How to Putt a Golf Ball [Easy to Apply Tips for Golfers]

how to putt a golf ball

Fore! That’s the sound of my golf club slicing through the air, as I prepare to tee off. Golf is a sport of strategy, finesse, skill, and patience – all of which I have in great abundance. Well, maybe not the last one. But as any expert golfer will tell you, patience is key when it comes to putting. That’s why I’m here to tell you how to putt a golf ball along with easy-to-follow golf putting tips.

My personal experience with putting is a tale of triumph and defeat. I’ve sunk some incredible shots, and I’ve missed some easy ones. But through it all, I’ve learned that putting is a science, an art, and a mystery all at once. It’s a matter of reading the green, gauging the distance, feeling the contours, and trusting your instinct. It’s a matter of staying cool under pressure, even when the stakes are high and the crowd is watching. 

So, let’s get on with the confidence, enthusiasm, expertise, and uniqueness of a pro. Because when it comes to putting, we’re all in this together – one stroke at a time.

How to Putt a Golf Ball [Pro Steps]

Putting is the difference between a good score and a great score, and I have spent countless hours perfecting my technique. Through trial and error and learning the physics of putting, I have made a stepwise guide on how to putt a golf ball that will help you improve your game. 

Step 1: Read the Green & Ball Positioning

Approaching the ball on the green is the first step to a successful putt. It’s important to approach with confidence and a clear mind. Once you reach the ball, mark it and guess a line based on the angle of the hole. Knowing the slope of the green is crucial in determining the speed and direction of your putt. Take a moment to read the slope by evaluating the break, grain, and undulation of the green. Remark and aim your golf ball.

a golfer reading the greens and analyzing the ball position

To position yourself, align your clubface toward your target, then position your feet close together, and put your weight on the balls of your feet. This allows you to have better balance and control.

Step 2: Grip and Stance

Having the right grip and putting stance can affect the outcome of your putt. For maximum control and distance consistency, aim for a grip that is comfortable and helps your hands feel confident. To learn more about the effects of the putting grip, read the study on golf putting grip design influencing the putting kinematics.

For your stance, try different variations until you find your comfortable and suitable position. The most common is the square stance where your feet and clubface are parallel to each other, facing straight ahead.

Step 3: Alignment

Aligning your putter face to your target correctly is essential. Try aligning your putter with the target line and your body stance aligned towards the ball. Many golfers use their putters for alignment, aligning the ball position in the center of the putter head and the feet facing the direction of the hole.

Step 4: Stroke

When it comes to putting, the stroke needs to be smooth and gentle. Your putter path should stay straight on the backswing and through-swing to keep the ball on the desired path. Some golfers prefer a straight-back-and-through stroke, while others use a slight arc technique. The decision will depend on your personal style and preference.

Step 5: Don’t Forget to Follow Through

After striking the ball, don’t forget to follow through. Make sure to follow through to the target, keeping the putter head low, and the shaft vertical, finishing in the same position with which you began.

Putting is a crucial aspect of my game, and I have learned that practice makes perfect. It’s always a good idea to spend some time on the putting green before the game to work on your technique and get familiar with the speed, terrain, and conditions of the greens. Also, watching videos on the basics of putting and taking lessons from a pro can also be incredibly useful.

Where to Look When Putting?

a golfer looking towards target while taking a putt shot

When it comes to putting in golf, where you look is just as important as how you swing. Your eyes play a crucial role in visualizing the path and speed of the ball. So, where should you look when putting it? Here are some valuable golf putting tips:

1. The Ball: Always start by looking at the ball. This helps you align your putter and visualize the intended path.

2. The Target: Once you’ve aligned the putter, shift your focus to the target. This helps you aim accurately and judge the appropriate speed.

3. The Break: Pay attention to any slopes or undulations on the green that could affect the ball’s path. Visualize the break and adjust your aim accordingly.

4. The Distance: Estimate the distance to the hole and make any necessary adjustments to your stroke.

I’ve found that focusing on these key areas has improved my putting accuracy and consistency. Try these best-putting tips out for yourself and see the difference they can make. 

Read more about the gaze behavior in golf putting and its importance.

Where to LookWhy it’s Important
The BallAlign putter, visualize path
The TargetAim accurately, judge speed
The BreakAdjust aim for slopes
The DistanceEstimate and adjust the stroke

Remember, putting is a mental game as much as a physical one. By training your eyes to focus on these key areas, you’ll be able to approach each putt with confidence and precision.

Where Should the Ball Be When Putting?

the position of the golf ball during putt shot

The ball should be placed directly in the center of your feet, equidistant from your toes and heels. This ensures a balanced stance and promotes an efficient, straighter golf ball swing. Personal experience has taught me that even the slightest change in ball position can affect the outcome of the putt. Make sure to practice your stance and find the sweet spot for your swing. 

