Pro Tip: The Straight Back and Through Putting Stroke Drill

WORDS João Tomaz

Arc vs Straight Putting Stroke 

Every putting stroke, especially those required for longer putts, has at least a little bit of a natural arc. Simply put, this means that the clubhead of your putter does not move in a perfectly straight line when going back and then forward through the ball. In fact, the club head will move a little on the inside both during the putt’s backswing and also in its follow-through. This is simply due to your physiology as your hands are, of course, attached to your body with one arm on each side. 

There will be times, however, when you may need to favour a straighter putting stroke. Below are instructions on how to remove the arc in your putting stroke if it becomes problematic. 

Place a golf ball on the putting green at the start point from where you would like to practise your straight putting stroke. 

Place three tees on the ground parallel to the target line outside the ball in your stance and three tees likewise, but inside the ball. 

Ensure that both tee lines are parallel to each other and also to the target line. Be sure that they are spaced enough from each other so as to allow your putter’s clubhead to travel without hitting either one.  

Practise hitting putts from this middle channel, taking care to move your putter head back and forth, always staying in the centre of the channel.

It is important that your left eye is positioned over the line of the ball. 

This technique will increase consistency and generate fewer pulled or pushed putts.

A straight back and through putting stroke can be far more reliable and consistent than one that involves the use of an arc.  In fact, a putter head that is kept straight and square going back has much more chance of being square at the impact position. This is in contrast to an arc putting stroke where the putter head is actually in an open position during the backswing. The ability to bring the open clubface back to square requires much more precision.

Mistiming issues can create an open or a closed clubhead, resulting in pushed or pulled putts.

Top Tip – Especially Useful in Small Putts

A straight putting stroke can be crucial and work better for shorter putts. Obviously, shorter putts require the least amount of distance for the putter.  Hence the natural arc is much less of a factor and it should be easier to hit a straight back and through putt in these instances.  

João Tomaz is the golf pro at Espiche Golf

+351 282 688 250


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