There are many ways to get the ball into the hole and when studying the top professionals putting technique, this is extremely evident.
However, one thing they mostly all have in common is a firm left wrist at impact and putting strokes driven not by flicking the wrists but by the arms and shoulders.
Flicking the wrists through impact can not only get a putt starting offline, but also can add unwanted fluctuations in power, both increases and decreases, leading to putts finishing past and short of the hole.
In general, top players have removed a ‘wristy’ action from their armoury and replaced it with a stroke which sees the hands, wrists, arms and shoulders working as one unit.
Here are three ways to help take the wrists out of the putting stroke.
Left wrist towards the target
This is something advocated by short game god Phil Mickleson and should help players whose left wrist breaks down through impact. When putting, feel like the back of the left wrist (for right handed golfers) remains in front of the club head through impact and remains in front whilst the player pushes it down the target line.
Keep the triangle
Set up in your putting stance facing a full length mirror at home or at your practice facility. Look up and see how the arms and the line of the shoulders form a triangle shape. The hands and the club should hang down from the point of the triangle. Whilst looking in the mirror, rock the shoulders back and through, try to keep the same triangle shape between the shoulders, arms and club throughout the stroke. This should help eliminate too much wrist break during the stroke, making for a more consistent pace and direction to putts.
This drill does require either a wrist watch or elastic band to be worn on the left wrist. When getting set up to the ball, slip a ruler or pen down the back of the wrist watch, in between the watch face and the back of the left wrist. When getting set up for the putt, the ruler or pen should be held in place by the watch and the wrist but should not put any pressure on either the back of the left hand or wrist. The goal of this drill is to keep the ruler or pen in the same position, if the left wrist breaks down then the strain on the ruler or pen will increase and the pressure will be felt on the hand and wrist.