Unlike a lot of the other aspects of the game of golf, putting technique can be a matter of personal preference. However, there are some fundamental aspects of the set up and stroke that all good putters adhere to. If you are struggling sinking those 10-footers then try practising these simple tips:
1. Your grip should be reverse-overlap. In other words it will be the same as a normal overlapping grip except the left index finger lies over the right pinkie rather than the other way around.
2. Your eyes should be directly over the ball. You need to line up the ball with the hole and if your eyes are not over the ball then you cannot hope to line up properly. Try addressing the ball and taking another ball and dropping it from your right eye. It should land just behind the putter if your eyes positioned correctly.
3. Ball position is also important and should be played off the left toe. Some players will have the ball more central and this fine if your upper body is leaned back behind the ball. Playing the ball from the right of the stance is a definite no-no unless you enjoy three-putting.
4. The club should be flat on the green or with toe up. You must make sure not to have the heel off the ground.
5. Hands should be held high. This is to allow the left side to lead the putting stroke and ensure the club head does not move ahead of the left hand causing pushes and pulls.
6. Keep club head low to the ground during putting stroke. Lifting the club head too high will result in a tendency for the wrists to break and the hands becoming too involved in the stroke. Watch any good putter and you will see that their hands do not move independently but only as part of the movement of the arms and shoulders.
7. Have a pendulum motion. Think of the pendulum on a clock, it moves back and forward in an even, consistent movement. This tempo is exactly how your putting stroke should be. The backswing and through swing should be of the same distance and speed.
Like any other part of the game, perfecting putting requires lots of practise and it is important to be practising good habits and techniques such as those I have described.
Andrew McNaught is a successful webmaster and keen golfer. His website Golf World Online helps golfers with putting and all other aspects of the game.