Thursday, November 29, 2012

Pendulum Putting


                After yesterday’s exciting announcement, I’m sure many of us headed straight back to the garage to figure out the perfect pendulum putting stroke – the legal way.  As someone who has struggled mightily with the putter in the last few years, I have a few instruction tips that I have used for many of my students.

1.            Rotation – The perfect pendulum putting stroke results from smooth rotation.  Think of your shoulders and spine as a T.  The only movement you’re looking for is to make the top of the T swing back and forth.  Frequently, amateurs are stuck making the mistake of swinging with the hands.  This tends to introduce a less fluid motion and leads to a breaking of the wrists that is the most common cause of the “yips.”

2.            Swing with your back – This is a phrase you probably haven’t heard before.  Next time you’re practicing on the putting green set up to the golf ball as you would for a normal putt.  Then, start the putting stroke with your back muscles, using them to turn your shoulders, which then moves the putter.  It’s not easy and it takes practice but it’s a great way to feel your shoulders rotate properly and not swing the putter with your hands.  Tucking in your elbows to your torso is particularly helpful for this drill.

3.            The color of the grass beneath the ball – This is probably the greatest question I was ever asked as a student and have ever asked as a teacher, “What color is the grass beneath the golf ball?”  Of course it’s green, but how could you know for sure unless you’re looking at that spot after the golf club has struck the ball?  Especially in putting, it is important to focus on the golf ball and not the putter during your stroke.  Make sure you’re looking for that spot underneath the golf ball well after you finish your putting stroke, and preferably until you hear the ball roll into the hole.  As a drill, practice 3 footers where you never look for the golf ball until after you hear it hit the hole liner.

 

                If you can implement these three lessons into your putting you’re bound to become a more fluid, pendulum-like putter, with or without the anchor.

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