Proper Putting Posture
Although putting is primarily feel, there are a couple of important issues as far as set up. You need to be in a good consistent set up to be a good consistent putter. Starting with posture: this is a golf swing so you need to have a good posture at the golf ball. That does not mean just flexing your legs where your arms do not hang away from your body. What I want to do is do is take my spine, tilt over and still keep my legs relaxed.
Additionally, the eyes are a key part of putting, we want to get the eyes over the ball and we also want the eye line parallel to your intended target line. That is the way the eyes will sight from slightly behind the ball and over it to along the line. So from down the line those are two key issues we look for.
Set your Hands and the Ball
From face on you want to get a sense of the relationship of the palms of the hand to the face of the putter head. The putter shaft will run a little more up the hand in putting as opposed to across the hand. We want to set a nice natural relationship. I also want to have the ball positioned underneath my sternum; I want the back of the ball right under my sternum. That positions the ball right at the bottom of the swinging arc and it is going to give me my most consistent contact. So as we tilt forward and position the ball underneath your sternum you will notice I play the ball a little bit ahead and put a little more weight on my front foot. What you see is the ball positioned under the sternum, my arms relaxed and my legs relaxed.
Establish Your Putting Feel
From here it is very individual as far as feel; my feel of putting actually is in my hands. What you notice is as I putt with my hands you actually notice my arms and shoulders move. So as I am putting with my hands you actually see the whole triangle moving. Now from a feel standpoint you can putt with your chest, your shoulders, your arms, the triangle or your back, there are a lot of options here. Whatever you feel is the best. Don’t be afraid of allowing a little wrist flexing if that gives you better feel and sensitivity.
Swing like a Pendulum
So get in a good set up, position the ball well, let the eyes see the putt and then make that nice pendulum swing, stressing solid contact. Again the pendulum swing is the key issue. You hear so much about accelerating the putter, what we find is that the pendulum swing actually has acceleration. The putter is moving the fastest at the bottom of the swinging arc and the very best putters have the most consistent pace in their stroke. So we want to stay away from any abrupt changes in speed. That way you get a feel for pacing your stroke and you use that sense of feel and pace throughout your whole golf game. So get the basics down and your putting is going to get more consistent.