Playing golf is an American pastime that has boomed in popularity over the years. With multiple golf courses in nearly every state in the US, there are plenty of opportunities to get into this sport.
Golf is an impressive sport that encompasses skill, precision and patience. It is a hobby that takes practice and expertise in order to reach a higher level of golfing.
The main purpose of golf is to play as few strokes in a round as possible for the best score. True golfing professionals and experienced green players will tell you that the lower the amount of strokes, the better. This way you are usually playing up to par.
The best way to decrease your strokes is through putting. You can make your way to the green in as few strokes as possible, but if you cannot execute that final shot, you’ve lost your way.
We are here to help you shave so many strokes off your game with our putting expertise. We are going to show you how to improve your putting practice and smash those greens like never before.
Does this sound like something you need? Let’s unlock your putting potential with our easy guide on how to putt.
Our Guide on How to Putt
There are a few things you need to consider before you get onto the fairway, in order to smash some golf balls and get into those holes.
Gripping the Putter
How you hold your putter has a massive impact on how you will deliver the ball. The way your putter faces the golf ball will have an 80% impact on the ball’s direction. So it is vital that you know how to grip your putter correctly.
The best putting grip will have a direct line running from the putter shaft up to your forearms. You should always try to find a grip that is comfortable for you. If a pro golfer says you have to hold it a certain way, yes that may work for them, but not for you. Find and practice in a way that increases your skill and lowers your strokes.
Try using different amounts of pressure on the grip before you get it right. This is a tough skill to balance both control and precision. You need to be able to hold the putter tight enough so you have maximum control over the shot, but also not too hard that you overplay or miss the hole.
Holding your putter incorrectly can also cause a strain on your forearms and hand, so you need to find a balance that is right for you.
Reading the Putt
Any level of golfer will tell you that reading the putt is the most vital part of putting like a pro. This is something that comes with time and practice, so do not expect to get it right the first time.
Firstly, you must always take the slope of the green into consideration. This will affect how your ball curves and falls into the hole.
As you approach the green, you should always check whether it is uphill or downhill, or whether its design and shape will affect your ball. This way you can adjust your stroke accordingly.
For example, if the green slopes downhill, then you will need to be softer on the hit. The extra slope will drag your ball down naturally and you do not want to miss your target. If the green slopes uphill, then you have more freedom to put a little more power behind your hit.
To read the putt, you must have extremely good attention to detail, be aware of the environment around you and focus on the ball. You should always look at the way the ground falls. If there are any dips or slopes or general factors that will change the direction of your putt.
A good way to judge where the ball may go is by imagining you are pouring water onto the green. Picture where the water will flow to and your ball will follow. Take these factors into consideration when angling and sizing up your shots.
Another thing you must do before putting is to mark your ball. When playing with other players it is easy to lose sight of your position, or have it knocked out of the way. By having a small marker such as a coin you can maintain your spot for better precision when putting. Your coin should also have a stripe or a line drawn on it so that you can line up your shot.
By replacing your golf ball with a marker, you are also giving yourself the opportunity to remove your ball from its position and give it a quick clean. By taking away any dirt particles or obstructions you can have a literal and figurative cleaner shot.
Having the right stance is a critical part of setting up a perfect putt shot. This is fairly simple to do, but will have a huge effect on the success of your putting. Once you have lined up your shot perfectly, you should stand with your feet next to each other.
Open your legs slightly so that your feet are a shoulder width apart, whilst having the putter and the golf ball in the middle of your position. Bend your knees a little and hunch over with your hips forward for great posture.
It is important that your body is comfortable and not distorted in any way, so keep your arms loose and relaxed. Check that your feet and shoulders are aligned and that the golf ball is in your direct line of vision.
Many branded golf balls have markers on them or thin lines that can improve your putting performance. In any way, you can mark your own line by drawing on the ball with a permanent marker. This way you can use the mark to line up your ball with your target.
Once you already have a clear line marked on your golf ball, you can align your putters head with the marking. Place your putter just behind the ball and get ready to take your shot. Check that your stance is still on point and your feet and shoulders are aligned perfectly.
Now it is time to line up your marker with your target. Remember to take into consideration the slope and shape of the green. Make sure you line up the stripe on your marker with your ball and you are ready to go.
Many inexperienced players tend to use their arms and hands as the main power behind their putt. Whilst useful, we would argue that the main source of power should be your shoulders. Remember that if you are putting you need a soft hit, not a smash.
To perfect the putt, you want to use a straight motion. The putting head goes straight back, and then you swing it straight forward. Keep the motion on the line. Some putts may require you to arc your stroke, which will need a straight motion, with a slight curve on the inside just at the end of your putt.
Perfecting your putt stroke is always done well if you consider ‘the impact zone’.
The impact zone for putting can be 6 inches before the golf ball and 6 inches after the ball.
Our Top Tips
Take a few practice shots before, but make sure you do not hit your ball. Stand away from the ball and practice those strokes. One. Two. Three. Take a deep breath and visualize your target. Now it is time to sink that shot.
A great tip we can give you is to practice your wrist action. It’s all in the wrists, baby. Having the right flick of the wrist is imperative to your shot.
There are so many important factors to remember, and we know firsthand that it can be a little overwhelming to focus on them all. But this is just one last piece of advice from us.
You must keep your head completely still. Focus on the ball. Obviously, you need to focus on what your target is, but overthinking about winning will not get you to your goal.
By looking at where your putter is moving to, you lose sight of the ball which you already lined up with your target. This then will throw off the balance, and you may miss the goal. Focus on your ball and steer it correctly.
With all things, practice makes perfect, so you should try out different methods and advice that works for you. Try following our advice and mixing it with what makes you comfortable, and we will have you putting like a golf god in no time.
Now, let’s get back to sinking those shots!