Out on the LPGA Tour, if you’re averaging somewhere in the 28-29 putts per round, you’re considered among the best putters out here. Short putts, long putts, whatever length you may encounter, if you manage to keep your putts to under 30 in a given round, you’ll shoot a good score.
Keeping the head steady starts with also keeping the lower body steady through the stroke.
Among the better putters I’ve seen (not just on the LPGA Tour, but other professional tours), not all two players have the exact same stance, putting stroke, rhythm or even tempo. But what they definitely have in common with one another is a steady head through contact with the golf ball. Often, in pro-ams I see amateurs try to steer the ball with their eyes, hoping to “push” the ball into the hole with the body. Doing that usually means that the body lifts up out of its correct posture, and the putterface either opens or closes at impact. Meaning, all sense of control for distance and direction is lost! Instead of trying to push the ball and opening your body through the stroke (like you would with any other club), allow the body to stay square and the head to stay relatively still through the stroke. Meaning, let the putterhead pass you from right to left and stay in posture until well after you’ve made contact with the ball. By the way, the lower body needs to stay stable through the stroke, too. As you can see in the black- and-white photo, my left leg isn’t visible after contact with the ball. This movement leads to all sorts of inconsistent putts.
This tip, albeit a simple one, will help you make more putts with better distance and direction.
Find Your Length
As you can see in the color photos, I like to set up over the golf ball with my eyes just barely inside the target line. According to my putting coach, that’s a good spot to be, and you never want to error with the eyes outside the target line.
I’m able to set up in this position pretty easily because my putter shaft is a comfortable length and lie. However, a longer putter may help you set up with your eyes directly over the golf ball (or just to the inside), like how I’m doing. A shorter putter usually helps with the opposite problem and will help move your eyes, if they happen to be too far away, more over the golf ball. Point being, get your putter fit for length and lie, and pay attention to your head position as it relates to the golf ball. A good/bad position can greatly affect your putting results.
Paige MacKenzie, LPGA, currently plays on the LPGA tour and is a familiar face on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive. For more info, visit paigemackenziegolf.com.