The Art of Putting Short Putts


How to Putt a Golf Ball

Many players prefer to practice full shots rather than spend time becoming a better putter. Spending hours on the practice green is not the most exciting form of practice. However, if you want to shoot lower scores and master the art of putting, it is imperative you become a better putter and routinely make short putts inside six feet. The following tips should help make practice more productive and fun.

.1puttingSetting up correctly promotes the ability to make a solid stroke. Make sure your eyes are set up over the golf ball and your body remains still throughout the shot. Also, make sure to accelerate through the ball toward the target. Control the putting stroke with a smooth pendulum swing with your arms and shoulders. Stay relaxed and tension free to sink more putts.

Many players miss putts due to creating extra movements or stabbing at the ball, rather than maintaining a smooth stroke. A successful technique is to keep your head and eyes down and listen for the ball go in the hole rather than peak early and decelerate into the ball. Also, try to imagine the putter following the ball all the way to the hole and encourage an accelerating stroke.

There are several practice drills to improve short range putts. Place a mark, such as a tee, in one foot increments away the hole. Place up to ten marks on the green and putt progressively from each location. The goal is to make consecutive putts. If you miss a putt, then go back to the starting location. This drill will help improve percentages for close range putts. If you are diligent in practicing your scorecard will show a much lower number, and your handicap may go down as well.

Around the World Drill

275Another variation of the drill begins by placing three balls in a line at three, six and nine feet from the hole in four directions around the hole, similar to the twelve, three, six and nine positions on a clock. The goal is to make all twelve in a row. If you miss any putt, then you go back to the beginning and start over. While it is extremely difficult to finish the drill, you will really improve and build confidence in the close range putts.

Play “Around the World” on the putting green. Begin by placing four (or more) balls around the cup in four directions (north, south, east and west). Start three feet from the hole. When you make all four putts, move back another three feet. When you make all four putts, again move back another three feet. Obviously, the goal is to continue moving back and still hole putts. Obviously the game gets more difficult as you move farther away from the hole.

By Matt Keller,

PGA Professional

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