Putting is by far the most overlooked part of most amateur's golf game but is so crucial to a golfer having the complete package. It is important to start the game off right by spending some time understanding and developing a solid stroke. Not all golfers spend time practicing their game off the course and when they do it typically involves them hitting their driver as hard as they can at the driving range. Hitting the driver really far is a lot of fun to do and watch, but it isn't going to help you get your game where you ultimately want it to be.
When you think about it, putting is nearly half the game as roughly 40% of the strokes that you take during a round will be with your putter. This is why it's so important to practice your putting as much as you can. The great thing is that most golf courses have a putting green where you can freely practice putting before you take your leave for the course.
The set up for putting is substantially different than that off a full golf swing. When putting, you'll want to have a much narrower stance than you would have with your full golf shot. The narrower stance is fine since you don't need all the hip and shoulder turn that gives your full swing all of its power. In fact, you really want your body to stay fairly still.
Before you hit a putt, you'll want to look at the line between your ball and the hole to see what you think the ball is going to do. Sometimes you'll want to look from behind the hole to your ball. This allows you to see how the ball will move during the putt, due to undulations in the green.
A good way to set up to the ball is to grip your putter and extend your arms out straight in front of your body. You'll then want to bring the elbows into your body. Bend over at the hips so that your club is now touching the ground, and your eyes are directly over the golf ball. Having your eyes directly over the golf ball will help you see the line on which you want to send your putt.
During your putting stroke, your shoulders, arms, hands and the putter need to act as one solid unit. You will use your shoulders to determine how big your swing is and how far you want the ball to roll. A good putting stroke is often compared to a pendulum like motion. Your putting stroke should have a smooth and even tempo from start to finish.
If you’re having problems with putting then feel free to experiment with your own fixes and cures. Putting is very individualistic and if you are a creative person then test out many different methods until you find one that works consistently. There is not necessarily one correct way to putt but the more you practice and experiment intelligently, the more you will learn, improve, and enjoy the game.