If you’ve ever seen a golfer putt with his body facing the hole and the ball to his right (or left), you’re familiar with the “side-saddle” method. Also called “face-on” or “straight-forward” putting, the technique complies with golf’s rules as long as the golfer does not straddle the putt’s line.
Proponents of side-saddle putting note that the motion is similar to tossing a ball, making it more natural than the traditional stroke. Side-saddle also eliminates hand and wrist action to ensure a consistent, pendulum-like swing.
Putting side-saddle requires a long putter (45-55 inches depending on your height), preferably one with a very upright lie angle. Here’s a basic primer for right-handers; simply reverse for lefties:
1. Stand facing the hole or your intended line.
2. The ball should be a few inches outside and in front of your right little toe.
3. Anchor the putter grip just inside the right shoulder with your left hand.
4. Bending forward, place your right hand on the shaft about halfway down. (Many long putters have a second grip in the proper spot.)
5. The shaft should be at a 90-degree angle to the ground.
6. Stroke the ball using your right hand, holding the top of the club against your body with the left.
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