Better Putting Rhythm and Stroke

By Steve Silverman

golfer puts ball on tee
Good putters have a rhythm to their stroke when they come to the green. While there is much to study when facing putts of 6 feet or longer, good putters walk up to the ball, assess the shot and then hit the ball. They don't stand over the ball, for 30 seconds, take three practice strokes, back off and begin the process again. Developing a good putting rhythm is about confidence and comfort on the green.


Difficulty: Moderate
  1. Assess your putt as you are walking to the green. Although you will study it carefully once you are on the putting surface, you will get the big picture while walking toward the green. You will notice the major breaks in the green and the type of putt you are facing--uphill, downhill or sidehill--as you walk toward your ball.
  2. Put a smile on your face. You want to become a confident and rhythmic putter? Try enjoying yourself as you take your stroke. Putting is a challenge, but it is an enjoyable one. In many ways, it is like putting together a puzzle. You have to have all the pieces to be successful. Take the challenge on with a positive outlook. Prove that you are up to it.
  3. Walk up to a spot about 5 or 6 feet behind your ball. Get down into a crouch so you can study the type of putt you are facing. You will be able to see the breaks much better by getting down low.
  4. Make your determination as to how you will hit your putt after studying it. You have the information and now you need to figure out whether you need to hit it hard, hit it softly or somewhere in between.
  5. Walk up to the ball and get in the putting position. Take one practice stroke and then put the blade of your putter behind the ball. Continue to breathe and then stroke the ball. The best putters do this in rhythm and do not continuously back off the ball and reassess. The situation is not going to change because you continue to reread the green. You are better off putting your ball and maintaining your balance.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't take more than one practice stroke when putting. Taking too long to assess your shot will prevent you from developing a solid putting rhythm.

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.