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A recipe for better putting



How do you become a better putter? A reliable recipe would be to consistently roll the ball on your intended line with good speed. It may sound simple, but mastering those two fundamentals takes hard work.

My job as an instructor is to quantify those ideals and a few more, and build on them by digging deeper into a golfer’s putting stroke. I use the S.A.M. PuttLab (Science and Motion), because it helps quantify factors that the naked eye simply cannot see, and yields quicker progressions.

Rolling the Ball On Line

There are two main basic factors that influence a putt’s starting direction:

  1. Face Angle
  2. Club Path

We’ll start with the face angle, since studies have shown it has more than twice the importance of path.

Fun Fact: The face at impact is responsible for approximately 83 percent of the ball’s starting direction. So let’s say you are hitting a 10-foot putt and your path is perfectly down the target line, not to the left or right. If your face is perfectly square, you will hit the putt at the center of the hole. If your putter face is one degree off (left or right), however, you will hit the edge of the hole on a 10-foot putt.

That’s right folks. If your face is only 1-degree offline with a zero path your ball could lip in or it could lip out! A true 50/50 ball. As it turns out, putting is pretty hard and there is a pretty small margin for error, but you probably already knew that.

As far as path goes, I have found that most bad putters swing the putter to the left (if they’re right-handed) and cut across the ball with an open putter face. Most golfers also adjust their putter face to compliment their path at impact. However, hitting putts with an open face makes the ball roll worse than its antithisis, the closed putter face.

Notice in the pictures of the report below that the golfer is a left swinger of the putter head, and he gets a lower score because the machine knows that this is not desirable. However, the player is really consistent so the score for consistency is high because the machine knows that the player, although maybe a little volatile, has a repetitive action.



I would change the shape of this putting stroke. If a golfer cuts across putts, then they usually take the putter straight back or even outside the target line and then swing the putter left through impact.

My suggestion is to take the putter inside on the backswing, thus giving golfers a better chance to swing the putter right or down the line through impact. This will help them zero out the path of the putter head. The ball will roll better, allowing golfers to hit more solid and straight putts. When golfers fix the path, the face will — usually within an hour practice session — fix itself.

The speed you need

If you take lessons from different “putting gurus,” you will hear many different brands of verbiage, but consistent philosophies when it comes to speed control. The basic quantifiable fundaments for putting are tempo, timing and consistency of both tempo and timing.


For the sake of this article, I am going to keep this simple.

  • Tempo is the rhythm of your putting stroke.
  • Timing is how well your mechanics come together with your tempo and in a proper sequence. What is considered “good” is a 2-to-1 ratio between Backswing Time and Time to Impact.

The most important term, however, is consistency. If you are not consistent with tempo or timing you will not have any feel. Your brain needs to have an idea of the pace that you swing the putter. This consistency gives you confidence, and that confidence allows you to commit to your line and roll the ball on that line with the correct pace.

My best tip for better distance control is to always hold your finish while hitting putts.


Understand that putting is very similar to shooting a basketball. Everyone remembers Reggie Miller’s “Goose-Neck” follow through while raining down jumpers in the NBA. It was his attention to detail that made him one of the greatest shooters that ever was. Miss or make, he would be holding his right arm in the same position every single time.

The same goes for putting in golf. You want to hold your finish, your hands and the putter head, in the same position every time (relative to the length of the putt and size of the stroke obviously) and when you do this your timing will become more consistent.


The moral of this story is that there are no shortcuts to making putts. Hard work and dedicated practice is the only way. “If you work hard, your only real opponent is the moment” and it is true.

You think getting better is hard? You’re right. Embrace that notion and enjoy the process!

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Jeremy Anderson is the Golf Swing Guru. Jeremy specializes in full swing through utilization of all different forms of technology that he owns such as FlightScope, BodiTrak, Focusband. Jeremy recently won the 2018 PGA Teacher of the Year Award for the Southwest PGA Section. He is also considered by Golf Digest one of Americas Best Young Teachers for 2019-2019. A six time Nominee for Illinois PGA Teacher of the Year, Jeremy, has had students qualify for USGA events, get scholarships and win college tournaments, and win many national/international junior golf tournaments. Jeremy is also a featured writer for and The Huffington Post. An accomplished player in his own right, Jeremy still loves to compete at the PGA Section level. His mantra to his students is that “If you outwork everyone your only opponent is the moment.”



  1. other paul

    Mar 24, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    i would love to see an article from you about putting alignment and perceived location of the hole. I found I missed 9/10 putts to the right at 10′. Had a laser attached to my putter and it showed I perceived the hole where it is not.

    • Jeremy Anderson

      Mar 24, 2015 at 4:34 pm

      Other Paul-

      Every golfer searches for perfection. It is better to have really consistent aim than perfect aim. I’ll get on that topic though! Thanks!!

