Golf Putting Theory

By Kim Kleinle

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Golfers have tried changing equipment--from standard to belly putters to long putters--and changing grip or technique to get putts to drop. Even golf instructors don't agree on a single putting theory, but there is some common ground.

Distance and Direction

To putt successfully, you need to roll the ball on the correct path and at the right speed.

On Line

Set the clubface square to your target line. That is, the putter face should be pointing down the line on which you want to start your putt.

Set Up

Your eyes should be over the target line (not below or above it), with the ball in the center or slightly ahead of center in your stance.

The Grip

Your palms should face each other--regardless of your grip technique. In addition to a standard grip, the reverse overlap and the cross-handed grip are common ways to hold a putter.

The Stroke

Using a pendulum shoulder motion, keep your body still. Make an accelerating stroke along the target line. The follow-through should be at least as long as the takeaway.


With putting, there's always a professional--or amateur--golfer who successfully uses a technique that deviates from the norm. If it works consistently, keep doing it.

About the Author

Kim Kleinle is a PGA/LPGA professional and a member of a select group certified in instruction by the Professional Golfers' Association. She began writing in 1980 after earning her degree. Her work has appeared online, in "Northeast Golfer" and in newspapers, including the "Scranton Times." Kleinle holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Point Park University, Pittsburgh.