Don't forget about the practice green!
Putt for Dough
By Snyper on 9/8/08
By Matt Snyder, oobgolf contributer

Alright, let's talk about putting. It has been suggested by some on this site that putting is not as important as it is made out to be. Well, that's a bunch of garbage. There is an unmistakably strong correlation between lower scores and better putting. If you putt well, you will score well regardless of the rest of your game. That can't be said for any other club in your bag. I do think that putting is slightly more important for lower handicappers, but still very relevant no matter the level that your game is on.

That's all well and good, but can a simple tip or two really make you a better putter? Well, let's find out. Here is my first suggestion for those of you who are struggling with the flat stick, shorten up! Just like I talked about with the full swing, a shorter back swing is better. Again, the closer your club stays to the ball, the easier it is to keep it square and on plane. Now, you cannot keep your putting stroke short with a "handsy" putting stroke. It is imperative that you use your shoulders while keeping your hands quiet. That's the key to being comfortable with taking a shorter stroke.

The long back swing usually leads to the most common mistake that players make while putting...DECELLERATION! You must accelerate through the putting stroke. Even if you are tapping in a two footer, your forward swing needs to be at a faster pace than your back swing. Now, that doesn't mean you have to crush every putt. If it is a fast putt, you simply take the club back slower than usual so that your forward stroke, while accelerating, can still be soft enough to drain that slippery four footer.

Putting is all about comfort and confidence. You need to spend some time on the putting green getting comfortable with the changes in your stroke before you can expect to see results on the course. Practice will also build your confidence. If you let putting intimidate you, you will continue to struggle. Approach each putt not worrying about what is going to happen if you miss, but instead telling yourself that you're going to make it. If you have to lie to yourself, then do it! Remember, speed is the key to avoiding three putts. Implementing these tips should help you keep your speed consistent and your stroke solid. Remember, drive for show, putt for dough!

[ comments ]
ToddRobb says:
snyper, I thought you were a Tiger hater, what's up with the picture??
Kickntrue says:
How important is grip?
SingleDigits says:
There was a Golf Magazine article (or Golf Digest, I can't remember) this past month that said that left hand low or claw grip gave you the best face angle at impact. Also, here's a tip from Dave Pelz:,28136,15

p.s. I agree that putting has a huge impact on score (esp. for lower handicaps). For me the highest correlation b/w stats & score is putting and GIRs -- although I can have a lousy GIR day but score well with up & downs.
KVSmith59 says:
try side saddle putting or a variation of it.
falcon50driver says:
Every time I change putters I putt much better. Never went back to the old one to check the validity of that tho.
birdieXris says:
Here's what i know about putting from my 20+ years playing the game:

You can only be so good -- the rest is luck.

if you're good one day, you won't be good the next.

the cross handed grip gives you a much more solid feel at impact and is good for getting your confidence up.

lip outs are a fact of life

the 2nd "frustration" try always goes in.
SilkySmoothFlatStick says:
The "feel" factor on a putting stroke as recently mentioned by Arnold Palmer in this months edition of Golf Magazine is one of the most under-rated and mostly ignored aspects of the putting stroke today.

Too many people ou there (including me) complicate the whole process by making the putting stoke a mechanical event.
SilkySmoothFlatStick says:
Sorry about the a bad keyboard (stroke)-(out)
kidputter says:
I never thought of blaming the keyboard for my spelling errors. Thans for the idea.
D.L. Lutz says:
I changed to cross handed a couple of years ago and had some success with that for about 1 1/2 years then slipped back into a steady supply of three putts.

After a horrible year of of frustration, I bought a belly putter. While I get alot of ribbing from friends, the results are there for everyone to see and admire. I went from one of the worst putters in my golf league to one of the best. Today, I would not trade the broom stick for anything.

p.s. I still putt cross handed because I get the ball started on-line more consistently.
onedollarwed says:
It is true - putting can be the most importnt part of your scoring game... once the rest of the parts are reasonably well polished. The question for decent golfers is... avoid any obvious 3-putt situations (long, heavily sloped, fast, hard, tiered, etc. greens), and then, is it going to be one or two putts. Reasonably good golfers - and putters - have to consider anything inside 25ft makable. I keep a putting stat that we made up ingrad school - which reflect skill and context of putting, not just # of putts.
onedollarwed says:
As far as technique... you have to be able to visualize the path of the ball (read, and choose direction and speed together), and then execute that shot. The choice is important because of the context of the match... or even the practice drill.
The big elephant in the room is this though: Can you sink flat and level 4-6 footers every time? If, when there is virtually nothing to read and contemplate, can you line up the putter and sink it? If you can't, you need to find a putter you can line up, and/or work on good clean stroke which gets the ball rolling toward the hole.
puttnut says:
I've been putting with one hand (my left hand in my pocket) for 9 years and my putting average is 1.77 strokes per hole, and 15 handicap. If I didn't putt well I'd absolutely suck at this game (which I love). It's all about doing the same thing everytime you line up. I've been playing since 1974 and the putter I currently use is only the 3rd I've had in 34 years. Just develope a smooth stroke and put the blade of the putter "in the hole" on your follow through. When you don't hit the ball long anymore and don't hit greens in regulation, you have to be a good putter in order to keep your sanity.
blue_crush says:
hahahaha...QUOTE "You can only be so good -- the rest is luck"
luck is for losers and Vegas odds makers.
PS, I forgot fishermen
you can be as good as you want, it takes practice and time. and some are just a lot better at it than others. it is however the one thing that can drop more strokes off your game faster than anything else, so being good at it is worth it.
SilkySmoothFlatStick says:
I have experimented with one-handed putting as a warm up in practice for the first 30 mins or so. I then just lay my left hand on top of the handle for more support and let the right hand continue to guide the works like a charm.

Does anyone know of any PGA players on tour that putts one-handed? Is it legal?

p.s.....(Kidave)...I gt mi kebord
puttnut says:
In the 80's Jim Hulbert used to putt with one hand and yes, it is legal.
Macbirdie says:
PUTTING - Just like any other part of the game, the secret is to practice. The method doesn't really matter (one-handed, left hand low, claw, or whatever). And the type of putter or the length is unimportant. If you are willing to practice, you can get better. Try banging 3 balls around a putting green for an hour or so twice a week and see what a nice surprise you'll get next round.
unknown1111 says:
How long should you practice putting before a round?
JWHpurist says:
For LF Golf: Practice until you know you can put the ball where you want it on a consistent basis. Use whatever putter or technique required to do that. Take that level of confidence to the course, commit to the putts, and you will record rounds of 30 putts or less all day long!! "A player is only limited by their confidence in their ability to deliver the proper shot at hand." JWHpurist
PETE24 says:
t_woolbright94 says:
just remember the basic concept of putting... just get the ball in the hole
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