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on Plane

Putting on Plane is essential

for accurate putting


Staying on plane to the moment of impact means keeping your putterface square to your putter path, though not necessarily your target line. As long as you stay on plane your putterface should return to your setup position.

  • At setup you aim your putterface along your aimline.
  • If your putter subsequently moves off plane in your backstroke, it will be difficult for you to re-square your putterface at impact.
  • The Putting Triangle formed by your shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands moves backward and then forward into the ball without changing the shape established during your setup.
  • The most reliable putting action is one that uses a pendulum motion.

Putter Paths

There are three usable putter paths, each with their own strong advocates as to the best way to putt.

It does not matter if the path is:

  • inside-square-inside
  • square to square, or
  • inside-square-square

However, it is essential that your putter remains on plane until you have despatched the ball.

In a putter path that moves inside on the backstroke, it can appear that the putterface is opening going back.

The flatter the lie angle of your putter, the more your putterface will appear to open. This is because your putterface is staying square to the inclined plane - it is just not square to your aimline.

Ball Position

Another point to consider is that on an inclined plane your putterface is only square to your aimline at one location and this is at the centre of your stroke. That is why your ball position is critical. For example, if it is too far back, you will contact the ball before your putterface has had time to return to square.


A common fault in putting is allowing your hands and forearms to rotate independently of your shoulders in your backstroke. This changes the shape of your putting triangle causing your putterface to fan open.

As you connect the ball your putterface contacts it in an off-square position that sends the ball to the right. On short putts it can mean the difference of holing or missing the putt.

Putting on Plane

Putting on plane is more critical for accuracy than staying on plane in your full swing shots. In the full swing the plane of the backstroke is typically steeper than that of the forward stroke.

Most good golfers flatten and re-route their downswing as they attack the ball from the inside. In the case of Jim Furyk the difference of 40 degrees in plane angles is easy to see.

Everyone has a preferred putter path. However, whatever your preferred putter path is, your putting triangle must move as one unit. Independent rotation of your hands and forearms will force your putterface off plane and compromise the accuracy of your putting.

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Related Topics

Putting Triangle

pendulum motion

putter paths

ball position

hands and forearms