Tuesday Tip: Sink More Putts With Three Keys From Rory McIlroy
“Drive for show, putt for dough.” How many times have you heard that one? Probably too much, but the old golf adage rings true from the professional ranks all the way down to that three-footer you have to break 90. The “dough” has only increased on tour, making putts all the more important to make. Case in point — Rory McIlroy making birdie on the 18th hole at the 2023 Hero Dubai Desert Classic on Monday for a just over $1.5 million winner’s check. No matter what you’re putting for the next time you play, copying a few of McIlroy’s fundamentals can give you a nice foundation to lean on when you need to make one. Here’s what to focus on: Have a proper putting posture . When McIlroy gets settled into a putt, he has the same posture over the ball every single time. There’s no hunch, no excessive knee bend — it looks just right. Putting posture is easy to copy, too. Before you address a putt, put your feet together, align the putter to the ball, take your stance with straight legs, then bend from your hips and flex the knees slightly. You’ll feel more centered and the eyes will be over the ball, which is ideal for a good putting stroke. Think “flow” not “jab.” A lot of golfers make the mistake of taking the putter back nicely but then approach impact with a quick jab. This steers the putt offline right off the bat. McIlroy does an excellent job of being free-flowing with his putter — once it’s pulled back, the club comes through with the same motion. Once you get over the ball, this isn’t the time to try to help the ball into the hole with a jerky motion. Let your putterhead flow naturally. Keep your head steady. It can be hard not to “peek” and see where your putt is headed but since the putting stroke is so short, even the slightest look up can ruin a perfect stroke. McIlroy goes all the way through impact without moving his head, which helps him stay in posture and makes it easier to stroke the ball solidly — right into the center of the cup.