Here’s the thing about putts: They’re deceptively simple.
You think all it takes is a gentle tap for the ball to roll right into the hole. You’re so close—but you’re also so far away.
Mastering the art of putting is, in many ways, just as critical to your game as a powerful, well-placed drive. It’s not just a simple matter of distance and strength. It involves everything from the placement of your hands to the angle of your body to the looseness of your muscles.
What are some ways you can sink more putts just like the pros?
1. Mind your mind.
Golf is as much mental as it is physical, and it’s easy for your mind to freeze when focusing on the ball. Instead of staring at the ball, some golfers suggest staring at a spot in front of the ball. This gets your mind thinking more about the target line and less about the stroke itself.
2. Get a grip.
One powerful key to sinking putts is the right grip. You want control (putters are heavy, after all), but you also want a certain level of smoothness. One recommendation: lock your grip with the pads of your thumbs and curl your forefingers around the club.
3. Read the green.
Mower lines, shady patches—to give your swing the appropriate amount of force, you have to “read” the topography around the hole. Some golfers suggest working off nearby horizontal lines (benches, water traps) to avoid tilts that can destroy your putt.
4. Watch your weight.
Often times, you’re missing your putts because your weight is off—and you’re not even aware of it. When putting, compensate for your body’s natural inclination to lean on a slope. And don’t forget the heel wedges in your golf shoes, which can also cause unplanned tilting.
5. Hit the accelerator.
When putting, always accelerate your putter through the ball. Don’t stop once you’ve made contact. You want to give as much attention to your through-stroke as you do to your backstroke. Every good putter accelerates through the ball. It’s non-negotiable.
6. Keep it low.
The center of your putter, golfers agree, is the sweet spot. Remember the natural tendency of your putter to move slightly high through your swing—and take extra care to keep your putter low to ensure the center connects dead-on with your ball.
7. Play it smooth.
Given the high-pressure situation of putting scenarios, it can be difficult to swing smooth. Make sure you stay hydrated and energized before, during, and after you play. Try a drink supplement like swingOIL—formulated by golfers for golfers to help you play your best game.
8. Practice your putt.
Don’t wait to practice your putt in the middle of a game. Instead, take time during practice rounds to focus specifically on your putting work. There are lots of fun putting drills out there for you to try. Rotate between different drills to keep things interesting (and challenging).
9. Walk the line.
Before you putt, walk along your line of sight to get a better sense of the landscape’s pitch. Sounds simple, right? It is. “Walking the line” is an easy way to notice (with touch) subtle breaks or optical illusions you might not be able to see.
10. Check the wind.
You can’t always play in ideal weather. On windy days, keep your center of gravity low, widen your stance, flex your knees, and put your weight over your shoelaces. Yes, you’ll restrict your stroke length, but you’ll brace it against any winds that could throw it off-balance.
These are only a few of the many tricks and tips you can find out there. These 10, however, will go a long way toward transforming you into a well-oiled putting machine.