Putting is the most unique stroke in golf. The number of variations of grips, stances, and swing motions are almost impossible to count. Knowing this, most advice given to beginners or novice players tends to hover around the preferences of the teacher. Sometimes this is not a bad thing especially if the technique fits the student.
Dissecting a putting stroke is not overly difficult, yet almost impossible. I have tried to explain my putting technique before in a 5 articles (read part 1 here) with some success. The information was suited to my game and hopefully general enough to benefit you the readers.
Knowing that each player must develop their own technique, there are two guidelines that are common for all putters. If a golfer ensures they complete these two things every time the roll their ball to the hole, they will become an unstoppable force on the greens.
First, the putter head must follow through twice as far as it is drawn back. My thought process for remind me of this critical point is “Back 6 – Forward 12”! This technique promotes solid contact, ensures the putter head is accelerating through the ball, builds consistent tempo, and helps with aiming the ball. Back 6 – Forward 12 seems like a simple thing to do, but if honestly examine your putting stroke, I would suggest that well over 50% of you do not follow through far enough. ‘Back 6 – Forward 12’ is critical becoming a better putter and as a result lowering your golf score.
The second critical point is ensuring the ball has enough speed to roll 8 inches past the hole. There is some controversy as to the distance the ball can roll past the hole and still drop in, but I have found 8 inches is the perfect distance for my game. This common sense point seems obvious, however most players I watch (when they miss their putt) are short. Regardless of line, if your putt does not have enough speed to make it past the hole, it will not go in.
Being a great putter equates to lower scores on the links. ‘Following Back 6 – Forward 12’ and putting the ball past the hole are two tenants that will elevate your game. They are simple and repeatable, yet not everyone follows them. If you want lower golf scores, give these two points a try. You will be surprised as to how quickly your golf scores drop.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!