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The Last Putting Lesson You Will Ever Need

Improving your putting is the quickest way to lower your scores. In this video PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains how you can start improving with the flat stick.

 

To some players it feels like putting is a gift that you either have or you don’t, but like any skill it has to be trained to be improved. In the below video PGA Professional Jack Backhouse explains some fundament ideas and concepts that will show you how to putt better out on the golf course.

A Consistently Good Set Up

Unlike in driving or other full swing shots, the putting stroke is very short and whilst seemingly quite difficult to get wrong, because of the short duration of the swing there isnt enough time to make compensations to overcome a poor address positon.

As a general starting point, I like golfers to set up with their stance around 2 putter heads wide, and with their feet approximately 3 putter head widths away from the ball. This might vary slightly from person to person depending on their height and arm length, but this is generally a great place to start from.

It is also worth noting that head and neck position is very important in putting. A golfer should tilt their head down so that they are looking at the golf ball through the middle of their eye, not peering down on the ball with their head up. This makes it much easier to align the putter to the hole and start the golf ball on line.

A poor set up will generally lead to problems down the line, so it is important to practice getting it right.

THE LAST PUTTING LESSON YOU WILL EVER NEED

Strike Is King

The 3 skills a golfer needs to be an excellent putter are:

  • Start line control
  • Speed control
  • Reading the green

One factor that influences both start line and speed control is strike on the putter face. A toe/heel strike will often lead to putts going too far left or right , and any off centre hits will lead to poor distance control and a lot of 3 putts.

Whilst we know that this is very important, golfers neglect practicing their strike as it slips under the radar underneath stroke mechanics, or just blaming the greens for poor lag putting.

A great way to work on strike is through that classic Tiger Woods pre round drill where he creates a tee gate to swing his putter through. Doing this guarantees a centred contact with the golf ball, and subsequently allows him to develop his touch and feel on the greens very quickly.

TIGER WOODS PUTTING DRILL

Stroke Length

A common mistake that golfers make due to nothing other than an old golf wives tale, is that we want to be accelerating the putter through the contact, so that we don’t leave putts short. Not only is this not the case, but we also dont want to force putts past the hole either, but that’s a separate issue!

What golfers do want is a stroke where the putter head continues at a constant speed through the strike, and a shorter follow through than backswing, yes you read that correctly.

If you look back at how Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus putted in their prime, the stroke was almost poppy, with the putter not finishing much past the lead foot, regardless of how long the putt was. Having a stroke like this forces you to get the energy out of the putter into the golf ball early and stops the over acceleration that causes the yips.

A great drill for this is to set up to a short putt and create a tee gate inline with your left foot that is wide enough to putt through but tall enough to stop the putter head when it reaches it. (Explained and demonstrated in the video). Doing this makes you create a positive stroke using speed and momentum from the backswing length and an ideal finish position.

TEES

If you want to watch some more of Jack’s putting tips instruction videos, you can get to his YouTube Technique Tips playlist by clicking here. Please check out our other instruction articles if you liked this how to video on to putter better every single time!

If you are interested in seeking further information from Jack that is more specific to your golf game, you can book an in-person or online golf lesson by clicking here.

Jack Backhouse

Callaway Epic Max driver review

Jack is a PGA Golf Professional who specialises in coaching, teaching golf to beginners and top-level amateurs for 10+ years. He also loves his golf equipment and analysing the data of the latest clubs on the market using launch monitors, specialising in blade irons and low-spinning drivers despite having a chronically low ball flight.

Although Jack has no formal journalism training, He has been reading What's In The Bag articles since he started playing at 12 and studying golf swings since his dad first filmed his swing to reveal one of the worst over-the-top slice swings he reckons has ever been recorded, which set him off on the path to be a coach. His favourite club ever owned was a Ping G10 driver bought from a local top amateur with the hope that some of the quality golf shots would come with it (they didn't), and worst was a Nike SQ driver he only bought because Tiger was using it.

Jack is a member of Sand Moor Golf Club and regularly gets out on the golf course to prepare for tournaments. Jack uses a TaylorMade BRNR Mini driver, a half set of TaylorMade P7MB irons, MG4 wedges and a TaylorMade TP Reserve putter.

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