Instruction

Putting Tips: How to Stop Missing Those Pesky Four-Foot Putts

Putting: Green-Read in Three Easy Steps
Use your eyes and your feet to get a quick, reliable read.

On average, PGA Tour players convert 92 percent of their putts from four feet. Chances are, you fall far short of that figure. Why? Subtle technical mistakes can wreak havoc on your rolls, even from close range. Revisit these four fundamental setup keys. If you can make your putting address position consistent and automatic, you'll gain more confidence in your stroke and turn four-footers into tap-ins.

THE QUICK WAY TO PERFECT POSTURE

Stand up straight and hold your putter out in front of you so that it's in line with your forearms. Rotate your elbows inward until the underside of your forearms face the sky, then tuck your elbows in so that they rest against your rib cage. Now simply tilt forward from your hips until the sole of your putter rests on the ground. Follow these steps correctly and the four parts of a good putting setup (very bottom of page) will fall into place.

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If your putting setup is inconsistent, a four-foot putt can feel like a 40-footer. But a simple pre-putting posture tune-up can make you deadly from short range.

1. HIPS OVER HEELS: This allows you to distribute your weight evenly over the balls of your feet, which makes it easier to keep your lower body still and your entire body in balance throughout the stroke.

2. EYES OVER THE INSIDE HALF OF THE BALL: Assume this position to see the line of the putt better and to properly aim the putter at your intended starting line.

3. HANDS UNDER SHOULDERS: It's the easy way to move the putter back and through with your arms and shoulders. Keeping your hands under your shoulders also puts your backstroke on a perfect path, reducing both pushes and pulls.

4. SHAFT MATCHES THE FOREARMS: When viewed from behind, the shaft should appear to be a direct extension of your arms. If this line isn't straight, your putter will effectively be either too long or too short, both of which can make otherwise makeable short putts hard to hole.

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