Don’t Make These Putting Set-up Mistakes

By John Green

Over the years of giving putting lessons, I’ve noticed three common errors in set-up that can affect distance and direction. Avoid these errors and you will putt better.

1. Standing too far from the ball. This is an especially bad set-up if you use the line(s) on your putter to line up (which will affect directional control). Now you are looking at it from a parallax view, which is defined as an object appearing as if it is positioned differently when it is looked at from a different angle. (I wrote an article on this topic a few years back.) If you stand closer with your eyes more on top of the putter, then it will be easier to line up your putter correctly.

2. Bent arms at address. This only encourages your hands (especially the back one) to take over the putting stroke.

And this is how it looks post impact when the arms are bent. This kind of putting stroke has a big influence on distance control, as contact with the ball will not be consistent.

A simple fix is to stand taller and let your arms hang down from your shoulders. You probably will be gripping farther down the grip, so go and get your putter shortened so it fits you better. Now you can use more of your shoulders and not your hands when swinging the putter.

3. Back index finger down the grip.

The only thing that finger will do is to push the putter head through impact and bend the front wrist which like #1, affects distance control. And so the fix is easy: curl that finger under the grip!

If you follow my set-up suggestions but if you are still flipping with the back hand consider a back hand-low grip, which is becoming more prevalent on the tours. (Notice I didn’t say left hand low because I’m featuring left-handers this month.) For more help with your putting set-up, go and see your favorite PGA or LPGA Professional.

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