Thursday, August 1, 2002
Are You A Candidate For Cross-Handed Putting?
For most golfers a left-hand-low grip cures all setup flaws
Pull your left foot straight back without flaring your toes to the target to open your stance, and be careful not to open your shoulders each time you open your stance a half-inch. As you open your stance more and more, it may appear that your ball position is moving back in your stance. This is an optical illusion. Continue to adjust your stance until the putter path moves down the target line.
Practice your setup in front of a mirror a few minutes each day so that it’s well-rehearsed and automatic when you get to the course. As you well know, thinking your way into your setup will cause missed putts regardless of how good it may be.
Most students adjust quickly to cross-handed putting for short putts, but they struggle with speed control on long putts. Here’s a drill that will give you good speed control on putts of all lengths.
Set up three feet from a hole. While keeping your head as still as possible, make a practice stroke and feel the path down the target line. Find a blade of grass in the back of the hole on your line. Stare at that blade of grass and take a deep breath. As you begin to slowly exhale, bring an image of that blade of grass back to the ball. Hold that image as you stroke your putt. Notice how good your speed is after 10 or 15 putts.
As you perform this drill, make an effort to use consistent grip pressure throughout the stroke. Changes in grip pressure will alter speed, path and face position. In your practice and play, hold the same pressure.
I’ve measured more than 1,000 amateurs, club professionals and Tour players through my golf schools. Only nine of theses players have both hips and shoulder lines that are totally square. These nine players reported an active stretching program, such as yoga or Pilates. Regardless, there’s no right or wrong hip or shoulder line. Just be aware of what your lines are and how they can affect your setup and stroke.
PGA teaching professional and psychologist Dr. David F. Wright instructs at Pelican Hill Golf Club and Ocean Trails Golf Club in Southern California. His Mind Under Par golf schools (www.mindunderpar.com)Â are recognized as one of the top 25 learning programs in America.
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