The putting stroke is a part of the golf game that causes many golfers to under perform.
However if you can master the technique that I describe below, you will not have that problem.
The biggest obstacle to mastering this technique will be you --- because if you do not attempt to perform the technique of the interaction the arms during the putting stroke - i,e. using the left arm to physically pull the putter head inside the target line whilst the right arm is simultaneously and gradually straightened - (both arm actions performed simultaneously whilst the shoulders are stationary) - you will not achieve a perfect putting stroke and therefore fail to get the consistency that is required to be a very good putter.
This is an action that flyes in the face of logic, who on earth would pull the putter head slightly inside the target line whilst the right hand pushes the putter head through the contact area, well I tried it and had a remarkable result and so will you, if you dare.
The stance you should adopt for
my technique is almost identical to the stance required
for the full golf swing except that the left shoulder is only slightly higher
than the right shoulder and the body is arched
over the ball, so that the eyes look directly down
on the target line, but with the left eye positioned
directly over the ball.
The feet should be placed slightly
closer together than the full golf swing stance and
the weight of the body balanced
about 90 % over the left leg throughout the putting movement.
However it is the set up of the
upper body that is the key to being able to putt well.
The triangular shape to the upper body is
maintained throughout the putting stroke by keeping
the elbows close as possible and the putter
is held with the wrists locked so that as the shoulders rotate back and forth, the putter moves in complete synchronization.
The action of keeping the elbows
held close together throughout the complete putting
stroke will reinforce the compact upper body unit
so that the unit remains is a solid and stable condition
as the putting stroke is performed.
At the address position the elbows are held as close
together as is physically possible, the shoulders
are held at an angle so that the left shoulder is
slightly higher than the right shoulder.
Therefore because of the sloping
shoulder line, at the address position the left arm
will be perfectly straight, whilst the right arm is
held in a slightly folded condition, with the putter
square to the target line and held with a firm grip
so that the club face does not twist out of alignment
whilst the putting stroke in performed.
The ball position should be just
left of centre of the stance, but with the left eye
directly over the line of the putt and directly over
the centre of the ball, but importantly, once this
position is set, it is vital that the position of
your head is held firmly in place until well after the ball has been
Gripping the Putter.
The grip that I use is a conventional
grip where the back of the left hand is facing the
The position of the hands is also
conventional, for example, overlap grip with the right
hand lower than the left hand.
Both hands grip the putter very
The main reason why the putter
face either "closes" or "opens"
at the moment of impact is because the golfer allows
the left hand to grip the putter too hard.
Therefore whilst carrying out the
putting stroke it is very important that the shoulders,
the arms, the hands remain compact as the
putter head swings back and forth.
This is where the practice strokes
are important, they mentally prepare yourself for
the actual process of putting.
To check whether the head position
is correct at the address position, if you drop an
imaginary plumb line from your left eye down to the
ground, two things will indicate the correct position:-
1) The centre of the plumb line
weight should be hovering directly over the target
2) The plumb line weight should
hover over a position over the centre of the ball.
Adopt a habit of keeping the putter head square to the target line at all times especially as the right arm fully straightens and simultaneously the left hand pulls the club head slightly inside the target line after the ball is struck.
This practice routine does two
things for your putting action, first of all it will program your body with the correct movement, but importantly
it allows you to concentrate solely on the length
of the back swing that is required to hit the ball the required distance.
Although I hold the upper body unit firmly together so that it rocks back and forth as a solid one piece unit, when it comes to the role of the hands in the putting action, the left hand controls the alignment of the putter head. What I mean by that is that I concentrate to make sure the left hand keeps the putter head square to the target line at all times whilst the right hand pushes the club head through the contact area.
When putting, you must ensure that the putter face is square to the intended target line - BEFORE - it makes contact with the ball, but equally important, and you must continue to hold the putter head square to the intended target line as the putter head moves - PAST - the original ball position with slicing action.
At the precise moment the putter head strikes the ball, the shoulders stop rotating, albeit for a millisecond, whilst the right arm is gently fully straightened thus pushing the putter head through the contact area whilst simultaneously the left hand gently simply ensures that the putter is held square to the target line whilst it is pulled inside the parallel to the target line.