Proper Ball Position for a Successful Putt
PositionIn the center of your stance
PlacementEquidistant from your toes and heels
BenefitsPromotes a balanced stance and efficient, straight swing

How to Mark a Golf Ball for Putting?

To mark your golf ball, there are a few simple steps to follow. First, make sure your ball is clean and free of any debris. Then, use a tool, like a coin or a ball marker, to mark the position of your ball. Place it behind the ball, towards the back of your stance.

When marking your ball, it’s important to note that there are different rules for different types of events. In a professional tournament, for example, you may only use a coin or ball marker and may not use any other object to mark your ball.

To make things even easier with our golf putting tips, here are some rules and regulations to follow:

Rules for Marking a Golf Ball 

  • Clean your ball before marking 
  • Use a coin or ball marker 
  • Place the marker behind the ball 
  • Do not use objects that can interfere with play 
  • Follow specific rules for different events 

How Should Your Foot Be Aligned When Putting?

Your feet should always be shoulder-width apart, with your toes pointing straight ahead. This creates a stable base and allows for a natural swinging motion. Now, here’s where things get interesting. 

a golfer's stance width while putting

If you’re right-handed, your left foot should be slightly closer to the target than your right foot. The opposite is true for left-handed golfers. This is because your putter’s shaft is at an angle, making it easier to swing straight when your feet are properly aligned. 

To further illustrate this, here’s a helpful table to summarize the correct foot alignment based on your dominant hand: 

Right-Handed GolferLeft-Handed Golfer
Left foot slightly closer to the targetThe right foot slightly closer to the target
Toes pointing straight aheadToes pointing straight ahead
Shoulder-width apartShoulder-width apart

Of course, this is just a general guideline, and every golfer has unique physical attributes that may require slight adjustments. 

Which Kind of Grip Is Best During Putting?

When it comes to proper putting technique, selecting the right grip can make all the difference in improving your game. Moreover, there is a greater impact of putting grip on eye & head movements during the golf putting stroke

With so many grip options out there, how do you know which one to choose?

I can confidently say that the reverse overlap grip is the best option for most players. This grip involves placing your left hand on top of the putter grip, with your right hand beneath your left hand. 

Why is this grip so effective? For starters, it helps keep your wrists quiet throughout the putting stroke, which can improve accuracy. Plus, it provides a comfortable and secure grip on the club, giving you greater control over the speed and direction of your putts. 

GripProsCons
Reverse OverlapPromotes wrist stability, comfortable grip, good speed controlMay not suit everyone’s hand size or playing style
Cross-handedCan improve accuracy, better for those with shaky handsCan feel unnatural for some players, and may reduce the feel for distance control
TraditionalFamiliar for most players, and good for those with strong handsThe tendency to get wristy, and can reduce accuracy
ClawHelps prevent wrist movement, a good feel for distance controlUnconventional, not suited to everyone’s style

How Do I Keep My Arms Steady When Putting?

Keeping your arms steady is crucial for a successful stroke. Many players make the mistake of relying solely on their wrists for control, resulting in inconsistent shots. To avoid this, here are a few golf putting tips to help you keep your arms steady and improve your accuracy:

1. Maintain a light, yet consistent pressure grip on the club.

2. Keep your elbows close to your sides to minimize unnecessary movement.

3. Use your shoulders to rock the club back and forth, rather than just your wrists.

4. Take a deep breath and focus on your target before each stroke.

5. Practice regularly to improve muscle memory and build confidence.

Now that you know how to putt better with steady arm tips, practice them next time you’re on the green

Where Do You Strike the Ball When Putting?

Talking about proper putting stroke, the strike point on the golf ball is crucial. Generally, you want to hit down on the golf ball just slightly above the equator, as this produces a true roll and optimizes the dynamics of the putter face. 

Personal experience has shown that striking the ball too high can cause undesirable backspin and a skid while hitting too low can result in inconsistent speed and direction. To help visualize this, refer to the table below for guidance.

  • Ball Position: Forward
  • Strike Point: Slightly Above the Equator
  • Putt Length: Short to Medium
  • Putter Angle: Slightly Open
  • Ball Roll: True Roll

How to Putt Straight Back And Through?

I have come across many beginners who struggle with putting. It’s a common challenge, but with the right putting techniques in golf, you can improve your game. Here are some step-wise tips on how to putt straight back and through.

Step 1: Set up with proper alignment. Make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are all square to the line of the putt.
Step 2: Grip the club with a light grip pressure. This helps keep the putter face square to the target line.
Step 3: Use a pendulum-like motion. Swing the club back and forth like a pendulum while keeping your wrists firm.
Step 4: Keep your head still. As you make your stroke, keep your eyes on the ball and avoid any head or body movement.
Step 5: Follow through. After making contact with the ball, continue the pendulum motion and follow through towards the target.

