How to roll your putts smoother: 

When I was 10, I putted poorly in a par-3 event, so I went out to the practice green at my dad’s course and tried something I’ve stayed with ever since. I positioned my hands slightly forward of the putterhead, and the ball started to go where I wanted and roll more smoothly. 

Today’s putters are built with an average of 3 to 4 degrees of loft, because the ball needs to get slightly airborne before—ideally—rolling along the ground. On tour we call a ground-hugging putt “a Crenshaw putt.” Ben’s putts roll as though they’re moving along magnetically. He putts with his hands a bit forward, and says he wants his hands to just barely beat the clubhead to the ball. He says his putter has at least 3 to 4 degrees of loft, the right amount for today’s pool-table greens on tour that require less loft than the slower greens. 

Putter loft can be your friend or enemy, depending on the bottom of your arc. Never drive the ball into the green with too little loft, because your hands are too far ahead at impact or your putter lacks sufficient loft. The ball will veer off line and/or come up short. I’ve always putted with enough loft. 

A clubfitter with a loft-and-lie machine will determine how much loft your putter should have relative to your hands at impact. Generally speaking: hands ahead, use more loft; hands over the ball, use less loft. 


A good putt feels soft: 

Judging putter feel is simple. If you hit the ball in the sweet spot, it will feel soft at impact. If you don’t, it will feel hard. 


I once played with Donald Trump. I liked his long game, but his short game could be better if he tried a drill that might help anyone with chipping troubles. Trump grips too tightly and punches at the ball. He should practice chipping with his right hand only, to create better rhythm.