Lessons on Putting Fundamentals

Putting Setup - How to Putt Chapter 2

In this how to putt chapter we will be going over how your body should be positioned, proper posture and eye alignment. This lesson is designed to help you position your club and your body properly so that you can develop a productive putting stroke. 

Two key fundamentals to all good putting is getting as comfortable as you can and secondly making sure your eyes are directly over the ball at address. Professional golfers have different variations in their set up, however, there are key elements that you should follow.

Setup: Begin by placing your club behind the ball. This guarantees that you are aiming the club first and is important for proper alignment.
  • Pretend there is a line from the ball to the target
  • Your feet should be spread about the width of your shoulders and your weight distributed evenly between both feet .
  • Also, pretend there is a line along your heels. This line should be parallel to your target line
  • Next, align your knees and hips so they are also square to the ball and line of putt.
  • The ball should be positioned slightly forward of the middle of your stance.
  • You should now be in a square, or straight position
Posture: Next, bend forward at the hip so your arms hang down in a comfortable manner. You will also want a slight bend in your knees.

Once your knees are bent properly, stick your butt backwards. This will help give you balance over your feet and it also helps keep your lower back straight.

Finally, make sure your eyes and shoulders are also parallel to the target line.

If your shoulders are position properly then you putter will swing straight along the target line. If your shoulders angle away from your target line then your putter will travel outside the target line during the back swing.  More often than not you will miss your putts to the left. If your shoulders angle toward your target line then your putter will go to the inside on the way back and push to the outside on the way through. You will most likely miss to the right of your target

Above all the most important things to remember with your setup is to have your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are parallel to the target line and your eyes directly over the ball.

Eye alignment
Position of Your Eyes: 

Have your putter come right up the center of the triangle formed by your arms and shoulders.

If your eyes are not lined up properly and outside the target line you will not be able to successfully strike the ball squarely and you will miss the target line.

Not only have your eyes directly over the ball but also have your eyes parallel to the target line.

A good way to test the position of your eyes is to have a friend drop a ball from the bridge between your eyes.
Drop Ball Test
  • Drop a ball to test your eye position.
  • If the test ball hits your putting ball you know your eyes are lined up properly.
  • This is an excellent check before a game on the practice green to make sure you have the proper eye alignment.

Butch Harmon - Putting Eye Alignment

Source: Butch Harmon, PGA tour Instructor on Eye Alignment

In the next How to Putt Chapter we will be covering the proper putting stroke fundamentals.

Continue to Next Lesson The Putting Stroke

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