How to Become a Better Putter

By Steve Silverman

While most golfers spend the majority of their practice time working on tee shots and long irons, the most important aspect of scoring revolves around the short game. It's not unusual for players to get nervous and alter their putting stroke from green to green, and that type of inconsistency can lead to poor results on the green.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Build a routine when you prepare to putt. The first thing you must do is get a big-picture look at the green as you walk up the fairway. You will study your shot from a close-in perspective, but sometimes the big picture will help your ability to read what is going on. Does the green have a downhill slope? Is it uphill? These big-picture answers will help you gain perspective before putting.
Step 2
Mark and clean your ball as a matter of course every time you prepare to putt. This is done to help you track your shot when you put down a clean ball with the manufacturer's name on top. You want to put down a clean ball without any flaws so it will roll smoothly.
Step 3
Stand eight feet behind where you have marked the ball so you can read the path it will take. You are looking for creases and crevices in the green that will impact the path your ball will travel. Once you find these breaks, you will make adjustments in your swing so your ball has a chance to get to the cup.
Step 4
Walk up to the ball, take one practice stroke and then hit the ball. Golfers who take more than one practice swing or stand over the ball longer than 15 seconds are likely to become nervous or anxious while standing over their shot. Read the putt, take a practice swing and then putt your ball.
Step 5
Use a pendulum stroke and do not break your wrists while putting. Bring the club forward the same distance you bring the club back. Keep your wrists firm in order to assure that the ball will not go off your prescribed course.

Tips & Warnings

Walk up to your ball, take one practice stroke and then putt. Don't stand over your ball for more than 15 seconds.

About The Author

Steve Silverman is an award-winning writer, covering sports since 1980. Silverman authored The Minnesota Vikings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Who's Better, Who's Best in Football -- The Top 60 Players of All-Time, among others, and placed in the Pro Football Writers of America awards three times. Silverman holds a Master of Science in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism.

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