Ask any golf pro or teacher to name the keys to consistency, and they’ll list the pre-shot routine at or near the top. Repeating the same steps before each and every shot, no matter the length, club or situation, helps ensure your swing will repeat, too.
The same holds true on the greens. Like a pre-shot routine from the tee or fairway, there’s no single best way to go about preparing to putt. But there are a handful of steps that should be taken. Here they are:
- Read the putt from at least one angle: Always study the line from behind the ball looking toward the hole. If time permits, check it out from the other side as well.
- Choose your target: On a straight putt, that means the hole. If the putt will break, find a target (discolored grass, a distant leaf) in line with the break’s high point.
- Line up the ball and putter face: Line up the ball’s alignment aid (usually a brand name or arrow) with the target.
- Address the ball: Step to the ball and assume your setup, aligning the putter face where the ball is aimed.
Look and go: Look once or twice at the putt’s line, tracking the intended path to and from the hole. Take the same number of glances on every putt. After your final view, take a deep breath and stroke the putt. Try to maintain the same interval between look and stroke every time.