Different Strokes

Find the right stroke for you




As an instructor, I've witnessed many different ways to play golf successfully, especially when it comes to putting. Throughout the history of golf, the art of putting has gone through numerous trends and fads. However, the fundamentals of good putting have always remained the same. No matter what style you employ, you must remember that good putting comes down to speed control and proper direction. How you choose to do it is up to you, as long as your stroke is both repeatable and comfortable. The following pages outline a few different styles to experiment with, all with the hope of helping you become a better all-around putter. Let's take a look, shall we?

When it comes to putting grips, there's really no wrong answer! Don't be afraid to try different styles if you find your current grip isn't helping you make more putts. The cross-handed grip can help if you have trouble leaving the putterface open at impact. The 10-finger grip may help add some hinge in the wrists and release some tension.

Unconventional grips like the claw grip can help remove unwanted wrist and hand motion. No matter what grip you choose, the goal of the grip is to keep the clubface square at impact. This can be achieved by having the hands placed on the club in different ways, as the above photos illustrate.


STANDARD GRIP CROSS-HANDED

THE CLAW

10-FINGER GRIP

Remember the feel from putting comes right through your grip, you need to also be aware of grip pressure. The key is to maintain the grip pressure in both hands throughout the stroke. Just be sure that when you experiment, you stick with one style for a while. The last thing you want is to change up so often that you lose faith and confidence in your grip.

PENDULUM?

First, is a pendulum motion even necessary toward good putting? Some say yes, some say no. One thing for sure though: A pendulum-driven stroke is a great starting point. If you're having trouble decelerating on the backstroke or forwardstroke (a.k.a. "the yips"), practice making smooth, rhythmic, pendulum strokes. You can either putt with a ball or without, just remember to concentrate on an even speed and distance back and through the ball. This will help smoothen out your stroke.




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