Was there a better moment in golf than Corey Pavin's second shot on the 18th hole of the
1995 U.S. Open? That screaming 4-wood that carved its way through the wind and cascaded
down upon the green about 5-feet from the cup. Was that not awesome? Was there anything
as exciting as that in the history of the game?
Well, okay, maybe there were a couple of better moments? I guess Jack's heroic shot on
the 16th hole during the '86 Masters was pretty sweet. And there was Bob Tway's bunker
shot during the '86 PGA. And I guess you could throw in Johnny Miller's "out of nowhere"
win at the '94 Pebble Beach Pro-am. Heck, for that matter, you could even toss in my win at the
1987 LA-Z-BOY Junior Open. But nevertheless, Corey Pavin will always be a legend for what
he did at Shinnecock.
The reason I bring up Corey at this time is because I love the guy. He is one of
my favorites on Tour, and it pains me to see him struggling the way he has. And yet
as much as Corey has struggled with his game, there is one thing that he remains really good
at, and that is putting. Corey may not be able to take it 350 off the tee like Tiger, but the guy
can definitely roll his ball.
That leads us to this week's tip.
I was out on the practice green a couple of days ago trying a few things. One of which was
Corey's method of putting. Let me tell you that it is a great way to putt.
At first glance, it appears that Corey has just a normal technique. He sets up
like your basic Tour player. He doesn't use a long putter or a cross-handed method.
He doesn't stand sidesaddle like Sam Snead. So he looks fairly normal. Until you
look at his grip, that is. This is where the genius lies in respect to Corey Pavin's putting. His grip.
Whereas a normal player's putting grip basically just has the hands (palms) facing each
other, Corey's does not. He rotates his hands so his palms face outward (in front of him).
This totally locks his wrists in place because they can't bend back and through on the angle
they are set. From there, he can just stroke the ball with a total pendulum motion of his arms
and shoulders. It's very simple. It's very repeatable. It's won Corey many tournaments.
It's something I suggest you try.
Now I am not saying that you need to stop what you are doing and go try this method
right know. Nor am I saying that this is necessarily the right thing for you. But I do
think it warrants an attempt and could possibly create some magic for you.
Here is how to do it.
Set up as you normally would. (stance, ball position, etc.)
With your hands on the putter, turn them out a bit. You can keep any
over lap of your fingers that you might have, just turn the hands out.
The right hand (bottom hand) should turn clockwise. The left hand (top hand)
should turn counter-clockwise. About ¼ to ½ of a turn is fine for both.
Note: Your elbows should feel like they come closer to your body and brush up against your sides.
Stroke the putt. It should feel real solid, like your arms and wrists are locked
in and you are stroking a triangle. Hopefully, it will go in the hole!
Mix this in to your practice regime and you may just find that putting stroke you have been
Columns ©1999 Joseph K. Sullivan and GolfLink Inc. All rights reserved.