Remember, putting for beginners doesn’t have to be daunting. By following these simple steps, you’ll be on your way to becoming a better putter in no time.

Is It Better to Putt Uphill Or Downhill?

Putting uphill is generally easier than putting downhill. Uphill putts provide a smoother and more consistent roll, while downhill putts are more difficult to control and can easily overrun the hole. 

However, there are exceptions, such as when the uphill slope is too steep, or the downhill slope is more gradual. The key to a successful putt is always having a proper putting setup and following the best putting tips ever. To help you decide which slope to prefer, check out this table:

Uphill Putting
Pros
>Provides a smoother and more consistent roll
>Easier to control distance and speed
>Less chance of getting a bad break or a bump on the ground
>Better chance of holing out

Cons
>Requires more force and energy to hit the golf ball
>May be more difficult to read the break and the grain
>May require a different aim point than you’re used to
Downhill Putting
Pros
>Requires less force and energy to hit the ball
>May be easier to read the break and the grain
>May follow the slope and curve toward the hole

Cons
>Difficult to control distance and speed
>More likely to overrun the hole or end up far away from it
>More likely to get a bad break or a bump on the ground

How Do You Read Putts Better?

a golfer reading the greens slope before taking a putt shot

I know how important it is to become a better putter. Reading putts correctly can be challenging, but with the right techniques, it can be easier. To help with putting, try these golf putting tips:

1. Analyze the Green. Look for any slopes or breaks that could affect the ball’s path.

2. Determine the Speed. How fast do you need to hit the ball to reach the hole?

3. Use your Feet. Walk around the hole and green to get a better feel for the terrain.

4. Visualize the Putt. Imagine the ball rolling into the hole and the path it will take.

By using these putting techniques in golf, you’ll see an improvement in your putting skills. In fact, I found that by studying the green and practicing visualization, my putting accuracy increased dramatically.

To help you out with more details and get an ideal performance in putting a golf ball, here is a study related to the golf-putting performance in skilled golfers at different distances to the hole. Go through the study and get insights into how you can improve your putting with lessons from skilled golfers.

6 Best Putt Drills to Improve Your Game 

To help you improve your putting abilities, here is a table of some of the most effective putt drills to enhance your skill:

1. One-Handed Putting Drill

Description: This drill can easily get you to develop distance control and accuracy.

Steps:
1. Hold the putter with one hand and putt from a fixed distance.
2. Ensure that you are aiming at a target and keeping the putter face square to the line.
3. Practice with both hands.

2. Gate Drill

Description: This drill aims to improve your aim and accuracy.

Steps:
1. Set up two parallel clubs on the ground a few inches wider than your putter head.
2. Practice putting between the Clubs and ensure that you’re keeping the ball on the target line.
3. Gradually decrease the gap size to hone in your accuracy.

3. Distance Control Drill

Description: This drill aims to help you gain control over the speed and distance of your putts.

Steps:
1. Place five balls around the cup at different distances.
2. Putt each ball toward the target while focusing on distance control.
3. Gradually add more balls to increase the challenge.

4. Line Putting Drill

Description: This drill helps you get a better sense of putter face control and read the greens.

Steps:
1. Set up a putt with a slight break.
2. Place a ball cuff on the line a few inches ahead of the ball.
3. Focus on hitting the ball through the cuff and make the putts on the correct line.

5. Cross-Handed Putting Drill

Description: This drill assists you in gaining a better sense of hand coordination in putting.

Steps:
1. Cross your hands on the grip of the putter.
2. Make putting strokes focusing on keeping the putter face square.
3. Practice with three balls on the same line to improve accuracy.

6. Putting Arc Drill

Description: This drill aims to help you develop a consistent putting stroke.

Steps:
1. Attach a ball to the end of a putter by a rope.
2. Swing the putter back and forth inside the arc.
3. Keeping the arc narrow, allow the ball to touch the arc during the stroke.

Basic Mistakes in Golf Putting

  • Misreading the Green: Often, players don’t take into account the slope and speed of the green, leading to misjudging the distance and direction of the putt.
  • Using the Wrong Grip Pressure: Gripping the putter too tightly or loosely can result in an inaccurate stroke and a missed putt. Proper grip pressure can improve control and consistency.
  • Poor Alignment: Incorrect alignment of the feet, hips, and shoulders can lead to unwanted ball movement. Always aim towards the target with proper alignment.
  • Overthinking: Overthinking putts can increase anxiety and result in a poor stroke. Relax and trust your instincts.
  • Not Practicing Enough: Putting requires practice to develop muscle memory and consistency. Make putting practice a priority and dedicate time to improving your skills.
  • Ignoring the Fundamentals: Focusing on gimmicky techniques rather than mastering the fundamental skills of putting like the ideal distance from the golf ball, proper stance, etc. can lead to inconsistent performance and missed putts.
  • Choosing the Wrong Equipment: Using the wrong putter or ball can greatly impact your putting ability. Experiment with different types of equipment to find what works best for you.

