We all miss putts for one reason or another, but missing consistently, especially by a lot, means something's up. Putting is a delicate dance - one where everything is connected to everything else and has to be in harmony. It also has to be repeatable and comfortable to you as an individual.
We're here to help break down some common errors you're running into and how to diagnose them and correct them.
Oh no! You keep hitting the ball too far past the hole; it seems to whiz by each time. It's also flying down hills way too fast. Why's this happening?
Well, the ball's got too much speed. This occurs from the swing at impact and the terrain of the green.
To get that ball to go a little gentler, there are a few fixes:
- Shorten the stroke length. The less length the club pendulums back and forth, the less momentum it gathers. The ball won't be hit as hard (force) with a shorter stroke length.
- Slow the tempo of the stroke. Even with a long-distance backwards and forwards swing motion, if the movement is slow, it will not gain power. Doing a swing in slo-mo isn't realistic, neither is doing a tiny movement super fast, so usually, a balance is found between length and speed to reduce force.
- Hit the ball off the toe of the club. This is not our first recommendation, though it's technically an option. Hitting the ball off the toe (or heel) is bound to create a weaker putt - though you do lose some distance and direction control. It's hard to repeat consistently with success and often veers to the right, which will add an extra adjustment to your setup.
The little ball that could…n't. The putts just keep falling short - rolling to a dead stop consistently before the hole. It also isn't making it up hills and just rolls back down like a sad game of snakes and ladders. Why's this happening?
The ball just doesn't have enough oomph. It's missing power behind it. Don't be so shy with it! We know it's not that simple; there are a lot of factors at play.
To get more momentum, here are a few things you can try:
- You can make your stroke length longer backwards and forwards, so speed has distance (and time) to build.
- Faster movements backwards and forwards can propel the club to gain energy. Quick even pops are great for transferring impact. It's important that the pace (tempo) stays consistent back and forward so speed can build without any friction to the physics.
- Making sure your hitting the ball front and center on your club face is going to transfer force without any energy lost in directional strains. Straight from point A to point B (aim), without twisted wrists or stiff arms (angle and alignment), is the form that allows the most ease and efficiency for putting that oomph behind the putt. Making an intentional effort to hit it straight on at impact can have a big impact (hah, get it?)
The ball has a mind of its own and keeps veering to the right of the hole. It's consistently doing this without the same happening for the left. Why's this happening?
The direction of the ball is determined by the path and the aim point. Those things are determined by many smaller elements.
To trick that ball into going left for you, there are a few things you should try:
- Hit the ball with the center of the club face, rather than towards the toe (which veers the ball slightly right or even spins it).
- You can align yourself a bit more open rather than square. If you rotate (evenly without twisting) your feet and chest slightly away from the hole, your stroke ark will end a little off-center to the left, compensation for your inclination to the right.
- Make sure your putter face is angled towards the hole and not towards you or towards anything your bellybutton faces. The length of its face should run perfectly perpendicular to the pathline to the hole.
- If there's a break in the putt, compensate for that by predicting the break apex and aiming slightly to that path instead. Aim your eyesight a little extra left in general if you tend to hit right putts without obvious cause. Sometimes you can just compensate for your brain instead of body. You make (and break) the rules.
- You can also attempt to use the heel of the putter to veer it more left, though we don't recommend this since it's fairly unpredictable and hard to maintain as a successfully repeatable technique.
Curse that ball, it's always veering to the left of the hole. Why's that happening?
One or more of the elements that control direction is off.
You can try these:
- Always, for the best chance at results, try to hit the ball with the center of the club. It's just the most regulatable method.
- Align your body in a slightly closed stance. Facing your belly button slightly right (away) from the hole will cause the curve to form to the right of the hole, centering at impact to the center of the hole.
- Make sure the putter face is full frontal to the hole pathline.
- Account for any breaks by finding the apex farther right and aiming more to the right in general to compensate for eyesight or curves.
- Use the toe of the club to tick the ball just slightly off its edge to the right. This has to be done delicately and will result in a weaker putt, so compensate for that.
Your aim is just off…in general. It's okay, no judgement. You can't figure out why the ball is consistently unsuccessful in a variety of ways. Why's this happening?
There could be many ambiguous factors at play.
Hopefully, some of these solutions can help:
- No offence, but maybe you need to get your eyes checked. You never know; it could be as easy as that.
- Make sure your tempo is perfectly consistent. What goes up must come down - with the exact same rhythm/pace.
- Use training gates, like the ones with the Pro Path Putting Mirror, to regulate your swing points (pendulum limits, arc path, club face, ball path, etc). It'll help you learn what good control form feels like so you can repeat it.
- Use the Pro Path Putting Mirror to center your alignment, ball placement, and stroke path/arc.
Remember, it's usually best to align neutrally, use the club's center, and keep a consistent tempo. But what works for one won't work for another necessarily.Use the Pro Path Putting Mirror to help you discover your ideal calibrations to correct your major issues. Find it here!