How to Straighten Out Your Putts

By Steve Silverman

Nearly everyone who has started to play golf learns that the game is loaded with catch phrases. One of them is "Drive for show, putt for dough." That means that when you hit the long one off the tee you will get a lot of praise from your playing partners and competitors, but when it comes to winning the match, it's how well you putt that will make the difference. There is a lot of pressure when you step to the green and here is how to keep your putts rolling straight.


Difficulty: Moderate
Step 1
Walk up to the ball and assess the putt you have in front of you. Look at the structure of the green and determine if the putt is straight, breaks to the left or breaks to the right. Once you have made your determination, take your position and get ready to strike the ball.
Step 2
Play the ball about two ball lengths behind your front foot. You should have your head looking directly at the ball. It should be at nearly a 90-degree angle.
Step 3
Hold the club with a moderate grip and don't even think about choking the club. You should hold the club at about a four on a scale of one to 10. You want to keep this grip so that you can feel the ball as it hits your blade.
Step 4
Bring the club back to about mid-calf level of the back leg and then bring the club through the ball and finish at mid-calf level on the front leg. A smooth pendulum-type swing will help you keep your putts straight.
Step 5
Take one practice stroke when you walk up to the ball and then hit it. Some golfers will take two or three practice swings with the hope that they will eliminate a mistake. However, excess study and practice swings tends to add tension to the putt and that will increase the chance of not hitting the ball with accuracy.

Tips & Warnings

Breathe normally when you putt to ensure a smooth stroke. Many golfers will hold their breath--consciously or unconsciously--when they putt and that is almost always a mistake.

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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