My 3-Step Routine To Getting Every Putt On Line

1. Square Up [left]
Don’t finalise your grip until your feet, hips and shoulders are in line.
The first thing I do when I step up to a putt is make sure my body is square to the line I want to start the ball on. That sounds obvious, but getting out of whack here is my biggest pitfall. If my hips nudge open, my shoulders shut and my head shifts too far behind the ball. Then I’m not aiming where I think I am. To set up square, I check that my toes, hips, then shoulders – in that order– – are parallel to my starting line. Only when these look and feel right do I grip the putter and settle in to aim the face. 

2. Hover It [middle]
Subtly lifting the putter off the grass frees your stroke from the start.
A trick that’s working for me lately is to lift the putterhead slightly off the green – I’m talking about a millimetre or two- – before I pull the trigger. Hovering the head really helps my stroke start free. A lot of golfers don’t realise how easy it is to inadvertently rest some body weight on the putter at address. That pressure can make the putterhead snag a bit on the grass as you start it back. Not good. 

3. Spot A Spot [right]
Pick one point of focus and keep your eyes on it during the stroke.
Most great putters I know focus on a spot. It keeps the body nice and still. Gary Player picks a spot on the back of the ball. Jordan Spieth looks at the cup on short, straight putts. I stare at the area directly behind the ball. At address, this is the sightline on my putterhead. Then, as soon as I start the stroke, it becomes a spot on the grass. I stay looking at this spot well after the ball leaves. A good drill is to place a coin behind the ball. Your putter will conceal it at address, then during the stroke you’ve got some shininess to focus on. From there, just listen for the sound of the ball going in.