Four ways to get a smoother putting stroke
One of the putting trends my colleagues and I have noticed in recent years is more and more club golfers getting ‘stuck’ over the ball on putts. That tends to mean a jerky start to the stroke, compromised rhythm and poor pace control. So here are four tactics you can use to eliminate tension and get the stroke started. Try each one to see which works best for you.
At set-up, a comfortable address puts your thumbs pretty much level with the ball. But a subtle press forward, the back of your lead hand moving towards the target, promotes a natural and instinctive opposing response, with the hands and club sweeping back and away. A great way to banish tension and put motion into a stuttering stroke.
Watch: Jordan Spieth
In starting the stroke smoothly, one of the big problems is asking your arm muscles to both take the weight of the putter and move it back in a controlled fashion. When you already have the weight of the putter, it’s much easier to coordinate the start of the stroke. So experiment with hovering the putter behind the ball before starting back.
Watch: Rickie Fowler
#3: HEAD SWIVEL
Take one last, long look at the hole. But let the swivel of your head back to the ball “kickstart” the stroke; as soon as your eyes are focused on the ball, go. This allows a trained movement of the head to set up a consistent start to the stroke. It has the dual advantage of guaranteeing your picture of the putt is fresh in your mind, and stopping you “freezing” at address.
Watch: Fred Couples
Resting the putter on the ground allows you to secure its position behind the ball, and hovering can hinder that. So as a compromise, try bouncing the putter lightly a couple of times behind the ball before taking it back. This gets some movement into the putter which will add a flowing motion to the putting stroke.
Watch: Steve Stricker