  2. Chris

    Mar 23, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I don’t think the results are the result of poor consistency overall and not just a left path as you imply. Here is a link to puttlab report for a 2.8 left path player and I doubt that anyone would say that Loren Roberts was a poor putter: Your example players numbers have significant variance in both path and face angle but you also neglect to show the other numbers such as loft at impact and where the ball impacts the face. You state that people with a right biased/close face roll the ball better; how does the ball know that the face is open or closed ? The poor roll is probably more a result of a poorly fit putter and not an open or closed face. Can you explain why you think a “closed” face puts a better roll on the ball give a consistent rate of rotation, center hit, and proper angle of attack/loft at impact?

    • Jeremy Anderson

      Mar 23, 2015 at 5:23 pm


      I agree! Someone with a good rise into the ball and proper loft will roll the ball well. This is merely my take on a large handful of my students feel. Typically when I see a player swing it straight back the putter is going left at impact. I am just giving a fix to a misconception of straight back/thru feel. I see a lot of straight back to left path with a face open at address.

      • Chris

        Mar 23, 2015 at 5:46 pm

        Thanks for the response. I agree with you on the SBST feel resulting in the appearance of SB but left as the stroke goes through the ball; this may also result in the face being closed at impact because of normal rotation. To compensate you get the player manipulating the stroke and holding it open to eliminate the left miss. Manipulation is the real problem and the manipulation can be fixed several ways including changing the stroke mechanics to reduce the left stroke path or fitting the player to a putter that has a slower rotation to naturally be open the correct amount at impact.

  3. Mike

    Mar 23, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I always pull putts. Even though the Ping app says my stroke is very consistent and rates me near scratch. I’d give anything to stop pulling them.

    • A

      Mar 23, 2015 at 3:41 pm

      I suffer the same problem. My path is usually straight or in to out, and my putter face is square at address and between 1-2 degrees closed at impact (I was told it was like a draw swing-putt). Over 12-17 foot putts, 1 or 2 out of five putts will go in and 3-4 will miss left. This is on a perfectly flat surface using the putt lab.

      Wish I could figure out how to keep them straight without feeling like I’m manipulating my stroke.

      • Chris

        Mar 23, 2015 at 5:11 pm

        Try a putter with less offset.

      • Jeremy Anderson

        Mar 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm


        The less manipulated feeling would be a grip change. Do you think it would feel too awkward to weaken your lead hand on the grip? I’d like to know more about how consistent the rotation of your putter face is..

    • Jeremy Anderson

      Mar 23, 2015 at 4:53 pm

      You sound like you roll it well.. You have a different and nearly the opposite problem from what I’m talking about in the article. I would try a slight grip change. I’d like to hear more…. How do you aim?

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The Wedge Guy: What really needs fixing in your game?



I always find it interesting to watch how golfers interact with the practice range, if they do so at all. I certainly can figure out how to understand that some golfers just do not really want to get better — at least not enough to spend time on the practice range trying to improve.

What is most puzzling to me is how many golfers completely ignore the rationale for going to the range to at least warm up before they head to the first tee. Why anyone would set aside 4-6 hours of their day for a round of golf, and then not even give themselves a chance to do their best is beyond me. But today, I’m writing for those of you who really do want to improve your golf scores and your enjoyment of the game.

I’ve seen tons of research for my entire 40 years in this industry that consistently shows the number one goal of all golfers, of any skill level, from 100-shooter to tour professional, is simply to hit better golf shots more often. And while our definition of “better” is certainly different based on our respective skill level, the game is just more fun when your best shots happen more often and your worst shots are always getting better.

Today’s article is triggered by what we saw happen at the Valspar tour event this past Sunday. While Taylor Moore certainly had some big moments in a great final round, both Jordan Spieth and Adam Schenk threw away their chances to win with big misses down the stretch, both of them with driver. Spieth’s wayward drive into the water on the 16th and Schenk’s big miss left on the 18th spelled doom for both of them.

It amazes me how the best players on the planet routinely hit the most God-awful shots with such regularity, given the amazing talents they all have. But those guys are not what I’m talking about this week. In keeping with the path of the past few posts, I’m encouraging each and every one of you to think about your most recent rounds (if you are playing already this year), or recall the rounds you finished the season with last year. What you are looking for are you own “big misses” that kept you from scoring better.

Was it a few wayward drives that put you in trouble or even out of bounds? Or maybe loose approach shots that made birdie impossible and par super challenging? Might your issue have been some missed short putts or bad long putts that led to a three-putt? Most likely for any of you, you can recall a number of times where you just did not give yourself a good chance to save par or bogey from what was a not-too-difficult greenside recovery.

The point is, in order to get consistently better, you need to make an honest assessment of where you are losing strokes and then commit to improving that part of your game. If it isn’t your driving that causes problems, contain that part of practice or pre-round warm-ups to just a half dozen swings or so, for the fun of “the big stick”. If your challenges seem to be centered around greenside recoveries, spend a lot more time practicing both your technique and imagination – seeing the shot in your mind and then trying to execute the exact distance and trajectory of the shot required. Time on the putting green will almost always pay off on the course.