Throughout the forward putting stroke, all of the power is controlled with the right hand whilst the left hand keeps the putter head square to the target line and simultaneously pulls the putter inside the parallel to the target line.
You must - NOT - allow the putter face to open or close, relative to the intended target line as the putter head moves into and through the contact area.
Whilst the compact upper body unit is stopped from rotating (albeit only for a millisecond ) at the precise moment the putter head strikes the ball, the right arm is gradually fully straightened and simultaneously the left arm gently pulls the left hand inside the target line at the same speed as the right arm straightens, however you must ensure that the putter head remains square to the target line for a few inches before the ball is struck and remains so until well after the ball has been struck.) ( See Video)
The putting action is a mini form of the interaction of the arms as performed in the full golf swing where the right arm is forced into the fully straightened position after impact so remember, whilst the arms interact, the shoulders remain absolutely still.
This requires the maximum concentration and this method is
only way to ensure that the ball consistently travels along the intended line of the putt.
At the address position hold the
putter head square to the target line and keep the elbows held
close together and focus on the alignment of the putter face.
Therefore whilst keeping the elbows held close together, rock the shoulders by raising the right shoulder and simultaneously dropping the left shoulder and ensuring that the compact upper body unit rotates as a one piece unit, thereby pushing the putter into the back swing movement, however you must continue to hold the putter head square to the line of the putt.
However, as the upper body rotates thus pushing the putter back, allow the right arm
to fold a wee bit more than it was at the address position.
Maintain the slight bend in the right arm throughout the forward stroke as the rotational movement of the compact upper body unit returns the putter head back to the original address position, but keep the left arm in overall control of the alignment of the putter head, because this is where the accuracy comes in.
As soon as the putter head touches the ball, stop the shoulders from rotating.
Therefore whilst the shoulders stop rotating, the right arm is gently fully straightened thus pushing the putter head through the contact area, but importantly, whilst the right arm is gently fully straightened, simultaneously the left hand gently pulls the club head slightly inside the target line, but the putter head must remain square to the target line as putter head moves through the contact area for that extra few inches past the ball, so concentrate on the left hand to keep the putter head square to the target line.
What you are basically doing whilst the compact upper body stops rotating, is using the right hand to gently push the putter through the contact area whilst simultaneously the left hand gently pulls the putter head inside the target line, performing an interaction of the arms in a similar fashion that you perform in the full golf swing but on a smaller scale, but always with the putter head held square to the target line.
As the putting action is performed
you must keep the elbows held close together. and above all, you must concentrate so that you actually see the putter head make contact with the ball.
An important aspect of the putting
stroke is that once you have decided the line of the
putt, you must rely on the mechanical movement of
the putting stroke and perform the complete putting
stroke whilst your head is held firmly in fixed frontal position and while the putter head remains square to the target line.
Most golfers allow the eyes to
follow the movement of the ball as it rolls towards
towards the target point.
However if you wish to dramatically
improve your putting technique, it is absolutely vital
that you totally concentrate your focus on keeping the putter head square to the target line as you perform the putting stroke.
This means that despite the fact
that the ball will move as soon as the putter makes
contact with the ball, you must continue to concentrate
on the alignment of the putter head.
As you make your practice strokes,
keep your head in the original address position and
in the Fixed Frontal condition and totally focus on
the alignment of the putter head.
Make about four or five practice
movements prior to attempting to strike the ball, keeping the
eyes directly over the target line and keeping the putter head square to the target line.
Therefore to move the ball
on the line you intend, you have to concentrate so that the
putter face remains square to the target line as the putter swings into and beyond the ball whilst the left hand pulls the squarely aligned putter head slightly inside the target line.
I cannot stress how important it
is to keep your eyes totally focused on the alignment
of the putter as the putter is moved back and forth.
Whilst on the green, if your fellow competitor asks
you to move the marker, when it is agreed the position
where the ball marker should be placed, if your marker
has a motif on one side and a shiny surface on the
other side, when you place the marker down in the
new position, ensure that you place the marker on
the green with the shiny side up.
When it is your turn to putt, seeing the ball marker
turned upside down will remind you that the ball marker
needs to be replaced in the correct position before
taking your putt.
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