There are a few pieces that have to come together perfectly in order for you to make a putt. First, you have to get a good read. Without an accurate read, nothing else you do later on will make much of a difference.
Second, you have to hit the ball the proper speed for the putt at hand. Again, without getting the speed right, the ball is not going to fall in.
Finally, you have to hit your intended target line. If you miss the line you picked, your read will be wasted and your putt will roll past the cup.
To help you make more putts, we are going to address the last of those three points in this article.
How do you get the ball to start on the right line, time after time? It is easier said than done, to be sure.
Putting is a notoriously difficult task, and not just for amateur players. You will frequently see professional golfers driven to their wit’s end by the riddle that is rolling a small white ball into a hole in the ground.
Give Yourself a Chance
If you would like to start your putts on the intended line, the first thing you need to do is aim the putter face down that line at address. This is an easy point to take for granted.
If you think you are aimed properly on all of your putts, think again. It is surprisingly difficult to aim the putter perfectly down the target line over and over again.
To practice this skill, you might want to use something that will allow you to visualize the line as you prepare to take your stance. The best way to do this is to take a piece of string with you to the practice green for a putting session. Pick out a relatively flat putt and identify the line you are going to use for that putt. Then, take your piece of string and lay it down on the ground, along the intended target line.
Set your golf ball next to that string, pick up your putter, and take your stance. If the angle of the club face at address matches with the positioning of the string, you are good to go. With enough repetitions of this drill during practice, it will get far easier to aim properly out on the course.
Control the Length of Your Backstroke
Finding the right length for your putting stroke requires you to walk a fine line.
On the one hand, you don’t want to make a short stroke, as doing so will upset your rhythm and your distance control will suffer. On the other hand, making an extra-long stroke is going to make it difficult to hit your intended line, as the club will have to decelerate through impact.
One of your biggest jobs as a golfer is to learn how to manage the length of your putting stroke successfully.
If you are currently struggling to hit your target line, it is very possible that your stroke is a bit too long. Try tightening things up as you practice and see if you notice an improvement in your accuracy.
As you hit these practice putts, use a tee pushed into the ground a few inches behind your putter to regulate the length of your stroke. With some hard work on the practice green, you should soon find a stroke length that allows you to control both your distance and your direction successfully.
Stand Perfectly Still
There might not be anything more important when it comes to putting technique than simply standing still. Most golfers know that they need to keep their head still as they putt, but it goes farther than just that one part of your body.
Everything needs to stay still, with the exception of your shoulders, as they will be doing the work of moving the putter back and through. Other than that, you should be like a statue over the ball.
Since it is difficult to focus on what your entire body is doing all at one time, it is a good idea to key your mind on one particular area. We recommend the kneecaps for this purpose.
As you stand over the ball, think about the position of your kneecaps. Then, as the stroke starts, focus on keeping them perfectly still. If each kneecap manages to hold its position nicely, you can be confident that the rest of your body will be holding still as well.
Not only is this handy tip a good way to keep your body still, it can also help you relax as you won’t be thinking about the other technical parts of your stroke.
Hit Plenty of Short Putts
Practice doesn’t make perfect in golf, but it certainly does make you better. To hit your target line more frequently, you simply need to hit more putts.
Specifically, you should hit plenty of short putts each time you have the opportunity to practice. By knocking in a bunch of three footers in a row, you will build your confidence and demonstrate to yourself that it is possible to hit your target line over and over again.
Short putts are a common area of wasted strokes in the amateur game. You will rarely see a professional golfer miss a short one, unless the hole happens to be cut on a severe slope.
The pros pour their short putts in hole after hole, largely because they practice this area of the game constantly. Add this type of practice to your to-do list to make sure you aren’t giving away shots right before completing a hole.
It is a great feeling to stand over the ball knowing that you are likely to hit your target line. Does this mean you will make all of your putts? Of course not.
Putting is hard, and you still have to get the read and speed right along the way. With that said, you will make more putts when you are able to hit the intended line with regularity.
We hope the tips offered in this article lead to many pars and birdies in the near future!