If you want to improve your putting performance when you are next out on the golf course, get holing more putts and take fewer shots on the green, then work on following these five great thoughts.
First of all, work on holding the putter handle gently. Keep your hands, arms and shoulders soft, so that you can create a rocking action from your shoulders as you putt. You want to create a pendulum action from your shoulders, between your arms and the putter. Move by rocking your shoulders, left arm shoulder down, right shoulder up to get the pendulum of your arms and putter swinging away from the ball and then rock your right shoulder down and left shoulder up, to swing the pendulum back through the ball.
Keeping your hands soft will help to keep your arms and shoulders relaxed and tension free, resulting in a really smooth putting movement that has great tempo and rhythm. Great tempo will get you rolling your putts really well and make it much easier to control the distance that is required.
Secondly, work on visualizing the target line as you play your putt. Crouch down behind the ball and read the green. Look at the surface of the green between the ball and the hole for any slopes and then decide on the line that you need to hit the ball along so that it will finish in the hole. Once you have decided on the line of the putt, picture it in a really vivid colour that will stand out from the green and attract your attention. This will help you focus on the line that you need to putt the ball along and if you play the putt with your attention concentrated on this vivid, coloured target line, you will find that you become much more accurate and begin to hole more putts.
The third thought that will get you improving your putting is to focus on squaring the putter face at impact. Squaring the putter face at impact means that you simply need to strike the putter into the ball, with the face aiming along the target line. Put simply, the ball will be struck in the direction that the putter face is aiming in when it strikes the ball. Squaring the putter face to the target line as you strike your putt will get you putting much more accurately.
Tempo is also a great thought to focus on when you putt. Your tempo is the pace that you are swinging the putter at. Great putters all display great tempo when they putt. They have a consistent tempo and this allows them to control the distance of their putts accurately by altering their swing length. A bigger swing of the putter will make the ball travel further. A smaller swing will produce a putt that does not travel so far and if your tempo is constant regardless of swing length, you will find it much easier to control the distance you are playing the putt.
Tempo, or rhythm, is easy to understand if you think of a metronome that is set to a particular time. The metronome sets time by making a constant ticking noise. For the tempo of your putting stroke to be constant, you want to swing the putter back on the tick noise of the metronome and then swing it back through the ball on the next ticking noise. You do not swing the putter faster, or slower than the ticking noise, you simply swing it constantly to the ticking noise.
The final thought to have when putting would be to keep your eyes still when you play the putt. When you swing the putter and hit the ball, keep your eyes still and rather than letting them follow the movement of the ball, hold them so that they are looking at the ground where the ball was. This will allow you to swing the putter through the ball and maintain your body and shoulder position as parallel to the target line, allowing the putter head to travel along the target line. Moving your eyes to follow the movement of the golf ball will result in your head and then body turning towards the target and as this happens you will pull the putter off the target line to the left, resulting in less accurate putts.