When you set up to putt, the ball is in the center of your stance with your eyes directly over it, right? Are you sure?
The question isn’t intended to cause uncertainty and undermine your confidence. The point is, it’s difficult to be positive about your positions based on what you see as you stand over the ball. And that’s where a full-length mirror, glass door or similar surface can help you establish and reinforce correct putting fundamentals.
First, check the following positions while directly facing the mirror, keeping in mind that putting fundamentals are a bit more flexible than those for the full golf swing:
- Ball position: Should be in the middle of your stance or slightly forward (toward the left foot for a right-handed golfer).
- Shaft angle: The shaft may be perpendicular to the ground or leaning a little toward the target.
- Weight distribution: Most good putters position their weight equally on both feet, but some, like Ben Crenshaw, favor the left side.
- Length of back-stroke and through-stroke: It’s often recommended that your back-stroke be shorter than your follow-through, which promotes acceleration. In any case, the back-stroke should not be shorter than the follow-through.
- Eye position: One thing nearly everyone agrees on is that the eyes should be directly over or slightly inside the ball.
- Arms and shaft: They should form a straight line from the elbows to the ground.
Now with the mirror to your side (right or left work equally well), examine these factors:
Feet and shoulder alignment: Square to the target line is ideal, though many good putters stand with their feet and/or shoulders open.