How And Why: You're Pulling Putts: Senior Golf Tip
What is a pulled putt?

Pulling Putts is a term in golf that is used to describe a shot that travels in a straight line to the left of the target for right handed golfers. For left handed golfers it is a shot that travels in a straight line to the right of the target.

When you are putting it is important that you recognise that the putt misses to the left of the hole (for right handers) because of the putting stroke and not the slope on the green.

There are many causes of pulling putts, here are some more common causes with some cures:

1. Aiming incorrectly

This is not technically a pulled shot but can look like one as the ball misses the hole to the left side. In correct terms you hit a perfectly straight putt but were not aiming in the correct direction.

To aim correctly, read the putt from behind the ball and commit to choosing a line. On the line that you have chosen, pick a blade of grass - in practice put a ball marker down - and be sure to roll the ball over the spot you have chosen.

2. Grip is too weak

When the grip is 'weak' on the golf club the hands are positioned too far around to the left side of the golf grip (for right handed golfers). When this occurs it alters the body position at set up and turns the shoulders to aim to the left of the hole. When performing the putting stroke the shoulders rock and drive the putter head to the left of the hole producing the pull shot.

To check your grip on the golf club make sure that both thumbs point in a straight line directly down the centre of the flat part of the putter grip. If your thumbs are positioned to the left of the flat of the grip or are on the left side of the grip then your grip is too weak.

3. Ball position is too far forward

When the ball position is positioned too far towards the front foot the shoulders will naturally turn to face the ball. This culminates in the shoulders once again pointing to the left side of the hole meaning that the putter head is directed through the ball in the same direction.

The ideal position of the ball when putting is the mid-point between the centre of the feet and the inside of the front foot. This position allows the putter to swing straight through the ball and align the shoulders correctly.

These are the top three common causes of pulling putts on the putting green. Use the following drill to practice these points and hit those putts straighter.

1. Get a golf club or an alignment stick and position it on the floor pointing it at the left edge of a hole (it should be pointing at the right edge for left handed golfers).

2. Position a golf ball approximately two inches above and directly in the centre of the club.

3. Set up to the golf ball and hit some putts. Make sure to check the three points mentioned to ensure that the set up to the ball is correct to avoid the most common causes of a pulled putt.

4. The goal with this drill is to make sure that the putter head does not touch the golf club at any point during the putting swing. If it does then the club is swinging on the inside, across the ball and the chances are that the ball will be pulled to the left side of the hole.

Use these points and practice this drill to hit your putts straighter and track that ball into the hole.