Putting is the most important shot in golf and accounts for almost half of total strokes. If you improve putting, it’s the best way to lower your score, and it all starts with practice and technique.

Improve putting and become a putting machine with these tips from Mike Poe, general manager at Quintero Golf Club.

Test your vision

You can’t read putts unless you can judge the speed of surface properly. It is best to view your put from several angles, not from behind the ball. From this view, point the club at the ball and then pass it over an imaginary line running from the ball to the hole at the same speed you want it to roll.

This helps the eyes and brain move the arms and putter with the correct amount of energy. Your eyes will naturally adjust to different greens and have the ability to correlate the amount of speed needed for the stroke.

Remain motionless

During a putt, your body should “feel inward,” meaning your knees and elbows are pulled toward your body’s center. This keeps your weight centered and body completely motionless during the stroke. Your arms and shoulders are the only parts that should move.

Roll, don’t hit

The key to distance control is to roll the ball, not to hit it. In order to achieve this, take a shoulder width stance with your weight slightly more on the target side and putter shaft slightly leaning toward the target. Having this stable position makes it easier to feel the lead arm following the target line. Once you have hit the ball, be sure to keep the backstroke and follow through equal lengths.

Develop a routine

Every shot taken should have a routine, especially putts. This allows you to practice good habits and not overthink your mechanics. If you don’t prepare correctly, you might continue to miss putts.

Start by reading green’s grain, slope and elevation and surveying the line of the putt. Then, visualize and feel the routine from behind the ball with a few practice swings rather than beside the ball. Next and most importantly, align the shot with the line marked on the ball or the logo to point it in the exact direction you need the ball to roll with the putter square to the target line. Lastly, remember to think less before the shot because the more you stand over the ball the more time there is to disconnect and overthink the stroke.

With more than 20 years of experience in the golf industry, Mike Poe is head of the golf program at Quintero Golf Club. Located near Lake Pleasant in Peoria, Quintero Golf Club has been ranked the Best Public Golf Course by Golf Digest and Golf Weekly Magazine. For more information, visit quinterogolf.com.