If your focus is on getting the ball into the hole (or close to) and not on missing or what you’re doing wrong then I’m a firm believer you’ll naturally develop a nice putting stroke. When you’re able to tap into your natural putting game you’ve almost got the game won. I say almost because there’s still a little luck needed to get the ball into the hole – but luck is less of an issue when you own your stroke.

If the below approach doesn’t work for you then I can say with full confidence that you’re thinking too much and reading too much into it. Your putting game can be as simple as presented here. Add to it at your own peril.

The Set Up

Your set-up needs to be comfortable. Forget about aligning yourself perfectly or worrying about body angles or posture. I have found that golfers get stiff and uncomfortable when they concern themselves with such things – from here, a good stroke is not possible.

You should choose a putter that you like the look of and then set up to the ball in anyway that feels good to you. Don’t worry about specifics – get comfortable and you’ll be in good shape.

Your Putting Stroke

I get asked, “how should I start the putter away from the ball, with the arms or with the shoulders?”

Modern thinking is definitely focused on the bigger muscles and I’m sure you’ve been told to take the club away with your shoulders. “Rock the shoulders” is a common trend.

This advice sounds good but I have found that many golfers find this task difficult. Humans have terrific control of their hands – so it makes sense to use them. For best results I believe you should start the putter back with your hands, not with your shoulders or anything else. Your hands lead and the shoulders can follow.

This makes the putting stroke natural and easy to repeat. Moving your hands back and through should get the job done. The more you play, the better and more rhythmical the stroke will become. Isn’t this like anything?

The stroke should feel comfortable and natural – no need to do anything weird or contrived. You should definitely forget about how hard to hit the ball – let your natural stroke come out. It will be much more reliable than anything else you can come up with (or anything your pro can tell you).

Still struggling? How would you toss a ball to someone? Your putting stroke should be no more complicated then looking at your target and pulling the trigger. Do you think of your elbow when you throw?

Reading Greens

Dave Pelz, the prominent putting guru, has said that no golfer can read greens correctly. Most cannot see the true amount of break. And this includes the best players in the world. If the best players can’t do it right, what chance do you have?

Not much…

Stop reading greens. I know this sounds radical but the approach works well. There’s less stress and and once less thing to worry about. All you’re after is an approximation – let you’re subconscious mind figure out all the subtleties.

Instead of spending a lot of time behind the ball trying to work out the speed and line, look at the putt, walk in and hit it. That’s it.

The trick is to look at the putt with your eyes level. It’s no good to have your head cocked to the side … this gives your brain mixed messages. If you feel the need you can even make a practice putt while looking at the hole. This is sorta like the throwing the ball exercise – you get a good feel of the putt without the complication. Look and react – again, just like how we do so many other things.

Next: Simple putting continued

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