When it comes to putting there are two basic putting styles that you can use. One is a straight-back straight-through putting stroke and the other, which we are going to look at here, is an arcing putting stroke.
Both methods are employed by today’s leading Tour Players when they are competing and neither stroke has a clear benefit other the other. One style suits certain players and the other suits others.
An arcing putting stroke more naturally matches the movement and motion of the full golf swing. As you swing a golf club to make a full swing, you swing the club head on an arc around yourself. If you placed an alignment pole on the ground to represent the target line, when you swing the golf club head on an arc around you, it arcs inside the target line as you swing back and then it approaches the target line from the inside of it, travels along the target line as it strikes the golf ball and then arcs back on the inside of it once it moves into the follow through motion. An arcing putting stroke follows this motion, just in a smaller version, so the club head does not move as much around the arc. The putter head swings back on the inside of the target line, then approaches the target line from the inside as it moves towards the ball, swings along the target line as it strikes the ball and then swings back on the inside as it follows through.
The key to an arcing putting stroke is to keep the putter face square to the arcing swing path that it travels on. As the putter swings back and arcs inside the target line, the putter face will open slightly to the target line but stay aiming along the arc of the swing path. As the putter head travels back towards the ball on its arcing path, the putter face stays square to the path and rotates back towards the target so that it is aiming down the target line and is also square to its arcing path as it strikes the golf ball. The putter face then aims left of the target line, but remains square to the arcing swing path, as it follows through after striking the golf ball.
To use an arcing putting stroke, you need to set up with your eyes over the golf ball and your feet shoulder width apart. Play the golf ball from just left of centre and keep your weight evenly balanced. Work on making the putting stroke from your shoulders and keep your elbows close to your body. As your shoulders rotate during the stroke, your forearms will rotate and as such, the putter face will rotate which keeps it square to the path that it is travelling on. If you tend to rotate the club face during your putting stroke, then this method will really suit you.
A great drill to work on when practising is to place a club on the floor and set up with the toe of your putter touching the shaft of the club on the floor. Make your putting action along this shaft and the putter head will arc away from the shaft as you swing back. As you swing back towards the ball, the toe of the putter head will move back towards the shaft, then along the shaft and then back away from it and the follow through. As this happens, work on keeping the putter face square, or aiming along the path, that the putter head is arcing along. If you achieve this, you will be hitting very accurate putts along the target line and as a result you will be holing more putts.