Putting is fingers, hands, eyes and imagination. Anything works in putting. You have to be yourself to putt.
— Ben Crenshaw

Just like in ball striking, we see several “style” stokes that are traditionally taught today:

 

1. "Straight Back, Straight Through" Stroke

2. "Symmetrical Arc" Stroke

3. “Out to in” Stroke

4. “Inside-to-Out” Stroke

5. “Inverted Arc” Stroke (upside down arc stroke)

 

There are great putters with each type of stroke. Which way is correct? Is it advantageous to have a perfect stroke? Is it advantageous to have perfect aim? 

 

 Steve Stricker at address aims to the right (red line) of his intended target line (blue line) with the ball positioned off the heel of his putter. However, he returns the putter face square to the intended line to get the ball rolling towards his target. Is he doing something incorrect? Does he need to fix this?

Steve Stricker at address aims to the right (red line) of his intended target line (blue line) with the ball positioned off the heel of his putter. However, he returns the putter face square to the intended line to get the ball rolling towards his target. Is he doing something incorrect? Does he need to fix this?

 Tiger Woods aims 2.5 degrees to the right of his target at address. At impact, his putter face aims .9 degrees left of the target with ball contact slightly off center towards the toe of the putter face. His technique and score are relatively low. However, his consistency is exceptionally high. Which one is more important to putting well?

Tiger Woods aims 2.5 degrees to the right of his target at address. At impact, his putter face aims .9 degrees left of the target with ball contact slightly off center towards the toe of the putter face. His technique and score are relatively low. However, his consistency is exceptionally high. Which one is more important to putting well?

 

Instead of asking, "how do I practice to make my stroke better," a useful question may be, "how do I practice to make more putts?"

 

 A collection of the great putters: (From left to right, top to bottom) Bobby Jones, Bobby Locke, Horton Smith, Leo Diegel, Ben Hogan, Billy Casper, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Dave Stockton, Steve Striker, Brad Faxon, Luke Donald, Brant Snedeker, Stan Utley, Tiger Woods.

A collection of the great putters: (From left to right, top to bottom) Bobby Jones, Bobby Locke, Horton Smith, Leo Diegel, Ben Hogan, Billy Casper, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Dave Stockton, Steve Striker, Brad Faxon, Luke Donald, Brant Snedeker, Stan Utley, Tiger Woods.

 Which way is correct?

Which way is correct?