I spent some time at the putting green during the World Golf Championships – Accenture Match Play Championship this year. Watching the best players in the world practice putting may seem a bit dull to the average sports fan, but to a golf addict like me, it was a lot of fun, and I noticed a few things. Putting is the most feel oriented and individual part of golf. We hear the winning player every week talk about seeing the line and feeling the speed. At the putting green, I saw a lot of different grips (reverse overlap, cross-hand, split grip, the claw, etc.) and a lot of players using long or belly putters; but the players I saw were working on the same things.
Good putters pay very close attention to their eye position and site lines. They get their eyes over the line of the putt, with their dominant eye behind the ball, and they get their eyes flat to the ground. This eye position relates to a posture with quite a lot of bend in hips and the chest almost flat to the ground.
As the Director of Golf Instruction for Tucson City Golf, I see golfers putting all the time, and I see most golfers do the opposite of the top 64 players in the world. They tend to stand very upright, with their eyes well away from the line of the putt and their arms very straight. This makes getting the ball rolling on line very difficult.
If you are having difficulty rolling putts on line, check your eye position. If you have back pain and putting hurts your back; try a long putter or a belly putter. This will help your posture and allow you get your eyes in the correct position.