Let's talk a minute about putting. I like to keep everything in the golf swing, everything in the short game, nice and simple. There is nothing complicated about it.
Should You Pull the putter Straight Back?
To be able to release the putter down the line and to your target the putter has to travel slightly inside. Now I have heard people for years talk about taking the putter straight back. Well if you take the putter straight back the putter is hooded and when you come back through you are going to work the heel or the putter will stay hooded and you are going to pull it. I have never in my life seen a good putter who took the putter straight back.
Putting Inside the Line
Every good putter I have ever seen always takes the putter slightly inside the line on the way back so that it can go down the line on the stroke. You always want the putter traveling that way. The thing that I tell people all the time is I don't care about their stance. I have seen people with closed stances, people with open stances, wide stances and little bitty narrow stances. I have seen all kinds of stances on good putters. But the one thing that they all have in common is that the putter will always travel slightly inside so that it can release down the line.
Proper Grip for Accurate Putting
Another thing I tell people about putting is to take their index finger and put it down the shaft. I find that makes people understand where there target is. I see people all the time who think they are keeping the putter straight to the hole but the putter face is always open and to the right of the hole. But again, if the putter goes straight back or to the outside it will come across. The putter must travel slightly inside on the backswing in order to release down the line. If you do that it does not matter how you set up, we do always want your eyes over the ball obviously, but you can have an open stance or closed stance, it really does not make a difference.
Elbow Position in Putting
You can roll the ball as long as the putter travels slightly along the inside. If it goes outside you are always across it, you always have a little bit of an angle and it is just enough to make the ball curve. The only other thing I want to say in regards to this is that when you set up you always want to keep your left elbow, as in all shots, down on your body.
For every degree your left elbow goes out look at what it does to the clubface, it opens it up. When you have a three foot putt and the left elbow turns out just a little you will miss the putt dead right or you will turn it over and yank the ball to the left. So if you want the putter to go square to the hole the left elbow always has to stay down and on your body, it can never come off your body without changing the clubface. Keep those things in mind and you will become a really good putter.