Putting Setup

Learn the proper setup for putting left hand low.

64x64
stephen
If you align your body parallel square to a spot on the ground in front of the ball that recognizes the break in the green at which you should aim to hole the ball, and simply take a pendulum swing at the ball aiming at the ball in the upper one-third quadrant as one would with a cue ball in pool, the strike will be square with good roll, simple to execute and the eyes only have to look at the ball at rest. No need to worry about guiding the ball with hand eye coordination
May 9, 2021
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stephen. Thanks for the suggestion. There are many ways to skin the putting cat.
May 10, 2021
64x64
Stuart
Another question, how would I do this for my left eye dominance?
September 26, 2020
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Nothing would change here Stuart. Eye dominance just has more of an advantage for those that are trail eye dominant with this sort of setup. I am left eye dominant myself and I putt more conventional as a result. Use this video I created to help you with whichever grip you intend to use...https://rotaryswing.com/golf-instruction-videos/short-game-advanced/putting/the-secret-to-becoming-a-great-putter
September 26, 2020
64x64
Stuart
I notice Chuck separates the 2 hands which is not just switching which hand is low but also not joining them. Is there a reason for this?
September 26, 2020
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Stuart, this separation in the hands is used as way to delete all trail hand usage. You can join them closer together if you prefer. You might need to play around with it a little bit to see how your feel for distance is, as well as the face being as square as you can get it at the point of contact.
September 26, 2020
64x64
Brian
Hi Craig, I am putting left hand low but missing a lot of puts to the right. Any drills for helping keep the face square at impact. Many thanks. Brian
September 7, 2020
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Are you making solid contact? Sure it isn't your aim? If not the aim you sound tense through the release area. Let me see if I can find some drills. Usually the issue comes down to tension and trying to force the stroke with the hands and not letting the proper rocking of the shoulders be the star of the show.
September 7, 2020
64x64
Brian
Hi Craig, many thanks. I will try and rock the shoulders more while keeping an eye on my alignment. Any drills you find would be a great help. Thanks again. Brian
September 7, 2020
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Article and video in the blog. Even though that is conventional grip. The rock discussion will help. https://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-lessons-blog/putting-tip-how-to-rock-your-shoulders-for-a-pure-putting-stroke/
September 7, 2020
64x64
Brian
Many thanks for you help Craig. All the best. Brian
September 7, 2020
64x64
Jim
What is the best way to ensure the putter is square and not subtly closed or open. I think this is one of my major problems.
July 19, 2020
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jim. Marking a line on the ground with the line on the putter is helpful. We will have lots of new putting data coming out soon to explore. Sadly, this is one of those elements where you have to practice and constantly check to see how you are aiming face in relation to where you are trying to putt.
July 20, 2020
64x64
Jens
If i hit the putter on the upswing with a vertical shaft at setup, wont i be putting backspin on the ball? Feels intuitive to me that you want to put topspin, or is that wrong?
July 4, 2020
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Jens. You aren't looking for a lot of loft at impact. Very slight and more at the equator of the ball. Think about it like a wedge. Steep AOA and downward strike gives it tons of backspin.
July 5, 2020
64x64
Kevin
I was curious about the left arm connection...I've read some articles talking about keeping the left arm (elbow) connected to your side to help the putter move through and the toe to close - arcing move. Would you recommend a similar setup with the left arm and the body
June 17, 2019
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. The putter face won't have a lot of rotation lead hand low. Ideally, I wouldn't want you gluing the lead arm to your side have the body motion steering more of the face.
June 17, 2019
64x64
Sean
Hi, What changes should I make if I'm left eye dominant?
May 25, 2019
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Sean. Take a look at the very bottom of this forum page. Chris has a discussion with another student about left eye dominance. Last Thread.
May 26, 2019
64x64
Stan
You are not clear or even talk about the actual position of the putter in your hands,,,fingers,,,palm/// Position of the right on the club....???
July 10, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Stan. The trail hand placement is personal preference running through the lifeline. Some have it connected, high, and claw/spilt, etc. The main thing is placing it to where it won't interfere with the stroke. Like it isn't even there. The lead hand should be running through the life line of the palm.
July 10, 2018
64x64
David
What about ball position for those of who are left eye dominant and also right handed?
June 7, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Ball position will remain the same. The good news is your peripheral vision being lead eye dominant will be able to handle the movement without feeling like you have to move the head to track the ball.
June 7, 2018
64x64
Ed
This is great website with lots of great tips but 80% of every video is what not to do.
May 27, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hell Ed. Thank you for the compliments. Some players need to see what the commons faults are because they don't know how to diagnose their own swing. But, appreciate the constructive criticism.
May 28, 2018
64x64
Ryan
For reference, how close should you be standing to the ball? Looks like Chuck is about 2 balls away from his lead instep of his foot.
March 10, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Hinge until you can see the ball. Your eye line should be on top, or just inside the ball line.
March 10, 2018
64x64
Ryan
How close should your feet be to the ball?
March 12, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. If you hinge properly from the hip sockets and fix the eyeline. The distance from the ball will be correct with the feet.
