How to Make Every Four-Footer

By Steve Silverman

golfer puts ball on tee
Putting is all about having confidence. Not only do you need to develop a smooth and efficient putting stroke, you need to believe in yourself when you stand over your putt. This is especially true of short putts that many people would look as "easy." However, if a match or tournament is hanging in the balance, it's anything but easy.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Practice your putting stroke with regularity. You can do this before you play your round at the practice green, but you can also practice this at home. Bring your putter and a golf ball into your living room and get a tall glass and put it on its side. Practice hitting the ball into the glass with a slow efficent stroke.
  2. Set up six balls on the practice green, each one about 4 feet from the hole. Vary the angle to the hole by placing them one foot apart. Walk up to each ball, take one practice swing and then hit the ball in the hole with a smooth, even stroke. Don't tap it, stab at it or punch it. You need a smooth stroke no matter how long or short the putt is.
  3. Take a rolled up sleeve of pennies and place them on the practice green about 3 feet away. Try to stroke the middle of the roll of pennies evenly to see if they can roll into the hole. If you pull your putt, it will curl to the left. If you push your putt, it will roll to the right. By seeing which ways the pennies roll, you can get a better feel for your putting stroke and you can work on your flaws.
  4. Practice putting at a length of 10 feet or more. This way when you face a 4-footer, it will look easy.
  5. Make sure your grip on your putter is not too tight. You should not choke the club. You should be holding the club at about a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. You want to feel the ball as you strike it and a grip at about 4 will allow you to do that.

Tips & Warnings

  • Walk up to each putt with confidence. Know you can make it every time you step up to the ball.