Q: Pete writes: "I hear so many different theory's about putting. Is it a straight stroke or an arc or is it based upon the individual? How do I know which is right for me?"
A: Pete - Thanks for your question - it is a big one :)
I don't think there is only one way to putt. There are very smart and skilled players and teachers who believe in both methods. Michael Breed believes in "Straight Back and Through" and Stan Utley is a "curve" stroke guy.
I think the common point is that most people have a natural stroke tendency. This is how you putt when you're not thinking about it. If you feel comfortable with your eyes over the ball and seeing the putter square to the line, then your stroke is probably more straight.
If you see the line better when your eyes are slightly inside the line and it feels natural for the putter to come inside the line back and through, then your stroke is and "on plane" model.
I also think it is important to note that, regardless of your stroke model, when you are hitting a 6' putt the stroke is relatively straight. If you have an arc stroke the putter will come inside 1/4" - not much :)
Each stroke has it's advantages and it's disadvantages and flaw tendencies.
Putts are made because of confidence. Choose the method that makes the most sense to you, you like to "see", and the one you make the most short putts with.
Let me know how your evaluation goes; I'd like to hear about it.
All the best,