Make More Putts

You can be a world class or tour caliber putter. In other parts of the game, our performance may be limited by our physical strength or flexibility, but not on the greens. Great putting requires fine motor control, which can be learned by anyone as well as imagination and confidence, which can be developed by anyone. You may never drive the ball like Tiger Woods, but if you putted like him you would be shocked how much lower your scores would be.

One of the keys to controlling your putter is creating what I call stability during your stroke. The reason that this is important is that the golf ball’s starting line is largely controlled by the face angle of the club at impact (not the putter’s path) and the centeredness of its hit on the putter. Without stability it is difficult to be consistent with either. There are two areas where you create stability. The first and most important is in your body. You do this by engaging your "core muscles" which will align your pelvis and your spine. Your core muscles, commonly referred to as your body’s natural weight belt, are largely made up of your abdominal muscles, "glutes" and hips. If you have had a Palates class you are familiar with how to do this. If not then give me a call and I can show you how to do it in a couple of minutes. By having core stability as you putt you will eliminate excess hip rotation and head movement. Both keys to returning the face of the club into the ball in a square centered position.

The second area you create stability is in your wrists and elbows. Doing this does not necessitate tension or a firm grip but rather a marrying of the arm swing to shoulder movement. By getting both to move at the same relative rates of speed during your stroke, you can maintain a light grip pressure and not have break downs in your wrists and elbows. The easiest way to feel this is to practice putting with "the claw" grip (Peter Jacobson pictured below), which has been the grip of choice of more than a handful of PGA Tour players. The severe angle in the right wrist created by this kind of grip is easier to maintain as you feel the right wrist and right shoulder work as one unit. Once you get the feel, simply take your normal grip and try and feel the same thing. I think you will find that you have much more control of your club as you putt, and I know more putts will fall as a result. Create stability, putt like Tiger and score better. Good luck! James