- Practice with the toe of your putter
- Putt to smaller targets
- Learn how to properly read a green
- Develop your own putting style-don’t try to emulate anybody
- Grip the putter loosely
- When choosing your path, an incorrect choice is better than one made with indecision
- Use a visualization technique called spot putting
- Look straight down your putting line to avoid seeing anything but the proper line
- Billy Casper-practice putting in the dark
- Honestly evaluate your misses immediately after your stroke
- 3 ft, 10 ft, 20 ft and 50+ ft-shave off one stroke per round at each distance
Top Putting Tips
Make practice putting an exact science. Using the toe of your putter narrows down the sweet spot to a point that success in this drill will lead to developing an all-around putting stroke.
Same as above. Narrowing down the target will demand that your stroke be totally accurate. If you can putt to a target that is half the size of the cup, you will make more putts. Especially anything under 10 feet.
A mis-read putt can be the difference between a 2 foot tap in and a 5 foot nail biter if you make a bad choice in reading the break. . In addition, if you mis-read the slope it is very easy either come up 6 feet short or run it 10 feet by.
Every time I see a green for the first time, I determine the low spot on the green. This helps see which way the ball will finish as it slows down. More often than not, the grain will also run towards the low spot, making putts that run in this direction quicker yet.
As tempting as it is to copy your favorite pro golfer’s putting stroke, it is equally important to be yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. Trust your feel and your vision. Even though you might not know it, you have strengths and weaknesses. Discover and develop them and you will become a better putter.
This drill will not only make your putting better, but also satisfy a salty craving. Practice putting while holding a potato chip between your teeth. If your grip is too tight you will clench your jaw muscles at the same time and crunch the chip. This drill is also one that I use for chipping.
Spot putting is the technique of intermediate targeting. When confronted with a 20 foot putt, choose your line and then aim at a spot that is 4 to 5 feet forward on that line. You are more likely to hit an intermediate target than one at a further distance.
This almost means that you have to develop tunnel vision when reading putts. If your eyes wander off of your line one way or another, it can affect your sub-conscious into not trusting your initial read. Stay the course and be prepared to make a mistake or two along the way.
I am not sure that I can explain the science behind this tip but it worked for Billy. I imagine that it developed an almost sixth sense when it came to Billy Casper’s putting stroke. It strengthens my belief that putting is more about feel than it is about anything else.
Ask yourself this question. Why did I miss that putt? Did I mis-read the putt? Was there an outside influence in the way of a spike mark or bump in the green? Did I make a poor stroke? Once you know why you missed the putt, do something to correct the mistake.
Ben Crenshaw championed this ideology, probably from his admiration of Harvey Penick. Ben theorized that most amateur golfers will have misses from each of these distances on a regular basis. In the case of 20 footers and 50 footers, those misses usually translate into 3 putts. Trying to shave off one stroke per round will make you a better putter in the long run.