5 Putting Tips for Beginners
The art of putting can make or break you when you’re on the green. The difference between three-putting and a single putt can often transform your scorecard. This could also mean that you leave the green with a double bogey instead of a par. These easy putting tips can help you hit short putts consistently and help you fix some of the most recurrent mistakes in golf.
The only way for you to find success on the green is to have a reliable and repeatable putting stroke. Additionally, helpful advice can help you become even better with the flag stick in hand.
Here’s what will be covered in this guide:
- Some helpful putting tips for beginners and golfers of all levels
- How to integrate these tips into your putting routine
- How you can benefit from adding these tips to your game
1. Find the right putting grip
Do you find yourself tinkering with your putter’s grip from one round to the next? It’s a very common trend for golfers of all levels, from beginners to pros. However, it’s also a sign that your short game is probably struggling on the greens.
Placing your hands properly on the grip of your putter will not only allow you to have more control over your putting stroke it will also provide you with more comfort when you’re standing over the ball.
Lucky for you, there’s more than one choice available to you when it comes to how you hold your putter in your hands.
Whichever grip style you end up choosing, you’ll need to make sure that you stick with it and practice the technique regularly. It’s the only way for you to adapt your swing to this new putting grip.
What are the different putter grips you can try out:
- The traditional grip is your typical putter where you place your hand in the same manner you would with any other club.
- The Claw grip is similar to the traditional grip, with the only difference being the way you place your trail hand on the grip. Instead of wrapping your hand around it, you’re going to pinch the club between your thumb and your fingers. This grip is perfect for golfers who struggle to stay on their swing path when they putt.
- The reverse grip is another technique used by golfers who are looking for more stability throughout their putting stroke. As the name suggests, you’ll simply want to reverse your grip on your putter, just as if you were left-handed.
- The hands-together grip is not as often seen, but it’s nevertheless employed by some golfers who find this method to their liking.
2. Use the arch of your swing to your advantage
Did you know that your putting stroke should be arched? That’s right, your putting stroke shouldn’t always be as simple as a straight back and forth motion in line with the ball.
Much like your regular golf swing, your putting stroke should be made with a slight inside to outside pattern. On the scale of a tee shot, this motion will help keep your ball straight or it will deliver a draw trajectory.
As for the putter, a slight inside to outside stroke will allow for a nice roll of the ball that will follow the line that you’ve picked for your putt. On the other hand, a straightforward putting stroke is more likely to cause you to pull your putt.
Although it must be said that your putting stroke will vary based on the style of your putter. A blade-style putter (think of Tiger’s iconic putter) will require an arched stroke. A mallet putter (the larger clubhead) will respond better to a straighter stroke. Half-mallet putters will tend to work with both.
How to use the arch of your putting stroke:
- Do not exaggerate the arch motion as you’ll end up pushing the ball away from your line or you’ll pull it again if your stroke is off-centered. As an example, at address, your ball should sit right in front of the sweet spot of your putter. When pulling back the club, and if you were to draw a straight line from the ball to the club, the toe of the putter would now be in line with the ball. This way, you’ll produce just enough of a sweeping motion for your strike.
3. Use your trail foot to gage the power of your putts
One of the biggest challenges for beginner golfers is to gauge the power of their putts. While it’s true that the speed of the greens will vary from one course to the next, you still need to be able to rely on your own cues to evaluate the distance between yourself and the hole.
A professional golfer will always know exactly where to take back their putter based on the distance they need to cover. They have visual cues for a wide variety of distances ranging from short-range putts (5 feet or less) to longer-range ones.
Feel for the ball and the greens certainly have a lot to do with the power you need to put on your putt, but the fact is that you should still be able to have a relative idea as to where to pull your club back so that you have the right amount of power on your putt.
Having precise visual cues is the best way to work out your habits and find out how much power you need to put into your putts to reach holes at every distance.
How to use your trail foot to help with putting power:
- Use your toes as visual distance cues on your back swing. Depending on the width of your stance, you can set specific cues that will affect the power of the stroke. Think of it this way. The big toe of your trail foot is the 10-foot mark, the line with your little toe marks the 20-foot mark, an inch further is 30-foot, etc. Visual cues will allow you to have a reliable point of reference, regardless of how difficult of a putt you’re facing.
4. Read the line of your putt from multiple angles
Reading the lines on greens is a skill that takes a lot of time to develop, which is why beginners or less experienced golfers will tend to struggle with this aspect of the game.
Most beginners will simply stand or crouch behind the ball and try to make out the line of their putt. They do so because that is all they’ve ever seen on TV. Truth is there is much more to reading a putt.
Reading your putts from multiple angles will give you a better understanding of what can happen if your putt is too long or off-line.
How to read the green from multiple angles:
- Start taking in information as soon as you’re within 50 yards of the green. From that distance, you’re usually able to identify the slope angle of the green, its highest points, and any other minor slopes that could stand between the ball and the hole.
- Read your putt from behind the hole on top of doing your usual read from behind the ball. This will provide you with a better perspective on how the green slopes.
5. Pick a short-range target as the starting point for your putt
Once you’ve made up your mind on the line you want to take to get your ball in the hole, your next step will be to send the ball rolling toward the hole. But before you strike the ball, you need to be certain of where you’re looking to send it.
Simply sending a putt along the line you’ve picked will rarely result in the ball at the bottom of the cup. Rather, what you should be doing is choosing a short-range point of the green that will serve as the objective for your ball.
Picking a shorter-range objective for your putt will provide you with more opportunities to put your putt close or right in the hole and it will certainly limit the risk of blasting putts past the hole.
How to pick a short-range target to start your putts:
- Pick a specific point in the green, an inch away from your golf ball, that will serve as the starting point of your putt. Think of this point as an entryway on the highway. If you roll the ball into the spot at the right speed, it should normally get into the line you’ve picked and roll to the hole, much like a car would do by joining traffic and following the road to its destination.
As we previously alluded to, putting is an art that takes a lot of practice as even the best players in the world need to spend a lot of time practicing if they want to stay at the top of their game. However, with these tips, even the most beginner of golfers should find some success on the greens.
For many golfers, their issues on the golf course start showing up way before they even reach the green. For some, issues with their drivers, which can often be fixed with some easy driver tips, will plague their game, while others will be afraid to pull out their fairway woods, even though they could find some helpful fairway wood tips to help them out. Whatever the issue, Golf Avenue has got you covered.
Until next time,
The Golf Avenue team