March 12, 2018
64x64
gordon
When putting should the weight distribution be preferentially preloaded onto the lead foot as with chipping? Regards, Gordon.
March 3, 2018
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gordon. 50/50 over the center of the ankle joints.
March 3, 2018
64x64
Christopher M
In the older RST putting videos, you emphasized that the shoulders and elbows should be vertically aligned upon setup. Does this hold true for the new left hand low setup?
December 30, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Christopher. The shoulders should be square, but the trail arm will actually be under the lead arm.
December 30, 2017
64x64
Daniel
Is your putting posture the same as for full swing? Just looks different to full swing because the club is shorter and more upright?
November 8, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. Your posture will be slightly different than the one used for a full swing. Because the club is shorter and more upright. However, still shy away from having roundness in the shoulders or back.
November 9, 2017
64x64
Daniel
Thanks. How do I go about getting the correct putting posture? I don't know any other way to set up to a golf ball now other than the one used for the full swing. I just let the club dictate how far I stand from the ball
November 11, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. Exactly. You will still hinge from the hips. Make sure your eye line is over to slightly inside the golf ball when hinging forward and you are still able to place the arms in the proper position.
November 11, 2017
64x64
Daniel
By placing the arms in the proper position do you mean keeping the left arm almost straight with little bend (left hand low) as bending it more would appear to mean you needed to stand closer to the ball?
November 12, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. You want to keep the lead arm straight. Bending it too much would require much closer position.
November 12, 2017
64x64
Daniel
Havent seen anything about getting in the box for putting. Is this something we should do or is it just for the full swing? What about for other short game shots?
November 2, 2017
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Daniel, always a good idea to be in the box for all shots including putting and short game shots.
November 2, 2017
64x64
Daniel
Thanks! For the box is it just back with the shoulders in with the blades and down towards your lats the getting into your putting posture?
November 3, 2017
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Yep, you got it.
November 4, 2017
64x64
Ryan
Looking at Chuck's setup, it looks like his left and right arm, specifically his bicep are touching his rib cage. Is that accurate? If so, during the stroke should your arms be touching your ribs/side throughout the stroke?
October 11, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. They are grazing the sides at setup. You don't want to glue your arms to your side throughout the stroke because you would have the tendency to change spine angle/tilt versus rock your shoulders.
October 11, 2017
64x64
Tyler (Certified RST Instructor)
Is there a reason you keep your hands separate? Is there a reason you shouldn't overlap your right index finger over your left hand at all?
September 19, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tyler. The trail hand placement is personal preference. Some have it a little high and others claw/spilt, etc. I understand it may take some time. But, placing it where you feel it won't inhibit the stroke.
September 19, 2017
64x64
Bradley
In an older video where Chuck was demonstrating with a conventional putting grip, he said that both forearms should be aligned with the shaft. Putting with left hand low, it feels uncomfortable to try to achieve this alignment with the right arm. Is it okay for the right forearm not to align with the shaft when putting left hand low?
July 6, 2017
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Bradly, yes, that is certainly fine!
July 6, 2017
64x64
Rob
What stance width do you use in the putting setup? A little wider than NJA? Rob
April 20, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Rob. Standard 2 Inches outside NJA is perfectly fine for putting setup. You may see some RST'ers going slightly narrower. But, the base line is still stock 2 Inch setup.
April 21, 2017
64x64
William
I am practicing left hand low based on your videos and I like how I'm striking the ball but I have two questions: (1) - I'm having a problem getting my right hand comfortable. I'm trying to keep the grip light so I don't revert to pushing with the right hand. Any recommendations as to where on the grip to place the right hand (high on the grip, slightly split hands or cupped hands) and the type of grip (conventional, claw, reverse claw)? (2) - on the stroke, should I try to keep the butt end in a fixed position (like a true pendulum, similar to a belly stroke) or should the butt end move back and through with a small arc motion?
March 5, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello William. The trail hand placement is personal preference. Some have it a little high and others claw/spilt, etc. I understand it may take some time. But, placing it where you feel it won't inhibit the stroke. The butt end won't be pointing exactly at your belly button through the stroke, or stay in a fixed position.
March 6, 2017
64x64
JAMES
I just need a clarification to the repeated comment about right hand dominant golfers. I am left handed and play golf right handed. How does that change the putting hand position?
February 13, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello James. With putting lead hand low you will still want your lead hand being the dominant force. Even though you are a lefty, but playing righty. Your left hand (lead) will still be setup as demonstrated in the video.
February 14, 2017
64x64
Steven
What if you are left eye dominant. What changes would you make?
December 20, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Steven. Take a look at the very bottom of this page. Chris discusses his left eye dominance with a student. Reply to his post for more follow up if needed.
December 21, 2016
64x64
Terry
I notice your head moves at impact. One maxim of putting has always been, hold the head still until you hear the ball hit the cup. Then look. Is this movement due to the type of stroke being used? I'll assume that the split-handed grip is a personal choice - don't see any of the pros doing that.
