamentals, we talked about the importance of keeping your eyes focused on the ball during the swing. That same concept applies here too, of course, but we want to take it a step further. When hitting putts – especially short putts – you want to keep your head perfectly still throughout the stroke. Keeping your head still when chipping is a good idea as well, but it’s particularly important when trying to knock in a short putt. The key here is accuracy, and keeping your head in the same place throughout the stroke is going to help you be more accurate in the end.
  • Perfectly quiet hands. In addition to keeping your head still, you want to keep your hands and wrists still as well. Are you noticing a theme? That’s right – good short putting is all about stability and consistency. When you can produce the same motion every time, over and over again, you will make more putts. And the best way to be consistent with the motion you produce is to take as many moving parts out of the equation as possible. That means rocking the putter back and through with your shoulders while keeping everything else still. This is a hard concept for many new golfers to grasp, but it is a powerful method once you learn how to make it work.
  • Short backstroke. This is a fundamental which is specific to making short putts. One problem many golfers run into when putting from short range is making a backstroke which is too long for the putt at hand. There is simply no need to make a long backstroke, and if you do, you’ll need to slow the putter down on the way forward in order apply the right speed to the putt. It should be noted that there is a difference between making a short backstroke and making a quick stroke. You don’t need to rush through the stroke, but you don’t need to let the putter head drift way back away from the ball, either. Keep the stroke tight while also taking your time to let it rock back and through. Once you settle into a nice rhythm, you should be able to pop your short putts into the cup one after another.

It feels good to knock a three-footer into the hole after hitting a quality chip shot from a difficult position. Not only will you have saved yourself a stroke (or two), you will also pick up a boost of confidence moving forward. You’ll know that missing the green doesn’t automatically mean a bogey or worse, and that knowledge will take some of the pressure off of your long game. Also, if you are able to improve your short putting, you will be more likely to make short putts for birdie when those opportunities come around.