The Secret to Great Putting

By | on August 30, 2019 | 69 Comments | Array


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Paul Wilson is the creator of Swing Machine Golf and founder of Ignition Golf. Paul's golf swing technique is based on the Iron Byron swing machine. YouTube Channels: Paul Wilson Golf and Ignition Golf Tips. Please Join me on Google+

69 Responses to “The Secret to Great Putting”

  1. June 17, 2012


    does type of putter,square or toe down play much of as factor in this throwing thought with right does straight back,and arc type of swings affect this thought process.

    • The type of putter should not matter. Every putting stoke should be on an arc. The only way you could go straight back and straight through is if your putter had no angle and your whole body was bent over parallel tot eh ground. If you are up and there is an angle in your putter it will follow an arc.

  2. June 17, 2012


    in your putting video dvd you tak of slight arc putting stroke, i have a square head balanced putter,not a toe down putter is this going to negatively affect my stroke very much. square balanced putters supose to use straight back straight through stroke.

    • Use this putter but forget your stroke. You should be thinking of the throwing motion. That is the whole point of the video. The only way you will take it straight back and straight through is if you manipulate the putterhead.

  3. August 19, 2012


    Love the throwing motion idea, but how do you judge distance control? 15′ I can gauge but 30′ /40′ feet I might as well be on a horse…

    • August 22, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Your brain can calculate this in a millisecond. If you are looking at 30 feet why would your brain say to throw it 10 feet? It wouldn’t. You need to focus on the target and feel how hard to throw it. Oh yeah, you need to hit tons of practice putts to dial it in to a very consistent level. Let your mind get it close. Let practice get it closer. I just made that up.

  4. September 1, 2012


    Hi Paul
    I have failed to load this video. I even paused it for thirty minutes but no results.

    • September 4, 2012

      Paul Wilson

      Eriab, This is your internet connection. The video plays fine on my system. The videos in the archive are hosted on the Amazon s3 cloud server. You will be accessing them from the closest point to the server. Given that you live in Africa this may not be consistent in every video you watch because you are farther away than most people. In this case you are going to just have to keep coming back to the videos that you are having a problem with. Hopefully, you are able to view them without a problem. This is rare but it can happen.

  5. Hi Paul,

    Another laughing out loud video. Can this game really be this simple? I thinks so. Recently when putting (and not thinking about the stroke, the distance or anything else) the results are light years better. I’ve just never had it explained to me. You do a wonderful job of simplifying the game.


    • Len,

      It is simple but simple is difficult. Keep thinking simple though. If you are at least thinking it’s simple you have a chance to make it simple.

      Thanks for the kind words. I truly appreciate it.

    • January 11, 2019


      I have had the same experience as Len. Two weeks ago I didn’t even think about technique. I just hit the ball and sank 3 20+ foot putts over nine holes. Incredible! The video on keeping it simple takes a lot of stress off of putting. Thank you very much Paul!

      • Avatar photo

        January 13, 2019

        Paul Wilson


        Exactly. You start over thinking putting and you will be terrible. Get some good fundamentals then keep it simple. Practice long ones and short ones under pressure. That’s it.

  6. Paul

    After impact do you follow the path of the ball with your eyes (it looks like it in video). Some do money drill where you stare at a quarter or wait to you hear sound of putt dropping before you move your head. What do you suggest?



    • Patrick,

      You watch the ball until you hit the ball then you look. Waiting until the ball stops is a little extreme. You just need to delay the reaction. So look once you see the putter hit the ball or listen for it to hit the ball.

  7. June 7, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for bringing me here again. This is the video I referred where you sunk 3 balls in a row.

    As usual, I followed your advice and moreover, I installed Garsen Golf Grips in my putters because its design are the perfect fit for your technique. Yesterday in the course, I couldn’t be happier with the results. My lag putts were around 1 ft from the pins and a couple of times I sunk the ball.

    My home course has only 3 undulated greens, all the rest are flat or inclined in one direction, so let’s say it very friendly but there is another course nearby with challenging greens where I can test myself once in the future.

