Golf Tips - Thoughts on Putting by the Best Putters Ever

By Myrtle Beach Golf School / Peter Anderson

I would like to quote (or paraphrase) what some of the best putters of all time had to say about putting, in hopes that one of the phrases might help you develop a better concept to utilize in your own game.

Bobby Locke, a South African who won 6 of the 13 U.S professional tournaments in which he competed in 1947, was regarded by his peers as the finest putter who ever played professional golf. Billy Casper said of him: "In Locke's hands the putter was a magic wand that waifs balls into the cup from anywhere." Lloyd Mangrum claimed: "That blankety blank Locke was able to hole a putt over 60 feet of peanut brittle - I never saw anything equal to it." Gary Player has said that: "To compare anyone of his era to Locke as a putter, is like comparing a donkey to a race horse."

With credentials like these I would be very remiss indeed not to include Mr. Locke's thoughts on putting and style:

"My putting mechanics are designed to produce an element of top spin to the ball so that it will stay on course all the way to the hole."

"I take the club back very low, and to the inside of the target line, with the face of my club slightly hooded throughout the swing."

"I try to keep my head steady throughout the stroke, but feel that I create the correct path and energy through a slight hip rotation."

"I am very aware of the weight of the putter throughout the swing, and to promote this feel I hold the club very softly at its end."

"Mechanically, I attempt never to allow independent hand action into the shot. I try to keep the same relationship from my left elbow to the head of my putter, throughout both back & forward swings."

The great Bobby Jones, whose putting was just as exceptional as the rest of his game, believed that from two or three feet one should just work the hands, but "for any putts more substantial the shoulders then the hips should be added to the stroke."

Walter Hagen also used a full unhurried swing, with a slightly hooded backswing, "so that my clubface makes contact higher on the ball."

Bob Charles, the great left-handed golfer from New Zealand, who is considered the best long putter in the game, uses a pendulum type stroke featuring his shoulders and carries the "don't work the hands" doctrum through his left elbow as well. He cautions that after a certain length " the club might work too muck up with this technique."

Jack Nicklaus, who has certainly made his share, considers, "confidence feel, and square contact, to be the over riding factors." And..."Mechanics are open to change, with practice being the true key to putting."

There have been any number of articles written on the art of putting, but most of the people who penned them have changed their techniques a number of times both before and after selling their articles, so don't expect too much from any of them, or from mine either for that matter. Putting is not a science, nor is it truly an art. Putting, in my opinion, is best described as a responsibility. Work with it for a while - I promise you positive results. *


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