But, if you are genuinely interested in improving your overall ball-striking consistency, you would be well-served to examine your fundamentals, starting with the grip and posture/setup. It is near impossible to build a repeating golf swing if those two fundamentals are not just right. And if those two things are fundamentally sound, the creation of a repeating golf swing is much easier.

More from the Wedge Guy

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Clement: It’s hard to hit the driver badly when you’re doing this



Mu and I go through the swing of the driver in slow motion to show the difference between hitting at the ball and then trying to move it to target versus collecting the ball from the top of the tee and releasing it into the flight plan. Check out the video to learn what this means for your golf swing.

Also: Congrats on Savy getting another personal best of 337 yards at the WLD event in Mesquite!

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How to hit a fade…according to YouTube, a robot, and GolfWRX members



How to hit a fade. At some point, if you aren’t a habitual slicer of the golf ball and are able to hit a draw with regularity, in your quest to become a better golfer, you’re going to want to know how to do this.

Without debating the relative merits of a draw versus a fade, it’s agreed that working the golf ball both ways is key to to scoring, positioning off the tee, and risk minimization. If you’re a golfer who is currently only slinging draws, we have some advice for you on how to hit a fade from three very different sources.

Ben Hogan how to hit a fade

Ben Hogan: A man who knew how to hit a fade


How to hit a fade…

…according to a robot (that is, A.I. language model ChatGPT):

A fade is a type of golf shot that curves gently from left to right (for a right-handed golfer). If you want to know how to hit a fade, follow these steps:

  1. Set up for the shot: Aim your clubface at the target, but align your feet, hips, and shoulders slightly to the left of the target. This open stance will help promote a left-to-right spin on the ball.
  2. Grip the club: Hold the club normally, but slightly weaken your grip by turning your hands slightly to the left (again, for a right-handed golfer). This will help you hit the ball with an open clubface.
  3. Swing the club: On your backswing, keep your clubface square to the target for as long as possible. Then, on your downswing, try to swing slightly from the inside to out, which will help produce the left-to-right spin on the ball. Finally, make sure to follow through towards the target with a high finish.
  4. Practice: Hitting a consistent fade can take some practice. Spend time on the driving range and experiment with different grip and swing adjustments until you find what works best for you.

Remember, hitting a fade is not about hitting the ball harder, it’s about controlling the spin and direction of the ball. With practice, you can learn to hit a reliable fade that can help you navigate tricky golf course layouts.

Hitting a fade takes practice, and it may take some trial and error to find the right adjustments for your swing. It’s also important to note that a fade is not necessarily the ideal shot shape for every situation, so it’s important to be comfortable with hitting a variety of shots on the golf course.

How to hit a fade…according to the most-watched video on YouTube on the subject

With more than one million views on YouTube, this video from Any and Piers of MeAndMyGolf not only covers hitting a fade but also discussing drawing the golf ball as well as hitting it high and low.

…according to GolfWRXers

And of course, our GolfWRX forum members have opinions on the subject.

The appropriately named PreppySlapCut said: “If the face is open to the path, the ball is going to fade. There’s several adjustments you can make to encourage that to happen, it’s just a question of what feels best for you and allows you to do it most consistently.”

Bladehunter says: “For me just the sensation of taking the club back outside your hands , and then swing left with a face square to target , while turning hard as you can makes for a pretty straight flight that won’t hook. Unless you stall and let your hands pass you.”

“That’s my take as an upright swinger If you’re really flat it’s going to be tough to time up and never have the two way miss Because you’re always coming from the inside and will rely on timing the face open or shut to see a fade or draw . For me it’s just set the face at address and feel like you hold it there until impact”

Dpd5031 says: “Had a pro teach me this. Aim a little left, stance slightly open, still hit it from the inside (just like your draw), but unwind chest hard letting handle follow your rotation so toe never passes heel. He called it a “drawy fade.” Ball takes off almost looking like it’s going to draw, but tumbles over to the right instead of left. Cool thing is ya dont give up any distance doing it this way as opposed to cutting across it.”

Scottbox says: “Jon Rahm is a good example. Watch the hand path of his backswing– his hands are not as “deep” as someone who draws the ball (i.e. Rory). And even though he has a slightly shut face, Rahm rotates his chest and hips very hard. Because there’s less depth to his backswing, the club gets more in front of him at P6. He’s most likely 1-2* outside in at last parallel. Brooks Koepka has a longer swing, but similar, in terms of his hand path– well above the shaft plane going up with less depth to his hands at the top, and slightly above the plane coming down.”

“Most good modern players rotate pretty hard with their hips and chest to stabilize the face, but the difference between those who draw it and those who hit a baby cut is often seen in the way they “engineer” their backswing patterns.”

Check out more of the “how to hit a fade” discussion in the forum thread.


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