golfer on putting green

Putting, often overlooked, is the most crucial aspect of golf. It can make or break your game. Despite its apparent simplicity, mastering putting demands precision, patience, and practice. Understanding and honing this skill can significantly lower your handicap and enhance your overall performance on the course.

While we will explain how to improve your putting technique, it all comes down to practice. Our golf practice facilities at West Essex Golf Club are designed to replicate on-course conditions, which include a large putting green.

The Mechanics of a Good Putt

A good putt starts with a sound understanding of the mechanics involved. The putting stroke is primarily a pendulum motion driven by the shoulders, keeping the wrists firm and the lower body stable. The key is to maintain a smooth, controlled movement.

Stance and Grip

Your stance should be comfortable and balanced, with feet shoulder-width apart. The grip should be firm but not tense, allowing for a fluid motion. Many golfers find success with the “reverse overlap” grip, where the index finger of the top hand overlaps the fingers of the bottom hand.

Other putting grips you can use include:

  • Left-Hand Low grip
  • The Claw grip
  • Wristlock grip

Equipment 

Putter

Selecting a putter that suits your style and stroke is vital. Consider factors such as length, weight, and the design of the putter head. Experiment with different models to find one that feels right for you.

Golf Balls

Not all golf balls are created equal. The ball’s feel and how it rolls can affect your putting performance. Softer balls typically offer better control and feel, which can be beneficial for precise putting.

Developing a Consistent Routine

Developing a consistent pre-putt routine can significantly enhance your focus and confidence. This might include visualising the putt, taking practice strokes, and aligning yourself properly with the target.

Mental focus is crucial in putting. Visualisation techniques, where you picture the ball’s path to the hole, can improve accuracy. Calm your mind, breathe steadily, and concentrate fully on the task at hand.

Practicing Effectively

Regular practice of drills ingrains muscle memory and sharpens your skills on the putting green.

Gate Drill

Drills such as the “gate drill” can help improve your accuracy. Setting up a gate drill is simple:

  1. Place two tees a few inches apart and; 
  2. Putt through them. 

Ladder Drill

Distance control is critical in putting. Practice with varying lengths to develop a feel for how hard to strike the ball. The “ladder drill” is excellent for this, where you putt to targets at different distances.

Clock System

The clock system involves visualising a clock around the hole. Practice putting from different “hours” on the clock to improve your accuracy and confidence from various angles and distances.

Reading the Green

Reading the green involves assessing the slope and undulations. A good understanding of how the ball will break and roll on different surfaces is essential. Pay attention to the overall slope and the grain of the grass.

Green speed can vary widely. Learning to judge the speed of the green, often measured by a stimpmeter, helps in adjusting the strength of your putts. Faster greens require a more delicate touch.

Aimpoint Method

The Aimpoint method of reading the green is an easy way to measure the slope and aim your putt in the right direction. Here is a four-step process to Aimpoint:

  1. Feel the Slope: Halfway between your ball and the hole, straddle the path. Determine the slope by giving it a number, one to five. 
  2. Aim your Ball: Standing behind your ball close one eye and hold up as many fingers as the number you gave the slope. Align your pointer finger so it is just outside the hole. 
  3. Line up the Ball: Align your ball so it is aimed where the outermost finger is pointing. 
  4. Putt: Roll the ball towards the hole and if you judged the slope correctly you should sink the ball!

This method, like any other, takes practice to judge the slope and putt it at the right distance.

golf putting practice WEGC

Analysing and Adjusting Your Stroke

Common putting mistakes include decelerating on the stroke and improper alignment. Regularly review and analyse your stroke to identify and correct these errors.

Feedback, whether from a coach, video analysis, or putting aids, is invaluable. Use this feedback to make adjustments and continually refine your technique.

SlightLine Method

The SightLine method is a way to ensure your eyes are in the correct position for your putt. Many golfers don’t realise that their eyeline is incorrect and what may be holding them back from the perfect putting technique is their own eyes!

SightLine uses mirrors and boards to correct where your vision is positioned before taking a stroke. Once your eyeline is corrected you should improve your putting technique. 

Professional Help

Professional coaches offer personalised advice and structured training plans. Investing in golf lessons from a reputable coach can lead to substantial improvements in your putting game.

If you feel that you are not seeing any improvement with your own methods, getting a professional golfer to correct your putting technique is the next step. 

Staying Motivated

Golf can be a relaxing sport, but it also can be a frustrating sport when trying to improve. Setting achievable goals keeps you motivated. Break down your overall putting improvement into smaller, manageable targets, such as reducing three-putts or improving your accuracy from a specific distance.

Improving your putting is a multifaceted process involving technical skills, mental focus, and consistent practice. By understanding and implementing these strategies, you can transform your putting game and see tangible improvements in your scores.

Improve Your Techniques at West Essex Golf Club

For golfers, improving your putting comes down to practice. Our golf club near London is the perfect place to practice in a fun and relaxing environment. 

West Essex Golf Club offers golf memberships where members can take advantage of all our practice facilities and our clubhouse.

If you are interested in becoming a member speak to our friendly team.