Get un-stuck on your putts
By Erika Larkin on 9/12/12
To improve your putting, check your setup for some simple areas that can really free up your stroke, eliminate compensations and increase the odds for solid contact.

When you address the ball, try to:
  1. Get your eye-line over the ball (bend forward from your hips to get in this position)

  2. Weight off your heels (stand far enough away from the ball to make room for this)

  3. Elbows in front of your rib cage (it may feel like your elbows are tucked in and under your torso and in turn, this should elevate your wrists a little which will quiet your hands through impact as a bonus)
If you are sitting back, standing too tall, too close or have your arms around your torso too much you will get "stuck" and not be able to swing freely which will lead to pushing or pulling compensations in your stroke.

Poor setup

Ball position: This is one other key area that is frequently overlooked in ball contact and misses. If you are missing your putts to the right or left check for a ball position that is too far back or forward. A slight adjustment (an inch or so in one direction) may mean the difference between hitting your putts solid or thin, straight or off-line.

Proper setup

See this pictures for what a good "free" setup looks like. Remember setup is more than 60% of the your posture and ball position and I am positive your stroke and putting will improve as a result.

Erika Larkin is the Director of Instruction at Larkin Golf Learning Community at Stonewall Golf Club in Gainesville, Virigina. She was named the 2012 Middle Atlantic PGA "Teacher of the Year" and the 2011 "Top Golf Pro" by Washingtonian Magazine... and she's oobgolf's newest columnist. She will be writing on a variety of topics including instruction, so if you have a question for her or an idea for a column, email her at Enjoy!

[ comments ]
legitimatebeef says:
Good call Erika. I had to work on my putting a while ago and I found that I had been a bit cramped due to poor setup. My arms weren't hanging very naturally, so I wasn't getting a very free shoulder rotation. About the legs I like to have them more or less straight, virtually no knee bend. I learned this from observing the pro's. You don't need any movement down there IMO.
hp says:
One macro advice that I have for anyone struggling with their putts is to loosen the grip pressure. Keep it very light to avoid a wristy swing. This especially helps with those pesky 3 - 4 footers when the grip pressure really tightens up for some people.
birdieXris says:
As always, an excellent lesson article. I have adjusted a few things recently and have found myself holing more putts with better confidence as a result of it. It's nice to know that when everything is setup properly it's just a matter of rocking the shoulders.
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