The set up is crucial to getting your putting stroke off to a good start. If you don’t set up properly, you’ll have a hard time with the rest of your stroke and struggle to see consistent putting results. This is why I created this practice plan for those trying to build stronger fundamental putting skills.
Standing correctly at address gives you a better chance to make the putt due to your increased chance of making a sound putting stroke. Each aspect of the putting stroke is only as good as the aspect that comes before it.
So if you struggle with your putting, hopefully today’s lesson will help improve your set up and help you stroke more solid putts. Let’s get started.
Golf Putting Posture
You want a balanced posture when setting up to your ball. Balance will promote free swinging of the arms and reduce resistance that would affect the stroke.
Posture varies widely among golfers and there is no correct one fit all posture so it’s up to you to find a comfortable and balanced posture. Some putters stand more upright during their stroke and others are more bent over.
The more upright golfers tend to have more arc on their putting stroke while the more bent over golfers have an easier time keeping the putter straight back and straight through during the stroke.
Golf Putting Stance
The stance involves how far apart your feet are from each other as well as where they are aimed.
Typically, it’s recommended to stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees should have some bend in them to promote stability and balance.
You’ll also want your feet 90 degrees to your aim line and your toes pointing straight ahead. Having your toe line parallel to your aim line is important for helping the rest of your body stay in alignment and helping the putting stroke stay on line.
Putting Stance Body Alignment
Along with your feet, you also want the rest of your body in line with each other and parallel to your aim line. If your body is twisted then your putting stroke will be affected and you’ll have to make unnecessary compensations.
Keeping your shoulders square to your aim line is key in helping your arms perform the proper stroke.
Putting Setup Ball Position
It’s recommended by most teaching professionals that your golf ball should be beneath your eyes. So if you were to drop a golf ball from your eyes down to the ground then it should collide with the golf ball you’re setting up to.
Standing too far away from the ball leaves your eyes on the inside of the ball’s aim line and will likely lead to an inside to outside putting stroke. This path will cause a push if you don’t make a compensation move such as closing the face.
Over time a closed face will become natural and this is not good as you want the putter face to always be square to the aim line and not open or closed.
If you stand too close to the ball then your eyes will be outside the ball’s aim line and likely lead to an out-to-in putting stroke. This will cause a lot of pulled putts and eventually you’ll start opening the putter face to compensate which isn’t good.
As far as if your ball is forward, middle, or back in your stance will depend on your putting stroke. You definitely don’t want the ball to be back in your stance.
The center point is as far back as your ball should be in your stance. Most golfer’s putting strokes bottom out at the center point which is why this is the optimal point for them.
It also doesn’t hurt if your ball is slightly ahead of the center point causing you to make contact while your putter is on the upswing.
The Golf Putting Grip
Every golfer has a different grip so it doesn’t matter exactly how you grip the putter but what matters is if your grip allows you to keep the putter face square to your target or not.
When you grip your putter and set it behind the ball, make sure the face is naturally square to the aim line. Most putter faces are about 4 inches to 4.25 inches wide which is the same width as the hole.
So if your face is square to the hole you should be able to draw to parallel lines that connect the edges of your putter face with the outside edges of the hole.
Putting Grip Pressure
Your grip pressure is important for keeping the face square and under control during the putting stroke. Some golfer’s have the death grip where their knuckles turn white while others grip it lightly as if they were holding a baby bird.
Finding the proper grip pressure that gives you the most control over the face will take some practice and feel but once you discover it then you’ll begin to see your ball starting on its intended line more consistently.
- Too tight of grips shut the face causing putts to go left
- Too loose of grips generally promote open faces and the ball goes right
- Perfect grip pressure keeps the face under control and square to the target line allowing your ball to start on it’s intended line as well.