How To Master Your Putting Stroke Process
How To Master Your Putting Stroke Process


Creating a repeatable putting stroke is going to help you perform more consistently on the greens. It is not, however, going to take you all the way to where you want to go. In order to arrive at a place where you can putt consistently from day to day, you need to have a process in place as well. What do we mean by ‘process’? You need to have a plan for how you are going to approach each putt, and you need to execute that plan perfectly. Most amateur golfers don’t bother to put together a specific process for their putts, and they pay the price for that oversight.

When creating a process that you will use prior to each putt, you should remember that there is room for individual preference on this task. You don’t need to copy the process of another player precisely, as long as you check off a few important steps. The list below highlights three steps that should be included in every golfer’s pre-putt process.

  • A careful read. This one should go without saying. If you are going to make putts, you need to get good reads. You should be reading your putts from both ends – that means taking a look from behind the hole as well as from behind the ball. It is common for golfers to skip the step of viewing their putts from behind the hole, but this may actually be the most important view of all.
  • It shouldn’t take long to walk down toward the hole in order to get a good view, and you may be able to work on your read while others are getting ready to hit their putts. If you are a beginning golfer, you might struggle to read greens properly, but that’s okay. This is one of those skills that is sure to improve over time as you gain experience. Stick with it, learn from your mistakes, and soon enough you’ll be an excellent green reader.
  • A practice stroke. You don’t want to be the player who holds up the group by standing on the green making one practice stroke after the next. At the same time, you do want to make sure your stroke is ready for the challenge of rolling the ball up to the cup.
  • The answer is to make just a single practice stroke, or maybe two at the most. This can be done in just a few seconds, so you really won’t be slowing down the pace of play. Consider standing a few feet behind the ball when making your practice strokes so you can visualize the ball rolling down your target line and into the cup. As you make your practice stroke, focus on one or two mechanical keys to make sure your stroke is solid and ready to go.
  • An efficient start. One of the often-overlooked mistakes made by amateur golfers when getting ready to hit their putts is taking too much time over the ball before starting the stroke. Many golfers ‘freeze’ over the ball – in other words, they build their stance and then get stuck there, waiting to actually hit the putt.
  • There is likely to be tension developed in your body while you wait to hit the putt, and that tension is going to make it hard to produce a nice roll. As a good rule of thumb, try using the movement of your eyes to trigger the start of your putting motion. Once you get over the ball, take one look up at the cup and then move your eyes back down to the ball. As soon as your eyes return to the ball, put the putter in motion. If you can get into this habit, you’ll be able to start each putt without worrying about getting stuck over the ball.

It is up to you to develop a process that suits your needs on the greens. As you work on bringing it together, do your best to include each of the three keys above. Of course, once you design your process, be sure to practice it regularly to make it as comfortable as possible.

Mastering your putting stroke process involves developing a routine and approach that helps you consistently execute effective putts. Here are some steps to help you master your putting stroke process:

  1. Pre-Putt Routine: Establish a consistent pre-putt routine that you follow before each putt. This routine helps you prepare mentally and physically for the stroke. It may include visualizing the line, taking practice strokes, or focusing on a specific target.
  2. Read the Green: Analyze the slope, grain, and any other factors that may affect the break of the putt. Take your time to read the green and make an informed decision on the line and speed.
  3. Visualize the Putt: Create a mental image of the ball rolling along the intended line and into the hole. Visualize the pace and trajectory of the putt, allowing your mind to map out the desired outcome.
  4. Align Your Body and Putter: Set up your body and putter face square to the intended target line. Align your feet, hips, and shoulders parallel to the line. Position the putter face perpendicular to the target.
  5. Grip and Hand Placement: Choose a grip that feels comfortable and allows for control. Ensure that your hands are positioned consistently on the putter grip, and the grip pressure is firm but not excessive.
  6. Smooth Backswing and Acceleration: During your stroke, focus on a smooth and controlled backswing with a gradual acceleration through impact. Avoid any jerky or rushed movements that may result in inconsistency.
  7. Keep Your Head Steady: Maintain a steady head position throughout the stroke. Minimize any unnecessary movement or lifting of your head, which can disrupt your alignment and consistency.
  8. Follow-Through: Complete your stroke with a smooth and balanced follow-through. The length of the follow-through may vary depending on the distance of the putt, but ensure that it is a natural extension of your stroke.
  9. Evaluate and Adjust: After each putt, take a moment to evaluate the result and make any necessary adjustments. Pay attention to factors such as alignment, speed, and stroke mechanics. Learn from each putt and use the feedback to refine your process.
  10. Practice with Intention: Regularly practice your putting stroke process with intention and focus. Incorporate drills and exercises that target different aspects of putting, such as alignment, distance control, and reading greens. Practice both short and long putts to develop a well-rounded skill set.
  11. Seek Feedback and Coaching: Consider seeking feedback from a golf instructor or putting coach. They can provide objective analysis of your stroke process, identify areas for improvement, and offer guidance tailored to your specific needs.