Golf Putting Tips Summary

Well, golfers, there you have it – These are my key takeaways on how to putt a golf ball like a pro. Remember to keep your stance, correct putting posture with a consistent grip, align your putter properly, and keep a steady eye on your target. And if you’re wondering, do golf balls make a difference? The answer is yes, they do. 

Choose the right ball for your skill level and watch your game improve. As the great Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is a game of inches. The most important is the six inches between your ears.”

Keep practicing, and don’t forget to follow Golf Ace Nation for more tips and tricks from the pros. Hit ’em straight!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Should you bend your knees when putting?

When putting a golf ball, keeping your knees slightly flexed is important. This will give you better balance and stability throughout the stroke. However, be careful not to bend your knees too much or you may compromise your posture and alignment with the ball. Keep your weight evenly distributed and use your legs to help control the speed and direction of the putt.

Q2. Should arms be bent or straight when putting?

For correct putting posture, it is generally recommended to keep your arms straight. This allows for better alignment and consistency in your stroke. However, there are some golfers who prefer to bend their arms slightly. Ultimately, the most important factor is finding what works best for you and practicing your technique consistently.

Q3. Should I putt with the toe up?

Yes, putting with the toe up can improve your putting stroke. By raising the toe of your putter, you create a slight upward angle in your putting stroke, which can help the ball roll smoothly and consistently. It also encourages a pendulum-like motion and reduces the likelihood of using your hands to manipulate the putter. 

Q4. Should you lean forward when putting?

Yes, it is recommended to lean forward when setting up for a putt. This is because a forward lean helps to create a stable base and puts your eyes directly over the ball, allowing for better aim and consistency in your stroke. When in your putting setup, make sure to hinge from your hips and keep your weight balanced on the balls of your feet. 

Q5. Should elbows touch ribs when putting?

Yes, elbows should touch ribs when putting in golf. This technique helps to create a solid and stable putting stroke, ensuring greater accuracy and consistency on the green. Keeping your elbows close to your rib cage also helps to minimize any unnecessary movement or sway in your stroke, leading to a smoother and more controlled motion. 

Q6. Should I putt with my arms or shoulders?

Quoting the best golf putting tips, the key is to use your shoulders rather than your arms. Putting is all about precision and control, and using your shoulders allows for smoother movements and less chance of jerky, inconsistent strokes. Your arms should remain relaxed and stable as your shoulders guide the putting motion. 

Q7. Should your hips move when you putt?

Yes, your hips should move when you putt. The movement of your hips can help to generate power and rotation in your swing, which can improve your accuracy and distance on your putts. It is important to note that the amount of hip movement will vary from golfer to golfer and should be determined by your individual swing style and preferences.

Q8. Where should your weight be when you putt?

Your weight should be evenly distributed on both feet when you putt. This allows for stability and control during the putting stroke. Avoid leaning too much on one foot or the other, as it can throw off your balance and accuracy. Keep your body and weight still throughout the stroke to maintain consistency.

Q9. Can you anchor your putter to your arm?

Yes, anchoring your putter to your arm in golf is no longer allowed under the USGA and R&A rules. The ban was enacted on January 1, 2016, and states that any form of anchoring the club to the body during a stroke is not permitted. The ruling caused controversy among golfers who had been using the technique for years, but ultimately, the decision was made to maintain the integrity of the game.

Q10. Should you look at the hole on short putts?

Yes, you should look at the hole on short putts. Focusing on the hole helps to maintain a consistent putting stroke and reduces the chance of flinching or jerking the club during the stroke. This technique is commonly used by professional golfers and can be an effective way to improve your short game.

Q11. What is the two-thumb putting grip?

The two-thumb putting grip, also known as the “claw” grip, is a putting technique where both thumbs of the golfer are placed directly on the putter shaft, instead of wrapping one hand over the other. This grip is used to create a more stable and controlled putting stroke, allowing the golfer to improve their accuracy on the green.

Q12. What is the secret to consistent putting?

The secret to consistent golf putting lies in proper technique and practice. To improve your golf putting, focus on your grip, stance, and swing. 

  • Keep your eyes on the ball and use a pendulum motion to smoothly stroke the ball. 
  • Practicing regularly on a variety of putting surfaces and distances can help you develop a consistent pace and accuracy. 

By implementing these golf putting tips into your routine, you can improve your putting game and become a more confident golfer.

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