Hands On Grip
1. Ball Position
One of the most important factors in golf is the ball position. Don't forget it is the back of the ball that you are stroking with the putter, and not the centre. I always teach that the back of the ball is in the middle of your stance, or slightly forward of this, if you are using a square-to-square stroke.
2. Grip Equally In Both Hands
Gripping the putter can be done in so many ways, but it is important not to have a dominant hand, as you are looking for a relaxed combination of shoulders, arm and hands for a smooth stroke.
3. A Relaxed Grip
I like to see the putter relaxed in your hand - it is necessary to control the putter head, as it can weigh as much as half a kilo. It is important to lock the grip in your hands with the soft thumb pad in both hands, and the forefinger on your left - this will help to stop the
4. Putting Stance
Your feet should feel comfortably apart, never too narrow, and your weight should be biased towards your toes - not as most people tend to address the ball with the weight on their heels. The top half of your body should be towards a horizontal position, ie your shoulders, neck and back of your head. If you are standing too upright, there is a tendency to direct the weight of your body towards your heels.
You should be looking straight down over the ball and through the centre of your eye and not out of the lower part of the eye.
5. Putter Shaft Length
It is important to realise that the length of the shaft is the predominant factor in getting your eyes directly over the ball, as this is important for getting a consistence in reading the putting line from ball to hole, or target point.
To grip your putter at the right length:
- Address a golf ball in your normal putting position;
- Now have a friend plumb bob the line from your eyes to the ball;
- With a relaxed grip move yourself backward or forward until you have a perfect vertical position from eye line to ball;
- Mark the position and use it in future putts. Your eyes will now consistently be over the ball.
Perfect Pendulum Swing
6. The Stroke - Keep Your Legs Still
Whilst it is important to get your upper body and balance position correct, one of the most crucial parts of your putting stroke is to understand is the positioning of the legs - actually your knees. The easiest way to stop your lower body moving during your putting stroke is to make yourself knock-kneed. This will automatically put your weight onto the inside of the sole of your shoes. Now, if you make a stroke you will see that the lower body, legs and knees stay still. Try putting a toilet roll between your knees and practice your stroke. Positive stroke isn't it? And no lower movement!
7. Stroke Through the Ball with a Shorter Back Stroke
You never, ever hit at the ball! You stroke through it. If the ball is hit with a sharp hammer type stroke, the first few inches of the ball's movement will be airborne. Try putting with a quarter distance back stroke and a longer three-quarter distance follow through. This will lead to greater acceleration. Now you will find that the ball gets to roll much quicker than before - it stays straighter longer and fights against taking the break (if there is one).
8. Hold the Club Head under Control after your stroke
If you watch your playing partners or pros on TV, see what happens. First the back stroke, then the through the ball stroke and then their finish. Yes - what about the finish? Normally the club head recoils. Try having a practice putting stroke where the finish is held still. This will give you a different feel - more positive - I'm in control!!