What is a solid putting stroke?
A solid putting stroke is one that has minimal movement throughout the entire motion. If this is the case then the putting stroke is repeatable and can be performed again and again giving the golfer consistency with which to control both distance and accuracy.
How do we create a solid putting stroke?
This is very simple - keep everything still. Parts of the body that should remain still during a quality putting stroke are the: head; legs; hips; arms; wrists; and hands. Actually the only part of the body that should move is the shoulders.
Most golfers are very good at keeping their body still but unfortunately most golfers want to use their hands and wrists when they putt. This culminates in a flicking action which varies for every putt as the small muscles in the hands and wrists power the action and are very difficult to control. A flicking action can cause the club face to move off line during the stroke resulting in inaccuracy and it can also cause difficulty in controlling the distance that the golfer hits the putt as sometimes the golfer will flick harder or softer than others.
The key to keeping the hands and wrists still is to keep the left wrist firm (for right handed golfers - right wrist for left handed golfers).
How do we keep the left wrist firm?
Use the following drill in your practice to make that left wrist solid:
1. Get yourself five golf balls, a target to putt at and a spare golf ball to use as a training aid.
2. Set yourself up as normal to one of the five golf balls with the exception being to hold the putter two to three inches further down than normal.
3. Take your spare golf ball and place it in-between your left wrist and the putter grip. It should be positioned so that it is held in the crease of the wrist.
4. Take your putt and use your shoulders to rock back and forth to power the motion. Keep the wrists as still as possible to hold the ball in place against the putter grip. If you use your wrists or they break down, the ball will drop on to the floor.
This drill is an excellent exercise for creating a pendulum action that does not include the wrists and helps to create a solid putting stroke for consistency.