My Golf Instructor

Short Putts

Short Putts for the purpose of this site are putts under 6 feet. They are the putts that all golfers think they "should" make, but can somehow be the most difficult when the pressure is on. On the PGA tour, 92% of putts are made at 3 feet, while at 6 feet it drops to only 50%. This tells us that making putts 6 feet and in is critical to one's score as they are very likely to two putt when outside of that range.

Short Putts Drills

Short Putts Tips

(Click on Title or Image to View Larger Photos)

  • Learn to Rotate the Face Back to Square

    If you are missing putts to the right chances are you are not getting the face back to square. Try over rotating the face on the backswing and learning to rotate it back to square. This will force you to feel the rotation of your forearms and wrists instead of being overly stiff and dead-handed.

  • A Stronger Lead Hand Will Help You Release

    If you tend to push putts to the right try a stronger grip with your lead hand to help rotate the face back to square. For a right handed player this would mean turning your left hand more to the right. Ideally we want to have our palms facing each other in a neutral grip position. If however you are having difficulty getting the face back to square, a slight change by rotating your lead hand can be a big help.

  • Looking at the Cup Helps Steady Your Head

    Look at the hole. A major cause of missed short putts is excessive head movement. So instead of trying so hard to keep your head down, in practice, try looking at the cup the entire time. This will stop head movement and keep your focus on the cup. You can then decide if you want to do this only in practice.

  • Play it Forward for Optimum Spin

    Play the ball forward of the center of your stance. This will help control spin which in turn will result in more consistent distance. If you are varying where you play the ball in your stance you will be imparting backspin on some putts and top spin on others. Top spin is ideal. With backspin, the ball may skid at first slowing the initial velocity and overall, you will not get that good accelerating roll to the hole.

  • Looking Up too Soon Causes Excessive Movement

    Put a coin under your ball. Make sure after you strike the putt that you are still looking at the coin. This will ensure that you are keeping your head still and will help you to make those short putts. The cause of a lot of misses is looking up to quickly which forces body movement and results in pushes and pulls.

  • Use One Hand For Feel

    Putt with one hand to get feel. Many pros use this drill to try to gain more feel and hand eye coordination. More commonly, they use the rear hand. Using the rear hand can also give you a feel for releasing the putter face which will prevent pushes. This will help increase accuracy on short putts.

  • Paper Cup Tells All

    When practicing your putting indoors, putt to a paper cup instead of using glass. The lightness of the cup will give you a better read on your putts. If you hit the putt dead center, nothing will happen. If you are slightly off however, the cup will move left or right. This forces dead center hits.

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
- More about Maria
- Golf Questions
Golf instruction made simple
Golf Overview
Overall Game
- Getting Started
- Equipment
- Golf Fitness
- Junior Golf
- Mental Game
- Practice
- Rules of Golf
Short Game
- Bunkers
- Chipping
- Pitching
- Putting
Full Swing
- Pre-Swing Fundamentals
- Shot Making
- Diagnosing Problems
- Driving
- Hybrids and Woods
- Irons
Playing Golf
Ball Striking
- Fitness (78)
Basics
- Course Management (82)
- Getting Started in Golf (75)
- Practice (66)
Course Management
- Club Selection (66)
- Equipment (107)
Driving
- Driving (68)
Putting
- Putting (127)
Rules
- Golf Rules (69)
Short Game
- Bump and Run (72)
- Chipping (82)
Problems
Ball Striking
- Chunking (79)
- Distance Control (86)
- Fat Shots (92)
- Flipping (48)
- Poor Accuracy (118)
- Slicing (48)
- Thin Shots (85)
- Topped Shots (52)
Distance
- Lack of Distance (108)
Putting
- Putting Accuracy (72)
Swing Plane
- Blocking (50)
- Inside Out (56)
- Outside In (59)
- Over the Top (49)
- Pulling (54)
- Pushing (66)
- Releasing Early (47)
The Swing
Grip
- Grip (65)
Setup
- Alignment (55)
- Balance (50)
- Ball Position (80)
- Posture (77)
- Setup (117)
Swing Plane
- Backswing (84)
- Controlling Trajectory (47)
- Divot (48)
- Downswing (67)
- Impact (103)
- On Plane (85)
- Path (84)
- Power (71)
- Shaft Plane (63)
- Swing Plane (112)
- Weight Shift (79)