Originally Posted by dbuck
Try a normal reverse overlap grip first. Assuming you are right handed, the four fingers of the right hand are on the club, and the left forefinger overlaps between your pinky and the next finger of your right hand. Just like a Vardon full swing grip except the left overlaps the right. Don't extend either forefinger down the shaft. The grip should be firm enough to hold a tube of toothpaste without dropping it, but not enough to squeeze any out.
Don't slump too much, the knees lightly flexed and chest and knees squared parallel to the intended line. Outside of your feet about even with the outside of your shoulders or slightly more. Bend forward at the waist until your eyes are directly over the line.
The above assumes the putter is about the correct length; your arms should hang comfortably neither bunched up nor stretched.
Try all this first. There are as many variations from this as there are successful putters, but try the standard easy way first.
Analyze your misses. On a level 10-12 ft putt, are you wide, long, or short? If you are wide, first check your eye position over the ball. You can't roll the ball on the line if you can't see it. If your eyes are not over the ball, your angle is distorted.
There are basically 2 standard ways of swinging a putter; straight back and straight through, and back with the toe opening, then forward with the toe closing. Either way, the putter should be traveling square along the line when it strike the ball. Put down 3 tees in the practice green, one at the ball, one behind, and one ahead about an inch or 2 apart. Put three directly across just slightly wider than your putter head. place the ball between the middle tees off the sweet spot of your putter. Swing the putter back and through between the tees. You are making a little training trough. This helps you start the ball on line.
I don't know any way to learn distance other than by practice. It is important that your stroke be consistent and rhythmic to have procuctive practice for distance, and the above excercise helps with that. Then put 3 balls at 15 feet and practice a rhythmic stroke that puts them six inches past the cup on a level putt. Then do the same at 20 feet, then move up to 10. Then put one ball at 10, then 20, then 15. Practice short 3-4 foot putts to a tee or dime instead of the hole.
Next step, know the physics of green reading, but this post is already too long, LOL.