According to a study by Top 100 Teacher Marius Filmalter, the best putters in the world hit slightly up on the ball, adding at least 1.7 degrees of loft to their stroke at impact. This causes the ball to roll immediately forward (as opposed to caroming off the green surface) and to hold its line. Putting is about precision; hit down on the ball even slightly and it could jump off line. The good news? You can train yourself to hit the ball with the right amount of loft. Your lesson “fee”? A mere 75 cents.
Stack three quarters behind the ball, then align the center of the putterface with the equator of the ball. Keep your putter as vertical as possible—there’s no need to use a forward press.
1. Stack three quarters behind a ball, then hover your putterhead just above the top coin so that the middle of the putterface aligns with the ball’s equator. Take a comfortable posture, with the handle of your putter in front of your zipper. Many top putters (including Jordan Spieth) give the club a forward press before taking it back, but many pros have extra loft built into their putters. You’ll want to keep your putter perpendicular to the ground.
2. Once you’re steady over the ball, make your stroke—strike the ball squarely on its equator without hitting any of the quarters. If you can consistently strike the ball on its equator, you’ll start to roll it much more smoothly and hole a lot more big putts. But if you topple the stack of quarters, you’ll know that your stroke is either descending or not moving correctly upward. Keep at this drill until you easily avoid the quarters and deliver the perfect amount of loft to the ball.
If you touch the quarters as you make your stroke, you’re coming into the ball on either a level or a descending plane. Neither approach is conducive to a consistent stroke.
3. If you can cleanly pass over the quarters, you’ve made proper upward contact through the hitting zone.