December 14, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Terry. Chuck's neck is fused. It's tough for him to hold it down as you described sometimes. But, yes you should keep your head down until you hear the cup or at least the ball is a few feet off the putter face. A little spacing is personal choice.
December 14, 2016
64x64
Terry
Craig, do you advocate the "all-square" setup - feet, knees, hips, shoulders and head parallel to the putting line? Chuck mentioned a slight "turn" to the head so that the right eye has a view of ball and hole. It would seem that to do so would require a tilt to head which is most likely a wrong move. Yes?
December 14, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Terry. Yes, I advocate an all square setup. It would be a very minimal tilt. Nothing too extravagant. You don't have to make that extra movement.
December 14, 2016
64x64
Terry
Thanks. Merry Christmas!
December 14, 2016
64x64
Evangelos
Hello! Can you explain to me how you grip the club when you use the left hand low, putting stroke? Do you grip the club on your palm like the putting grip you use to teach or ????
December 11, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Evangelos. Yes, you grip it the same using the life line running through the palm.
December 12, 2016
64x64
Evangelos
Thank you, Craig.
December 12, 2016
64x64
Oliver
How do you determine if you are left eye or right eye dominant?
December 6, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Oliver. Stretch your arms out in front of you and form a triangular-shaped hole with your fingers. Look through this hole at an object about 10 feet away, keeping both eyes open. Without moving, close one eye, then the other. The object should appear to move, possibly out of the triangular window, when you close one of your eyes. If it moves, then you are looking through your nondominant eye
December 6, 2016
64x64
Oliver
Thank you.
December 6, 2016
64x64
Ryan
At times the butt end of my putter grip gets "caught up" in my jacket or shirt. Why does that happen and what should I do to correct it? I play a 35" two ball tank putter with super stroke grip for reference and I am 5'10"
December 4, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Your putter might be too long. I am the same height as you and use 34 inch shaft.
December 5, 2016
64x64
Konstantin
Hi, as far as I remember in one of your previous videos the ball position was in the middle of your stance. Did you change the concept? And another question: The local pro saw me on the putting green and told me that I should hold the putter somewhat firmer. (He said too that he had probably never told this anyone before.) I normally hold the putter very lightly and let it work as a pendulum. It even looks like a flip but I just kind of let the putter swing itself. Putting was ok with really good distance control. Now, I tried to kind of lead the putter with somewhat stronger grip and my putting has collapsed. I mean it collapsed completely. I even miss 1.5-2' putts. So how strong should the grip be?
December 4, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Konstantin. For this stroke (lead hand low), the ball will have to be a little more up in the stance to keep the lead arm straighter at setup. The grip on the putter should be enough to control, but I wouldn't use a death grip. Keep it in the lower dimensions of pressure than too much.
December 5, 2016
64x64
Daniel
my stance from toe to toe is about 14 inches wide and I had placed the back edge of the ball in middle of my stance. putt left hand low and finding that the putter face is slightly open at impact. How much far forward should the ball be? An inch further or more?
November 2, 2017
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. It would be hard to diagnose by solely the stance width. Think about it as being slightly behind your lead shoulder socket.
November 2, 2017
64x64
Gary
What do you think about a forward press while putting with the left hand low?
November 29, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Gary. You don't want to add more forward press. Because the ball will have the tendency to hit down into the ground too much.
November 29, 2016
64x64
Joe
I really like this video! I would like to see more golf course management videos.
November 29, 2016
64x64
Hector
what about the weight in the putting? it is 50/50% , more on the right or left foot ? in the ankle or toes?
November 27, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Hector. Weight balance will be 50/50. Center of the ankle joints.
November 28, 2016
64x64
Niall
Is there any rule of thumb regarding how much you should bend over to get the correct putting stance? Should your weight be centred through your ankles in this stance?
November 24, 2016
64x64
Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Niall. Yes, still keep the weight centered over the ankles. With the eye line just inside the ball to keep from bending over too much.
November 25, 2016
64x64
James
What if you are one of the 30% of right handed players who are left eye dominant (like me)? Are we better to start right hand down? Or still go left hand down but have the ball more central? Quite a good article below on eye dominance and its effect on address etc: http://www.golfwrx.com/132361/how-eye-dominance-effects-your-golf-technique/ You might do a video on the effects of the two eye dominances in the future.
November 22, 2016
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi James, I am left eye dominant and I putt with my right hand low. At the end of the day, it is very important to be able to see the correct intended line and get the ball started on the intended line. I have seen the article you posted and there are some interesting points for sure.
November 23, 2016
64x64
Steven
Hi. Are you saying to keep right hand low if you are right handed and left eye dominant or what changes to the stroke would you make if you wan to switch to left hand low in the setup?
December 21, 2016
64x64
Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hi Steven, No, that is not what I was trying to say. I would try to setup and keep the stroke as Chuck describes in this video. I failed to mention that I am also left hand dominant but playing golf right handed so that is why I personally keep more of a conventional grip.
December 22, 2016

