Scott Sackett
Director of Instruction
McCormick Ranch Golf Club
Scottsdale, AZ

More Information

The goal in putting is quite simple: get the ball in the hole. As with all areas of the game, developing a consistent putting stroke affords you the greatest opportunity to accomplish this task. There are only two things you should be concerned with in putting: distance and direction. Of the two, distance is more important than direction. Since the cup is almost three times as wide as the ball, there is room for error in direction. Even with long putts, if you are consistent with your distance, your ball will end up somewhere near the hole.

“It’s important to understand that the ball position sets the shaft angle, shaft angle sets loft angle and the loft angle sets the ball in motion.” – Scotty Cameron

Characteristics of Putting:
• light grip pressure, around 3
• square stance feet parallel left
• ball position forward in stance
• weight slightly towards the hole
• eyes over or slightly inside the ball
• hands hang directly under shoulders
• head stays very steady
• allow the putter to swing on its natural arc
• hands quiet throughout the stroke
• backswing and follow-through approximately same length

Fact: The optimum loft at impact is 4 degrees
Fact:  The shaft should return at a 90 degree angle at impact

The Putting Grip:
Similar to your full-swing grip, your hands need to work as a single unit when putting the ball. This similarity aside, I recommend that you grip the putter differently than your other golf clubs. The grip in the putting stroke is designed to “quiet” the hands. The most popular grip on Tour is the reverse overlap.    

The Stroke:

If you ask 20 people how the putter should move back and through the ball, 18 would say, “Straight back and straight through”. Therefore, the perfect putting path would not be “straight back and straight through”. Instead, it would travel back and through on an arc. The main objective is to have the putter face stay square to the “putter path” instead of the “target line”. 

Scott Sackett, GOLF Magazine TOP 100 Teacher since 1997. Teaches full time at McCormick Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale. To get more information on lessons, visit Scott’s web site at www.scottsackett.com. To contact Scott personally, e-mail scottsackett@cox.net.