    Good technique, practice and confidence are helping me a lot in improving my putting. I’m very grateful for your guidance.

  8. June 9, 2014


    Hi Paul,

    A quick update. I played in today’s competition that was a 4 ball Ambrose. My biggest contribution was my putting which allowed to secure several birdies or pars. It was amazing to see how the ball went into the hole after everyone couldn’t sink any. I couldn’t be happier especially when we were announced as the winners. It can be a humble and little competition but it felt great to find out that thanks to your tips and help, I’m in the right track to get better every day.

  9. August 29, 2014



    Saw your vids on You Tube and was amazed. Subscribed to the golf tips and am delighted. Drives are longer, game is fun and exhilarating again. Oh yes, I am 67. Thanks for the great instruction, which actually improves one’s game. Congratulations on your teaching!

    • August 30, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Thank you for the kind words. I truly appreciate it and your support. Keep up the good work.

  10. September 29, 2014


    Hi Paul;
    I’m having an issue with my backstroke & can’t seem to fix it. It seems to go everywhere. I’m using only my shoulders to take it back & keeping a light grip. It doesn’t go straight back or on a slight arc. Might this be from too heavy a putter, or an alignment issue?

    • September 29, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      If you made the motion to throw a ball would your arm go everywhere when you moved your arm into position to throw. No. If it is moving when putting you are moving it. Mot likely over-thinking it.

      Try this and you will fix it instantly:

      The Secret to Great Putting:

  11. September 29, 2014


    Hi Paul;
    I imagine that’s probably true. I know I make a smoother stroke with my practice stroke but then I’m looking at the hole which helps me feel the stroke length I need for the right distance & not at all about the stroke path. More than likely thinking more about stroke than concentrating on ball. Thanks.

    • September 30, 2014

      Paul Wilson


      Yes, you are over-thinking it. Make it simple and stop thinking about your stoke. If you can throw a ball you can do this.

  12. November 24, 2014


    What grip pressure do you use on a ten point scale? Do you “bump” the ball or let the putter head swing thru on its own?

  13. November 24, 2014


    are the hands supposed to stay ahead of the putter head thru out the stroke or can they stay even? What about the the putter head getting ahead of the hands?

  14. July 18, 2015


    Paul, Thats great but how do I read these Texas greens?
    Just kidding. There is a guy ay my club that putted right handed from what ever distance for 2 months & made 50 percent of his puts. The other were gimmies.

    • Louis,

      He must be putting that way for a reason. As I said, I barely feel my left hand on the club. I am not even thinking about it.

      Texas greens? Not sure. If there is a lot of grain play half the break. This is what I did in Florida all those years and putted great. Before that I couldn’t putt on them.

  15. I’m a lefty but have my right hand low. Does this not confuse the issue of then imagining throwing the ball. Also rather like Phil Mickleson I am a right hander for everything else.
    Maybe I’m just destined to always be an average putter.

    • David ,Leftiies are often better putters !See Phil MICKELSON .Read also books from DAVE STOCKTON ,a former great putter ,and what hé says about the keft hand .See also GEOFF MANGRUM .the putting ” Guru” on the same subject .

    • David,

      Imagine you have a ball in your left hand an back hand it to the target. This works too.

  16. In this video ,Paul ,You’re a true wizard :three balls ” in” from 15 feet ,in a row ,whow!
    I practise YOUR drill ,except for me it’s the left hand which does the job..I have to feel the back OF the left hand going to the hole .With the right hand ,I feel awkward .My stoke is purely pendular ,I increase the width OF ” GrandMa ‘ s ” clock ( The pendulum ) with the distance to cover .This is the best part OF m’y game ,with chipping ,24/28 puts per round .But there’ nô miracle here ,only hard work :iI train every day in m’y basement from 3 to 25 feet ,20 balls from each distance ,in 5 yards intervals.When I’m on the green ,I know I’ ll output any opponent 9 Times out OF 10 .That’s gives you confidence in Matchplay.