Putting left hand low is awesome and will save you a lot of strokes, but you have to make sure you're setup correctly first. A poor setup will lead to just as many missed putts as putting conventional, so that's why I created this golf instruction video.

The first thing to start with is ball position. As I cover in the video, the ball position is critical for both the quality of the strike and the quality of the roll. The ball needs to technically be launched slightly into the air rather than being pounded down into the ground, so the ball position is very important.

This left hand low ball position also sets you up to get a better look at the line the putt is going to roll on. As I talked about in the visualization video, you need to be able to accurately see the line you want the ball to roll on. This helps complete the picture for your brain so that it can best perform the task you are asking of it. If you can't see the line, how do you know where you want the ball to roll?

Setting up to your putt as I prescribe in this video both helps get the ball rolling correctly and helps you better see the line, a win-win for your putting and shooting lower scores!

We're after one thing: Real Results - Real Fast. And that's exactly what our members achieve. And that's why they say the AXIOM is: Mind-blowing. Game changing. Revolutionary.

Check it out ...

Here at RotarySwing, talk is cheap and the proof is always in the pudding. Come see the massive transformations we can achieve together in your swing.

See for yourself ...

From beginner to pro, we have what you need to get you where you want to go.

See how inside ...

RotarySwing was founded out of frustration with the current state of golf instruction. Quinton knew a better way had to exist to learn this game we all love.

Learn more ...