For the proper address, hold your putter straight out, left; draw your elbows into your rib cage, center; then tilt forward.
Monte Isom
Wednesday, April 01, 2009

For a proper setup (above left), which leads to perfect aim, start this way. Holding your putter, stand up straight and extend your arms. Then, draw your elbows in snug to your rib cage; this keeps your arms and torso "connected" and promotes a consistent, one-piece, pendulum-type motion. Then, tilt your upper body forward until the putterhead rests behind the ball. And put a little flex in your knees. You don't want to play with stiff legs.


Next, you have to find where to play the ball in your stance — center, forward or back. It's different for everyone. To find out, ask a buddy for help. Find a straight putt, take your address, and aim, with your friend standing a few paces behind the ball. Have him tell you if your putterhead is aimed right, left or dead straight. If you're aimed left, you're playing the ball too far forward and need to move it back a bit. Aimed right? Move the ball forward until your friend tells you that your putterhead is dead square.

With all the hard work done, don't think too hard. You're aimed perfectly! Simply make a smooth, unhurried stroke. You now have the technique of a Tour pro. Soon, you'll have the confidence of one, too.

Mike Shannon is the putting instructor at the Golf Learning Center at Sea Island Resort, on St. Simons Island, Ga. (888-732-4752;

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