Consistency and repetition are key to mastering your putting stroke process. By developing a routine, practicing with intention, and seeking guidance when needed, you can refine your technique and build confidence in your ability to putt effectively on the greens.

Q: What is the putting stroke process? A: The putting stroke process refers to the series of steps a golfer follows when preparing to make a putt. It includes aspects such as reading the green, setting up the alignment, taking the stroke, and following through.

Q: What are the key components of the putting stroke process? A: The key components of the putting stroke process include:

  1. Green reading: Assessing the slope, break, and speed of the green to determine the correct line for the putt.
  2. Alignment: Setting up the body and putter face square to the intended target line.
  3. Grip: Holding the putter with a relaxed and comfortable grip.
  4. Setup: Adopting a stable and balanced posture with the eyes directly over the ball.
  5. Backswing and Follow-through: Executing a pendulum-like stroke with a smooth backswing and follow-through.

Q: How can golfers improve their green reading during the putting stroke process? A: Golfers can improve their green reading by practicing on different greens, paying attention to slopes, and visualizing the ball's path to the hole. Reading the green from different angles can also help in understanding the contours and breaks.

Q: What role does visualization play in mastering the putting stroke process? A: Visualization plays a crucial role in mastering the putting stroke process. Golfers can visualize the entire process, from the ball rolling on the intended line to dropping into the hole. This mental imagery helps build confidence and aids in executing the stroke more effectively.

Q: Should golfers use the same putting stroke process for every putt? A: While the basic putting stroke process remains consistent, some variations may be needed depending on the distance, slope, and break of the putt. Adapting the stroke process based on the specific putt's requirements can lead to better results.

Q: How can golfers practice their putting stroke process effectively? A: Golfers can practice their putting stroke process effectively by spending time on the practice green and incorporating drills that focus on different aspects of the process. Consistent and purposeful practice is essential for mastering the stroke.

Q: What are some common mistakes golfers make in their putting stroke process? A: Some common mistakes in the putting stroke process include poor alignment, improper grip pressure, lack of stability in the setup, and rushing the stroke. These mistakes can lead to missed putts and inconsistency on the greens.

Q: How can golfers maintain their focus and concentration during the putting stroke process? A: Golfers can maintain focus and concentration during the putting stroke process by establishing a consistent pre-putt routine. Taking deep breaths, visualizing the putt, and staying in the present moment can help maintain focus and reduce distractions.

Q: What are some strategies to handle pressure during the putting stroke process in competitive situations? A: To handle pressure during the putting stroke process, golfers can stick to their pre-putt routine and focus on the process rather than the outcome. Trusting their practice and past experience can instill confidence when facing pressure on the greens.

Q: Can golfers benefit from seeking professional putting instruction to master their stroke process? A: Yes, seeking professional putting instruction can be highly beneficial for golfers aiming to master their stroke process. A qualified instructor can provide feedback, identify areas for improvement, and offer personalized drills to enhance the golfer's putting technique.

Q: How can golfers measure their progress in mastering the putting stroke process? A: Golfers can measure their progress in mastering the putting stroke process by tracking their putting statistics during rounds, such as the number of putts per round and three-putt percentages. Improvement in consistency and the ability to read greens more effectively are also indicators of progress.