Improving your putting may be the most important element in getting your handicap down.

As a golf instructor for 35 years, I have found there are four specific things high handicappers do that cause bad putting.

• Most poor putters move their lower body when they putt. Moving the lower body causes poor distance control and the putter blade to get off track. Try to lock in and not move your hips and legs when putting.

• Another issue with poor putters is that they take the putter too far back and decelerate on the forward swing. Try to imagine tossing a ball underhand. Your hand hardly goes back at all, while it accelerates and goes through on the forward motion. Try to do the same thing when putting.

• Unlike your golf swing where your forearms rotate and release, the putter head should stay square to the line most of the way. Poor putters tend to turn the toe over during the stroke. Try to eliminate any forearm rotation.

• Putting should be a firm wristed stroke. I see a lot of players break their left wrist through impact. Try to keep the wrists, particularly the left wrist, firm through impact.

Give these things a try and, hopefully, your putting will improve. For information on membership at Desert Hills Golf Club, contact Jim Nodurft at 520-625-5090.

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