Short Putting Tips: How To Hole Out More Efficiently

In this article, PGA pro Katie Dawkins shares some short putting tips that'll help you score better

short putting tips

Even when wielding one of the best putters on the market, holing out short putts can be tough, especially when they carry any degree of significance. They can leave golfers trembling as they approach the green, to the point that those who are prone to a missed tap-in or two will have themselves convinced that’s the likely outcome. 

In this article, PGA pro Katie Dawkins has put together some short putting tips that’ll help you hole out more efficiently and stop three-putting.

Short putting tips: Get lined up

Give yourself a fighting chance and use a line on the ball or the manufacturer’s marking to give you a route into the centre of the cup. As a starting point, you could use this method on anything from within 10 feet and see how you get on.

It's usually a good idea to trust your instincts so don't overthink it and faff about for ages on the green. Once you've settled on a read, have a few practice strokes behind the ball, visualising it rolling into the hole.

short putting tips

Drawing a line on your ball is such a simple way to get set up to hole more putts

Now align the line on your putter (if you have one) with the line on your ball. All that's left is to extend the stroke back and through like someone’s stuck a sharpie on the bottom of your club.

RELATED: Putting drills for distance control

If you feel like you're hitting good putts that are rolling end-over-end yet are still missing more often than not, then it might be the case that you need to work on your green-reading ability.

In this case, another option would be to pick a spot in front of the ball as a reference point that you want to hit. It worked wonders for Rory McIlroy en route to his 2014 Open Championship win at Hoylake so, if using a line on your ball isn't working, give this a try.

Eyes down!

Now, here’s the important bit. Don’t look up. Listen for that ball dropping into the centre of the cup. If this is a part of the game you battle with, you’ll be watching your ball miss. 

short putting tips

Fight the urge to lift your head too early and you'll find you hole out far better

By keeping your eyes down you won’t lift your body up, therefore the putter will stay true to your stroke. You’ll strike your putts sweetly and that line will roll end-over-end due to the lack of side spin being imparted on it. Try it, you’ll be impressed how often you hear that satisfying sound.

It’s also a good idea to develop a rhythm when trying to hole out. Something as simple as a one-two or tick-tock can work wonders as it will keep you focused on the job at hand and not the worst-case scenario. 

Repeat it each time and, if you find it helps over the short putts, don’t be afraid to employ it whenever the flatstick is called upon. 

Katie Dawkins
Advanced PGA Professional and freelance contributor

Katie is an Advanced PGA professional with over 20 years of coaching experience. She helps golfers of every age and ability to be the best versions of themselves. In January 2022 she was named as one of Golf Monthly's Top 50 Coaches.

Katie coaches the individual and uses her vast experience in technique, psychology and golf fitness to fix problems in a logical manner that is effective - she makes golf simple. Katie is now based at the stunning Hamptworth Golf Club on the edge of the New Forest. An experienced club coach, she developed GardenGOLF during lockdown and as well as coaching at Hamptworth she freelances, operating via pop-up clinics and travelling to clients homes to help them use their space to improve. 

She has coached tour pros on both LET tour and the Challenge Tour as well as introduced many a beginner to the game. 

Katie has been writing instructional content for magazines for 20 years. Her creative approach to writing is fuelled by her sideline as an artist.