Putting – The Setup

Is your putting stroke helping your game?

green33The Putting Green:

Putting usually occurs on a predetermined surface called a green where the surface of the grass is cut very short to facilitate rolling the ball towards a 4 1/2 inch diameter hole.

putter-shaftsThe Proper Club:

Make sure the putter is the right length. Although it may be the shortest club in the bag, it may still need to be shortened  further to adapt to your particular style.



Determining your line:

Place yourself behind the ball to determine the line that you want to hit the ball in order to get it in the hole.



The Setup:

The setup incorporates 5 fundamentals, the same as the full shot:

1- Alignment
2- Foot Position
3- Ball Position
4- Posture
5- Grip


1- Alignment:

After you have determined your line, you need to align yourself accordingly.

The first thing is to align the club head in the direction of where the ball should travel.

 short putt

golf-putting-closeup-shoe-ball2- Foot Position:

Place your feet parallel to your target line, far enough apart to maintain balance with your knees slightly flexed.

There are many preferences on how to position your feet, here is one example. You could have an open stance or a close stance. The choice is yours. My recommendation is to place your feet parallel to your target line as stated in the paragraph above.

3- Ball Position:

The ball position is a personal preference because of different styles.

Place the ball in the middle of your stance or slightly forward in order to let the club strike the ball at or just past the bottom of the swing arc.


4- Posture:

Flex the knees slightly with the feet comfortably apart to maintain balance.

Bend more from the upper body with the shoulders rounded being sure to keep the lower back relatively straight.
The arms should  be relaxed and slightly bent as they hang naturally close to the body.

This should place your eyes almost directly over the ball.


Keeping your arms relaxed and hanging naturally close to the body will promote a swing that will stay longer on the target path.

Make sure the ball is close to your feet, the farther the ball is from your feet, the farther the hands will be also making it harder to create a straight back, straight through forward swing.  


 5- The Grip:

There are different variations on holding the club. I prefer to place the club in the palm of my right hand first with my thumb on top of the grip.

Then, I place the palm of my left hand on the grip so that the thumb is on top of the grip and it rests against the crease of the heel pad and thumb pad of the right hand. My index finger overlaps the ring finger of my right hand. 
This is called the reverse overlap grip.

Be sure to hold the putter lightly with both hands. This will help eliminate any tension in the arms and shoulders.


Here are 4 different variations, feel free to try any one of them.