How to Groove Your Putting Stroke

By Steve Silverman

Learning the finer points of putting is an absolute must for anyone who wants to score well on the golf course. You can hit the ball 300 yards or hit the best shots from the fairway, but neither one will mean a thing on the scorecard if you can't putt consistently. It is a mental game and a physical exercise. Both can be mastered with practice.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Learn how to grip the putter. An overlapping or interlocking grip will do, but the golfer has to change his pressure on the club. Hold the club at about a four on a scale of one to 10. Holding it tighter will prevent you from getting a feel for the club.
Step 2
Practice an even pendulum stroke on the green. You need to take the club back as far as you will bring it forward. Do not break your wrists on contact. Feel the ball on the face of the putter as you make contact and always follow through.
Step 3
Visualize a successful putt as you step up to it. Think of the ball rolling with the correct speed as it moves toward the hole and how it slows down perceptibly in the final 5 feet. Then watch it drop into the hole. Now go up to the hole and strike it.
Step 4
Draw a 3-foot circle around the hole when you are putting from 25 or more feet. That circle is in your mind and the idea is to get the ball to stop within that circle. Not many golfers can make 25-foot putts with any kind of consistency. As a result you should change your goal when you have to putt from that distance and try to get it into the circle.
Step 5
Promise yourself that you will never leave an uphill put short. Downhill putts are very scary. They can roll 6, 8 or 10 feet past the hole. On an uphill putt, this won't happen. You can go for it with strength and determination and if you go past, it will be by 3 or 4 feet.

Tips & Warnings

Go to the practice green before every round you play. Hit at least 15 practice putts before you start to play.

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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