Four Skills of Putting
of the Game of Golf -- combining the best golf lore
in history with modern
for instinctive perceptual and movement processes in
(Download this page as a pdf)
golfer needs four skills every putt."
do not putt by stroke alone -- the skills are all integrated
Read the putt for target
correct orientation of straight uphill "fallline"
hole perceiving highest point on rim (6-12 on
clock) plus level left-right axis of tilt (3-9
consistent delivery speed to see final 1 meter
the curve into the hole given fall-line (see #4);
final curve back out and follow all the way to
the ball; extend tangent at ball straight back
fall-line for target spot; use fall-line target
2nd "hole" for straight putt with right touch
delivery speed to imaginary hole as used to read
putt into real hole); commit to imaginary line
distance for usual delivery into 2nd "hole."
Aim straight at target "hole" on fall-line
behind the ball and use shaft as visual ruler
to "connect the dots" of ball and target; see
along shaft edge in front of ball 5-6"; walk to
ball and aim putter face thru center of ball at
spot in front; setup to aimed putter face with
good posture; align neck / throat line parallel
leading edge of putter face, automatically aligning
shoulder frame parallel (see #3); settle other
joint pairs and stance in comfort and balance
shoulders aligned; "face" ball and look
where face aims; turn head like an apple on a
stick to "face" & learn where putter face
Putt straight where the putter face aims
to aimed putter by "walking" naturally hanging
hands and arms out to waiting putter handle
without "reaching out" to handle or changing aim
or flatness of sole on surface; set throat line
from center of chin to top of sternum to parallel
edge of putter face; test distance back from ball,
allowing rear hand to swing free, as only "sideways"
swing is neutral whereas hands swing to
thigh or nose is too far back or close; anchor
hip for backstroke; perform last "touch" look
at target (see #4); "join in" on-going internal
of swinging back & thru, shoving putter sole
& up with lead shoulder into swing, keeping
form (2-3 muscle tone on scale of 1-10)
with dead hands / arms "riding" swing; stop /
hold neck line still at midline in thru-stroke
resquares itself; allow putter to define own forward
trajectory with momentum moving lead shoulder
vertically upwards from ball of lead foot.
Putt with the usual tempo and touch
sense of green speed using practice green
"core putt" (2 balls putted same distance with
same backstroke size & downstroke tempo to
allow green to show how your stroke, putter, ball,
& tempo work on today’s surface) to register
calibrate usual backstroke-force relations with
your tempo; perceive adjustment to exact speed
on green on course plus uphill / downhill effect(s);
setup with neck / throat (see #2 & 3); rotate
& head (like an "apple on a stick" of neck
thru top of head) down target line to second "hole"
as if watching a perfect putt with realtime motion,
achieving correct neck angle from ball
to target, teaching body "here" & "there"
stroke size; rotate face back to ball; allow balance
/ vision to settle; "jump in" ongoing tempo
swinging by starting putter back instinctively;
instincts to "size" top of backstroke; stay
with usual downstroke timing.
of green speed, roll face to & back from target,
make an instinctive backstroke & hold
pull the trigger with backstroke timing, do nothing.
Stroke itself goes straight.
aim, putt straight at target with good touch -- INSTINCTIVELY.
of relevant cues for putting targets and body movement
generate good stroke movements,
and established movement patterns shape and define perceptions
-- putting is a unified
action, not separate skills.
I start the putter back, it seems the stroke completes
-- Ben Crenshaw
summarizing his stroke after 35 years of experience.
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