Here are some tips to practice putting by focusing on process, not making the putt. Do this standing perpendicular to a full length mirror. Do it first without a club, putting your palms together.
1. Set up by tilting from the hips with a straight spine. Make sure your arms hang loosely under your shoulders. Elbows are soft, keeping them close to your ribs. Eyes over or slightly inside the ball.
2. Grip is in the palms not the fingers with your forearms facing each other. If you don’t, it’s easy to come inside or outside your arc on the way back. Your grip pressure should be light.
3. The putting stroke is made on an arc. If you set up as above this happens automatically. Think of your shoulders as if they were on a wall. The left comes off on the backswing and the right on the forward swing. Elbows stay close to the ribs on both sides, that’s how you stay on the arc.
4 .The stroke is made with the shoulders, not the wrists. I use a reverse overlap, which is the easiest to use to keep the palms facing each other. For those who can’t stop breaking your wrists, try left hand low.
5. The head and lower body stay still during the stroke, keeping your eye on the back of the ball. Turn your chin to the left after contact to look at the putt. Never stand up to look.
6. Tempo is key. Think of a metronome, or say the words one potato two potato. Don’t laugh it works!
7. The ball needs to be centered on the face of the club. I love the new 3 stripe Calloway ball, it makes it easy to line up to your target line.
Betsy Larey is an LPGA Teaching Professional who teaches at Keller and Shadow Ridge Golf Clubs. She can reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-470-2297.