Putting Tips – Learn the Proper Putting Set Up For Duffers

The importance of putting well can not be exaggerated for any golfer, duffers and pros alike. Putting represents about 43% of all shots taken during an average round of golf. While you are focusing on hitting longer drives and crisp irons the real key to improved scoring and lower handicaps begins with putting. I know it is not as sexy or exciting as those other components but it is never the less true. Put this to the test. Keep working on improving your tee ball and approach shots but focus if you will on putting for the next several weeks, follow my step by step putting techniques, practice just a bit and see if your scores don’t drop.  

My friend and golfing partner, Double D, has done just that and his putting now saves him 5 strokes every round. He holes more long putts (10 feet or more) and misses far fewer of those short but testy ones. He did that by following a specific set-up and stroke plan we developed over the years.  

Let’s first establish that putting is often a unique and personal process for each golfer. We are not all the same. We all are not comfortable with the same putter, grip, stance or stroke. Individuality is ok within certain limits. However when it comes to achieving a square putter face at impact there can be no debate. We must square the face at impact to consistently hit our putts on the intended target line and to achieve the distance we expect.  

For our purposes today we will assume that you have already chosen a putter and grip style you are comfortable using. Double D uses a Voodoo Daddy mallet putter and a slightly strong grip for example. Those things we can discuss in another article. For today I want to offer you a few tips on the putting set-up we recommend. We will discuss this from a right-handed view point. Reverse if you are left-handed. 

Set Up  

    Approach the ball from 90 degrees to the intended target line.

    Place putter behind ball square to target line.

    Apply the left hand to the club using your preferred grip style.

    Apply the right hand to the club using your preferred grip style

    Beginning with your left foot set your feet at a comfortable distance being certain they are square to the target line.

    Check that your shoulders and hips are also square to the target line. Square shoulders are particularly critical.

    Now looking down the target line adjust your feet again by lifting slightly and re-positioning each foot one at a time until comfortable.

    Establish your posture as follows:

    Bend knees slightly not past shoe strings.

    Set down slightly with your butt.

    Weight distributed evenly front to back and slightly (60%) toward the left foot.

    Bend forward at the hips until your hands and arms hang nearly straight down.

    Maintain a straight spine. Not stiff. Just straight with no forward bend in the shoulders.

    This should place your eyes over or just inside of the ball.

    Your hands should be hanging loosely from the shoulder and positioned under your chin.

    Elbows should be hanging naturally next to your side. Not winged out pointing parallel to the target line.

    Head in line with spine with chin raised off of chest.

    Relax. Tension is your enemy. 

You are now in the correct position to execute the proper putting stroke. Practice this set up at home and/or the office as much as possible. Anywhere you can get a minute away from the course, practice the set up, no putter required. Just imagine the putter in your hands. But do practice this so that you will feel comfortable with it before you take it to the course.  

If you don’t, you will be thinking way too much while on the greens rather than focusing on making the putt.   Putting is an essential part of a good golf game.

It is worth your time and effort to improve your putting. Double D enjoys the benefit and you will too.

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