    • Raymond,

      I used to be an exceptional putter. That is what practicing 1 to 4 hours a day everyday for years will do.

      left hand putting is fine too. Back hand it to the hole. Yes, tons of practice especially long putts. This is the key.

  17. July 20, 2015



    Thanks, thanks, thanks. I had the yips really bad from 6 feet in and going back to the ‘natural throwing motion’ has really improved me again. Was costing me strokes and $$! lol. Love the 1 handed drill.


    • Kimbo,

      That’s great. The throwing motion definitely gets rid of the yips. Everyone knows how to throw a ball.

  18. July 21, 2015


    Hi Paul – 3 in a row from 15ft, haha, very nice!

    • Luke,

      In my prime my record was 56 in a row from 15 feet. I was an exceptional putter but I did putt for 1 to 4 hours per day … every day.

  19. Avatar photo

    July 25, 2015


    Paul, when I have a 3 or 4 ft putt, I aim the middle line on the club head exactly at the hole, and the ball goes to the right. What am I doing wrong?

    • Kenneth,

      You would be looking up. Listen to the club hit the ball. Once it does, then look for it.

      Also, have someone stand behind you to check your alignment. You may think you are aligned when really you are not.

  20. Paul,

    I’m having problems staying stable in my lower body in both my putting and chipping strokes. In both strokes, it feels like my right knee (I’m right handed) moves a little outward at the end of the backswing, and I lose ability to consistently control the club from that point forward. Do you have any thoughts on why this might happen in these strokes and how I can fix it?

    Thanks for your help.


  21. September 7, 2015



    I am reviewing my putting since it has been bad lately. Will definitely practice this drill.

    I have a related question. When we are near the green in the rough and use the putting stroke with our irons, why do you have us turn the head of the club to 11 o’clock and then line up the shot.


    • September 7, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      This is a way for you to check if your hands are enough ahead of the ball. I thought I said this in the video. If you can put your hands perfectly ahead fo the ball then don’t do this check.

      If you set up with the face closed the only way you can square the face is by moving your hands ahead of the ball. Having your hands ahead of the ball is the secret to chipping. Set up closed then square it and your hands will be perfectly ahead of the ball. I think you need to watch this tip again.

  22. September 7, 2015



    Should we be using the alignment aid on the ball for target orientation? What do you suggest?


    • September 7, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Drawing lines on the ball is your choice. If you like it … do it. I don’t.

  23. November 23, 2015


    Hi Paul, I like your throwing concept, but unless I have missed something I think we should concentrate on a throw aiming a foot or more either to the left or right of the aim line depending on being a left or right hand player. Because the club needs to go in the line of the aim line, and our hand is a foot inside of that line, so surely that is where we should be doing the throw to. Is that correct?

    • November 24, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      What you are missing is you are over analyzing it. Just pick up some balls and throw them. See where they go. Then apply this feeling to the stroke. Once you do you will be a great putter. The whole concept is to not analyze and be target oriented. This will allow you to do that.

  24. December 29, 2015


    Hi Paul,
    If you are focusing on the label of the ball until make contact with the putter, how do you know where (what target) to throw the ball at? Is this from a picture in your mind’s eye (memory) or do you use an intermediate target just in front of the ball?


    • December 29, 2015

      Paul Wilson


      Because you are thinking about where the target is as you make this motion. You just looked at the target 2-3 times if not more. Why would you throw it sideways after knowing where it is?

  25. April 14, 2016


    I do this drill a lot and also take onto the course, but I find I have more shots that don’t come off from center of clubface during play. Is that just a sign of nerves or tightness? I am generally pretty confident and consistent with your method, but just looking for that extra consistency on the center that usually gets the distance perfect. All my ‘mishits’ leave the ball short to target of course. Not horrible, but sometimes 4-6 feet.

    • April 14, 2016

      Paul Wilson


      This should be getting you to hit the center so you are doing something wrong. I would think you are guiding it or looking up too early. Listen for the putter to hit the ball then look to see where it went.

      If you are that short you need to be working on distance control. Keep practicing the long ones. If you can get these close the shorter ones will improve too.

