My Golf Instructor

Putting Posture and Ball Position
How to Get Yourself Set Up for Putting Success

Your putting posture and ball position are crucialDevelop a Sound Posture

Unlike the belief of many, I believe putting posture is just as important as posture for a full shot. Most people know that when it comes to the full swing, posture influences your direction and your power. While power is not a major concern with putting, direction is paramount. We aren't trying to hit the ball super hard like a full swing, but we do need to dictate the power and speed that we apply to the ball while controlling the direction of the roll. The goal of our set up in putting is to promote the highest amount of accuracy possible.

When trying to establish a good putting posture keep in mind that your set up should help you get your eyes and arms in the right position, get comfortable, balanced and remain stable.

Putting faults such as pushing, pulling and lack of distance control can be a direct result of a poor starting position. Your set up should be relaxed and comfortable while allowing you to see the line from the right perspective. It should also set you up to move the putter on the correct path while using big muscles rather than hands and wrists.

The Situation:

You are trying to develop a solid set up for putting success.

The Solution:

To get started simply stand with your feet a comfortable width. Generally this should be the same as you would use if you were standing naturally having a conversation with someone. You always subconsciously stand in balance. If anything, go a bit wider as it will add more stability especially on breezy days. Next, bend from the hips until the club rests on the ground. Make sure to maintain a slight knee flex so that you are not stiff and locked up. It is very important in my book to keep your weight in the center of your feet and even between your feet for ultimate balance. I don't promote leaning towards the target as some do as that will de-loft your putter face forcing you to have to use your hands to add the loft back on before contact. The opposite is true of leaning back.

Keep your feet, hips, knees, forearms, shoulders and eyes square to the target line. Any other alignment is going to force compensations in the stroke.

Your arms should hang relaxed from your shoulders. Be careful not to get tense with your shoulders and have them up around your ears. Keep them low and soft. A higher wrist position is preferred over a lower wrist position as this will limit the amount of hand action you have. To help with this check in a mirror and try to see your forearms in line with the shaft.

Lower your face so that your eyes are parallel to and even with the ground. If they are up, you will tend to look right, if they are tucked too much, you will lose your peripheral vision. If you move the putter on a straight path, your eyes should be over and just behind the ball. If you move it on an arc, your eyes should be over the inside of the ball and just behind the ball.

For ball position play it forward of the center of your stance. Most good players will play it about 2 inches inside their front foot, but experiment with how far forward you play it to see what gives you the best top spin roll. Ball position is all about putting optimum roll on the ball and that means not hitting down on the putt. Make sure it's forward enough that you are brushing up and not imparting backspin. If you putt on an arc you need to be very particular with ball position making sure it is in the exact same spot in your stance every time so you will strike it at the same point in the arc.

Maria Palozola

Maria Palozola is a member of the LPGA and has participated in multiple LPGA Tour events. She has provided instruction to thousands of students in the past 20+ years and has won multiple teaching awards from the LPGA, Golf Digest, and Golf Magazine including being ranked as one of the top 50 female instructors in the world.

Who is Maria Palozola?
- Top 50 LPGA Instructors in the World
- A Golf Digest Top 10 Teacher in Illinois
- A Golf Magazine Top Teacher in the Midwest
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