Putting Techniques Top Four




We can establish that a wristy putting stroke is going to do more harm than good in your game. But how do you get from one point to the other? If you’ve been using a wristy stroke for some time, it is going to be pretty difficult to switch. The recipe for making the change to a pendulum stroke is going to involve an understanding of the basic techniques and plenty of practice. Bring together solid fundamentals and time spent on the practice green, and your putting performance will be well on its way to significant improvement.

When you are ready to practice your new pendulum stroke, pay attention to the following keys.

  • Build a strong base. The pendulum stroke is all about limiting movement to the greatest extent possible. You should be trying to take the moving parts out of your swing, and that starts with your lower body. Move your feet outside of shoulder width apart and put plenty of flex in your knees. At address, you should feel solid, balanced, and comfortable.
  • Free arm hang. One of the keys to a flowing pendulum stroke is to allow your arms to hang freely down from your shoulders at address. When you let your arms hang down freely, they will be able to move back and through the ball without encountering any interference. Players with a poor stance will sometimes be ‘crowded’ over the ball, their torso interfering with the arm swing. Be sure to tilt from your hips enough to create space between your arms and your torso. While taking this position, however, keep your chin up to avoid hunching over the ball.
  • Using a solid grip. More than anything else, it is going to be your grip that is going to help you transition to a pendulum stroke. When you hold the club properly, it will actually be hard to use your wrists actively – meaning this transition is going to become much easier. When you hold the putter at address, be sure to have the grip of the club running up into your palms. This style of grip would not work at all for a full swing, because you wouldn’t be able to hinge your wrists, and that is exactly the point. You’ll take control of the club away from your hands and wrists with this adjustment. With the grip running up into your palms, the only easy way to swing the putter back and through will be to use your shoulders in a rocking motion.
  • Master the first move. It is really the first move away from the ball that is going to determine how the rest of your stroke functions. If you are able to start the motion of the putter by moving your left shoulder down toward the ground, you are in great shape. If, on the other hand, it is your wrists that start the action, you are almost certainly destined to fail even though you’ve just begun. When you stand over the ball preparing to putt, think about using your shoulders to start to stroke. As long as you begin the right way, the rest of the stroke will be very likely to cooperate.

When you look at it in list form, learning how to make a pendulum stroke doesn’t seem to be all that complicated. And it isn’t. You need to build a strong base at address, let your arms hang freely, find a solid grip, and master the first move away from the ball. Once you check off those four points, an excellent putting stroke will be a part of your game.

The trouble here, of course, is going to be divorcing yourself from the past. If you’ve been playing this game a long time, and you’ve had a wristy stroke for most or all of that time, making a change will not be easy. There are sure to be struggles at first, and you’ll only see success in the end if you are willing to stick it out. This is certainly not an impossible change to make, and it is worth the effort, but you’ll need to bring your patience to the practice green.