Why Your Putting Is Off-Target: And How To Improve It
Putting is one of the most important aspects of the game.
Although it takes a combination of skills to putt like a pro (control, grip, stance, swing and strategy), it’s one of the easiest areas to gain confidence. That’s because there are no bunkers, out-of-bounds, or rough – just a perfectly smooth surface.
With that said, you’d be surprised how many right-handed golfers slice their putts, causing them to come up short and to the right of their target. Left-handed players tend to find their putts fall more to the left – and here’s why...
If you lift your head and turn your body towards the hole to watch your putts roll, you’ll start to turn before impact. Therefore, you’ll already be halfway out of your posture by the time the putter comes into contact with the ball.
Below we look at some of the biggest errors golfers make when putting and offer a few tips on how to fix your putting stroke accuracy.
5 of the most common putting mistakes and how to rectify them
1. Poor alignment
It may seem a tad obvious, but when the putter is set directly behind the ball, it needs to be square to the line that the ball will start on.
Even if your alignment is off ever so slightly, it will affect your putting accuracy and result in inconsistency.
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure you’re aligned properly – including simple things like:
- Drawing a line on the ball with a marker pen. Whilst standing behind the ball and keeping both eyes on the line, point it towards the starting line.
- Using a spot in front of the ball (approximately 6 inches). This technique is known as ‘spot putting’ and is when golfers focus on rolling the ball over the spot at the appropriate speed to reach the hole.
2. An overly tight grip
Most amateurs have the urge to grip the putter tightly in their hands, but this isn’t something we recommend. When your grip is tight, your hands will do most of the work, causing your swing to cut across the ball and send it in the wrong direction.
A good putter stroke is about using those big muscles in your shoulders and arms and letting the putter swing naturally.
Although you want to find a comfortable grip, it’s best if you have a firm grip as opposed to a squeeze. This way you can use your putter to strike the ball directly (and on-target).
It’s also a good idea to use a grip, such as the Evnroll Golf Gravity Grip, to help you feel the precise angle of the clubface and, as a result, sink more putts.
3. Being too technical
Golfers often get too technical with their stoke and think about what their body is doing instead of focusing on their aim.
It’s easily done, but putting is supposed to be a natural, reactive movement where you visualise the ball rolling into the hole.
So, next time you’re standing over the ball ready to putt, take one last look at your target and imagine the ball coming out of the hole, back to your putter. As soon as it reaches your putter, make your stroke and send it back down the line you pictured in your head. This should really help you to improve your accuracy.
4. Inconsistent ball position
If the position the ball is in between your feet varies, the impact position of the putter will too. This can cause different spin, loft, and direction – resulting in inconsistent putts.
To ensure consistency, the ball needs to be struck with an ascending strike, typically below the equator and from the same position every time. It helps if you find out your eye dominance.
In most cases, if you’re right-handed, your dominant eye will be your right one – but it’s worth double-checking.
Start by holding your arms out at arm’s length in front of you. Cup your hands and pick out an object in the distance. Look at it with both eyes before closing your right eye and see if the object remains in view. If it disappears, you’re right eye dominant. If the object disappears when you close your left, that indicates you’re left eye dominant.
Once you’ve figured out which is your dominant eye, position it behind the ball and line it up with your target.
5. Inconsistent tempo
Often, golfers struggle with a consistent tempo – stroking faster on short putts and slower on long putts. But the trick is to use the same tempo for all putts.
Try raising your arms to the side at shoulder level, then let them fall naturally. As they fall, allow your hands to clap as they meet in the middle. This is the gravity tempo that is wired into your brain and gravity never changes, so use nature’s own tempo to putt more consistently.
Need more help to improve your putting?
It’s important to remember that, like anything else, it will take some time to see improvements in your putting – but the more your practice, the better you’ll get.
If you have any questions regarding your putting stroke or you think your putter is the problem, be sure to contact Clarkes’ Golf Centre.
We have a fantastic range of golf putters available from popular brands, such as Evnroll Putters, Odyssey and TaylorMade, to name just a few. We also guarantee competitive pricing across our entire collection both online and in-store. So, whatever your budget, you’re sure to find the equipment you need to play at your best.