Friday, March 2, 2007
Hip To Be Square90 Degrees Makes It Right
The following pre-putt alignment routine is one that I developed with Patrick Burke and teach to each of my students. Its success has been so dramatic that many have adapted it to the full swing. It’s easy to learn and remember as long as you think in right angles.
The first step is to not get lazy when reading the putt. When you crouch down or stand behind the ball to determine your target line, do so with your feet together to keep you from opening or closing your body lines and distorting your view of “straight.”
Once you’ve determined the line, walk to a point roughly three feet behind the ball so that if you drew a line from it through where your ball lay, it would intersect the target line at a right angle. This step establishes the 90-degree angle that’s so crucial to successful alignment. Now, simply walk toward the ball and take your stance, again keeping your feet, shoulders and putterface square to your line.
After you’ve taken your stance, rotate (don’t lift) your head toward your target to verify your alignment. Any adjustment greater than a slight shuffle should necessitate starting the routine again from the beginning.
If you find difficulty in achieving a square setup with this routine, augment your practice with three cardboard slats. The slats serve as guides to ensure that your right angles are in place before you begin your stroke. One slat should point from the ball to your target; the second should point along the same line but in the opposite direction (away from the target); and the third should point toward you and form right angles with the other two slats. The Wright Angles of Alignment is a tool I’ve developed for putting alignment practice that sets these lines and angles automatically.
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