Putting, one of the great mysteries of golf. You see it in technique: cross-handed; split-handed; claw. If you want to be a great player, you have to be a great putter. While there are many varieties of putting stokes and putters, you still need to learn strong putting fundamentals. No matter which method you prefer, these putting techniques will help you on the greens.
One of the keys to being a good putter is that you need to have your head, your eyes, your club, your stroke and your intent all going in the same direction. That would be to the high point of the break.
One of the rules of putting technique which I like all my students to follow is that if it does not need to move then it should not move. What I mean by this is that the wrists, the elbow joints, the arms from the shoulder joints the hip joints, or any part of your body that does not need to move should not move.
Keep the putting stroke as simple as possible. A little drill which is very common and one that everyone can benefit from is to take your golf umbrella and put it under your arms just above your elbows trapped against your body. From here without the putter just practice rotating your body and shoulders around the axis of your back. Feel the shape of your arms and shoulders staying intact so that there is no movement from the wrists, elbows or arms from the shoulders.
One of the accepted truths of the putting stroke is that the putter should travel straight back and straight through. Any attempt to do this can only be done by manipulating the forearms or the wrists. Now under pressure that type of stroke will never hold up. What the putter should do is just like the full swing, as the club swings up it moves up the incline plane which means it has to be coming up the inside. This is going to give the appearance of the club traveling on an arc.
As I bend forward to hit my golf ball, you can see that there will not be any air between my arms and my body. My left arm will extend a little bit as I go back and my right arm would extend a little bit as I go through. If we can get consistent at this, we have a better chance of keeping the face square to the arc during the whole stroke.
There are some things to keeping it simple that make putting simple if you follow them, and one of them is that we are going to try to get a grip that stays so that the clubface does not rotate when you squeeze a little bit.
This is the putting arc, I believe in the system that the putting stoke is a slight arc going back and a slight arc going through, rather than straight back and straight though, although you can putt both ways. Of all the elements of putting: reading the greens; starting the ball on line; believing you can make it, the simplest part is making the stroke, providing you have a stroke that repeats. That is what a tool like this Putting Arc will do for you.
For most putters using the arc stroke, but not all, they will use more of a normal regular left hand grip up on top this way with the thumb on top again straight down but you will show some knuckles right here which allows your forearm to be a little more in a normal golf positions which allows a little more release.
I like to keep everything in the golf swing, everything in the short game, nice and simple. There is nothing complicated about it. To be able to release the putter down the line and to your target the putter has to travel slightly inside. Now I have heard people for years talk about taking the putter straight back. Well if you take the putter straight back the putter is hooded and when you come back through you are going to work the heel or the putter will stay hooded and you are going to pull it. I have never in my life seen a good putter who took the putter straight back.
Every good putter I have ever seen always takes the putter slightly inside the line on the way back so that it can go down the line on the stroke. You always want the putter traveling that way. The one thing that they all have in common is that the putter will always travel slightly inside so that it can release down the line.
With these rules in mind I developed the putting mirror. When I set up to the putting mirror I can see my reflection in the mirror and I can see if my eyes are directly over the ball and over the line to the target. I can see that my shoulders are parallel to the line of the target. I can see that the putter face is perfectly square to the line of the target. As I stroke I can see my head in the mirror and the fact that my head stays perfectly still.
When you are setting up we want you to set your eyes first. Where? Over the target line. Then your blade second. Where, behind the ball on the target line. The last thing we want you to do is set your feet parallel to that target line.
If you do not hit the ball in the middle of the putter then the putter face will twist. If you make contact with the toe then the face will twist open and if I make contact with the heel then the face will twist closed. If you make contact in the middle of the putter then the face will stay square. Also the speed that the ball comes off the face will be much more consistent if you hit it in the middle.