The most common compensation around the putting green is not faulty speed or incorrect line of the ensuing putt, but the ability to align oneself with the intended line of the putt. The face of the putter is king and will have the most direct influence on the direction the ball starts, followed by the path of the putter (i.e., if your stroke goes out-to-in, or in-to-out, or does not travel around the intended arc of the putting stroke).
I believe that your putting stroke should be straight back and straight through for a putt of 10 feet or less, consequently when your distance from the whole is greater, you’re putting stroke will begin to arc automatically because the length of the stroke is longer and you are swinging one object around another object. Regardless of your putting philosophy, the face must stay square or perpendicular to the arc.
That bit of technological lesson-speak aside, the player must make sure that he is indeed aligning himself on the correct line. “If your arrows do not fly straight it is difficult to aim.”
Most players believe that they are aiming their body down the correct path, but when put onto a putting board or alignment tool it shows their intended line to be too far right at set up or too far left. This will cause the player to pull the ball back towards the intended line or push it, resulting in some compensation that will affect both the face of the putter and the path of the club.
Make sure that your set up and alignment are correct prior to working on face and path. Just imagine how difficult it would be to repeat the same motion if your internal compass was incorrect and did not give you the correct information each time you used it.
Make sure that you have some type of alignment aid, several choices are available; the putting arc, the putting board or any of the Pelz putting tracks. All can be purchased at the Black Gold Golf Shop. I also offer a 45 min. putting lesson on alignment and the drills associated with using these tools correctly.