Set your stance to the putter, not the other way around 

I see amateurs miss putts simply because their aim with the putterhead is off—especially on short putts. It’s hard to aim accurately with your eyes parallel to the line of the putt as they are in a normal stance. That’s why Sam Snead went to croquet-style putting (until the U.S. Golf Association outlawed the method). He could aim the putter better from behind the ball. 

Try this. Stand behind the ball, and put your putterhead down to get it lined up accurately. Then hold the putter in that position and move around to take your usual stance. Make sure when you stand over the ball that your feet and body are set parallel to the line of your putt. That’s crucial. Everything needs to be in proper alignment. 

Coming in from behind the ball might be the way Aunt Alice would do it. But you know what? It makes sense. 

More Tips From Tom 

  • Count to one after you hit a putt before you look up. Your head will stay still and you will follow through. 
  • Putting in wind I widen my stance and crouch a little to stay in balance. Avoid body motion. 
  • Maintain your eye line by swiveling your head back and forth to lock in the target. Don’t lift your head up to look. 

Align, then fire. To confirm that your putter is square to the target line, square the face standing behind the ball, then take your normal stance.