Five Most Common Putting Mistakes

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putting a golf ball

Putting is essential to scoring; you won’t need to drive your ball on every hole and you certainly won’t need an accurate wedge shot on every hole either. The key to success is a solid putting stroke that gets the ball within tap-in range at the worst. Here are some common putting mistakes so you can avoid them while out on the green.

  1. If your putt comes up short or drifts below the right edge, it’s because you decelerated. This is easy to accomplish on short putts, and we all have tried to baby the ball into the hole. Your putting stroke, no matter what the length of the putt may be, should always accelerate at a constant rate. Distance is altered by changing the length of the backstroke and through the stroke. No matter the length, the putter head should be gaining speed instead of losing it through the contact zone.
  2. An open face. You will miss to the right every time you putt with an open face, even if the quality of your stroke is decent. Use the leading edge of the putter head to align the putter perpendicularly to the target line or use the club’s painted sightlines or natural aiming lines. When shopping for a putter, choose one that feels good and is easy for you to align. Shop around and try different ones until you’ve found the perfect one for you.
  3. Poor reads. Green reading can be difficult, as it takes lots of practice and experience. So many players fail to nab the correct break due to looking in the wrong places, as so many set their focus upon the area around the hole. While the ground surrounding the cup will always influence the roll, there are other influences as well, such as the area where the ball lies or collection areas located off of the green. Search for drainage areas. If the course you’re playing on is near a large landmark, such as an ocean or a mountain, this will also affect the break.
  4. Improper stance. It’s important to maintain a stance that allows you to experience the most comfort. However, you’ll want to make sure the stance follows the fundamentals so the stroke produces a true roll and putts will stay true to the line.
  5. Stopping your right shoulder. The putter head needs to be released along the target line, as with the iron and driver head in the full swing. This is a natural reaction to the putter head accelerating through impact and the ball moving along the intended line. So many players decelerate due to stopping the movement of their right shoulder after impact. The right shoulder should continue to move down the target line following contact. If the right shoulder is stopped, the right hand will take over and lift the putter head, increasing your chances of striking the top half of the golf ball. This will produce more of a skid than a roll.