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How Should My Elbows Bend During My Golf Putting StrokeThe way your elbows bend during your putting stroke is very important, from the position they adopt at address to the positions they maintain or move to during the stroke.

The elbows position has an affect on the alignment of the shoulders in the set up, and also the position of your putter face as the stroke moves back and through. Although you may not realise it, your elbows will be bending a little bit more as your putting stroke moves back and through, and may result in you asking yourself how did I miss that putt?.

The answer lies in the type of stroke you try to make. For example, for those of you who try to keep the putter face moving straight back and straight through, your trailing elbow bends in the back stroke to enable your putter face to maintain its position looking at the target. If you dont make a compensatory move in the forward stroke then you will struggle to start your putt on the intended line and you will most likely see your putt miss the hole.

So what should you be doing with your elbows? Firstly, as you adopt your address position your arms need to be relaxed so your elbows are in a natural and slightly flexed position. If there is any tension in your arms then your elbows will be pulled slightly closer together. That tension is mostly felt where the inside of your upper arms meet the side of your chest. Having the smallest amount of tension in your putting stroke is not good and it wont take too long for that tension to filter throughout the whole body, making a smooth stroke almost impossible.

Now that you are relaxed with slightly flexed elbows it is extremely important that you do not try to influence the path of the putter with your hands in either the back stroke or the forward stroke. To ensure the path is not influenced, you need to rock your shoulders, left shoulder down and right shoulder up as the putter moves in the back stroke and vice versa in the forward stroke so the putter follows a natural arc. This will ensure that your elbows retain the same degrees of flexion throughout the stroke and your putt starts along the intended line.

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Bending your lead elbow while keeping the trailing elbow straight will have a detrimental effect on the alignment of your shoulders. As your trailing elbow straightens, your right shoulder will be pushed forward changing the alignment of your shoulders from parallel to target to aiming to the left of target.

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To make a smooth and controlled putting stroke, you must remain relaxed and tension free, so having firm elbows that are close together will increase the amount of tension throughout your whole body and making it almost impossible for you to make a smooth stroke.

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Having both elbows bent outwards causes two things to happen. Firstly, it allows your putter to leave the ground too quickly, and secondly, it causes the angle of attack on the forward swing to be too steep. This de-lofts the putter at impact too much, causing you to drive the ball into the ground. That causes the ball to bounce before it rolls towards your intended target.