      • April 14, 2016


        Actually figured it out. I wasn’t doing pendulum correctly which was causing me to steer it which then took me away from my natural move to get to target. Quick trip to practice green and confirmed. Thanks for the reminder to wait for the sound before looking. I also made sure that my follow through was longer than backswing. Was dialing the putts nice and close. No three putts anymore…A hope for all of us of course. 🙂

  26. September 3, 2017


    Hi Paul. I have been struggling a lot with my putting. I bottom out to early and hit ground before ball. Any fix to this?

  27. September 22, 2017



    I am a right hander that has always putted left hand low. Does this technique work with that grip or would you recommend trying to switch to right hand low?

    • Avatar photo

      September 22, 2017

      Paul Wilson


      Sure, just feel like you have a ball in the left palm. Then act like you are back handing it to the target. It’s all about getting the club moving at the target instead of offline. This will do the trick. Give it a try.

  28. March 15, 2018



    This is the tip that has stayed with me for a long time now. There is no better one for dealing with putting and especially ‘pressure’ putts.

    Just couple weeks ago I had 12 footer on 18th hole to ‘win it all’. Didn’t even really fret over it, just picked the spot and ‘bowled’ the ball to it and made the putt…much to the dismay of the 7 others playing the tournament. 😉

    Best putting tip…ever.


  29. March 15, 2018


    I go on a golf outing every winter with a few buddies and have won our Golden Putter contest 2 years in a row. If I won it again this year, I have to keep the Golden Putter. This is not a good thing. After watching this video, I’ve had the most 1 putts of the group and am no longer haunted by threat of a 3rd year win. How can so simple a concept work so well. Thanks Paul.

  30. Avatar photo

    March 15, 2018


    Love it! This is exactly how I’ve tried to think about putting for 20 years. When I try to get too technical, thinking that is the way to improve, everything falls apart.

    • Avatar photo

      March 16, 2018

      Paul Wilson


      Exactly. Too many people out there trying to get all technical. Simple and practice. That’s it. Glad you liked it.

  31. January 11, 2019


    Hi Paul, does it make a difference how thick or thin the grip is on a putter? I used to have a pretty wide grip, then got a Scotty Cameron which has a pretty thin grip. Bottom line, does it matter?

    • Avatar photo

      January 13, 2019

      Paul Wilson


      No, grip size is personal preference. I use a mid size grip. I just don’t like the super think ones. Keep in mind that you need to use something you love. Any negative thinking is not good. So if you even doubt you don’t like something change it to something you love.

  32. Avatar photo

    April 7, 2019


    Hi Paul, You just confirmed my theory – it’s not the putter, it’s the puttee 🙂 I realize this tip is a yr. old now, but I wanted to refresh my putting routine/grip/set-up/focus prior to the season starting – and I LOVE this tip. I also giggled when you sank all three in a row – marvelous! And wasn’t the Valero Open fantastic today – yeah Canada!

  33. June 15, 2019


    Hi Paul, great lesson as usual!! What do you feel about looking at hole when you putt instead of at the ball? I noticed when you were throwing the ball to hole, with excellent accuracy you were not looking at the ball obviously and still had great results. I did this all last year with decent results, but I just wanted to get your opinion on this if you ever had experimented using this technique. I find it really works well with long lag putts, I find myself being able to judge the distance at lot easier.

    Thanks for your time!

    • Mike,

      Yes, you can certainly do this. I usually do my practice strokes looking at the hole trying to let my mind figure out the distance for me. Then I step up and let my mind go blank. I allow my brain to figure out how hard to hit it. I need to do a tip on this. Keep doing it if it’s working.

  34. September 13, 2020


    Hi Paul. I did your wiggle drill before tweeting off in the monthly cup today and followed your direction orientation tip. Result – 27 putts, won the cup, handicap cut to 7.1. I actually didn’t play that well, but no three putts and didn’t miss anything under 7 feet.

    I’m so grateful for your teaching tips.


  35. June 25, 2021


    Thank you
    How to aim putter and short put tip please

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