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Pro Tip of the Week: Stay Solid on your Putts

From my teaching spot on the left side of the range I often glance back at the putting green to watch people practice their putting. One of the flaws I can see even from that far away is lots of excess movement during the stroke. Here are some ideas that can help you stay more stable over the ball while you move the putter back and forth, and when you are successful at achieving a quieter stroke you are going to be more consistent:

1. Try to feel rooted into the ground at address. I like to feel like I’m “heavy” with pressure under both of my feet. You might check to see whether or not you are holding your breath. You will feel more grounded if you have exhaled.

2. Focus on keeping your legs perfectly still during your stroke. At home you can back yourself up against a chair and stroke a few. It’s surprising how different the stroke feels when you don’t shift weight or rotate when you hit the putt.

3. Move your shoulders and chest back and forth without moving your head. It is imperative to keep your head still.

4. Hold your finish! When you reach the end of your stroke keep the putter right there and just swivel your eyes to watch the putt roll. You only have to keep your eyes down until you know you have hit the putt.

4 Responses to Pro Tip of the Week: Stay Solid on your Putts

  1. Tom December 17, 2016 at 3:35 pm #

    Wayne,
    I have mentioned the name Debbie Crews name to you before so forgive my repetition. I visited her lab in Arizona and had a 3 day glimpse of the enormous trove of data and experiments she has conducted in conjunction with dozens of PGA pros and neuro- scientists specifically re: putting. She is currently marketing a helmet that basically attaches electrodes to a specific area of the brain that beeps a signal when your mind is free from DISTRACTIONS and when your focus has clarity to “roll the ball”—–All of this from is an inadequate description of a complex subject by a neophyte, but since you are always at the forefront of the pursuit of knowledge
    If at any time in the future you would have your interest peaked on the subject of neuro-science and golf I would be delighted to speak to my friends who are closely connected to Debbie and could make a connection for you.
    I keep thinking about Bobby Jones and his constant obsession with his referral to the most critical area to become a proficient golfer——“THE SIX INCHES BETWEEN YOUR EARS”——–THE BRAIN——-i am not a fan of Rotella or any sports psychologist —BUT he is correct about one issue—– in learning about any phase of golf one CANNOT LEARN FROM MUSCLE MEMORIZING——MUSCLES CANNOT MEMORIZE—-ONLY THE BRAIN CAN GIVE DIRECTION TO THE MUSCLES— thanks for listening tom hurst

  2. Chuck December 19, 2016 at 12:01 pm #

    Wayne – thank you for reminding us about putting! For some reason my head tends to shift away from the target on my follow-through. I have to work on that from time to time. I’ll try putting up against the chair like you suggested. I try to picture Jimmy Walker so my head follows through better. Anyway, I know that I’m the best putter that ever lived! Yes, this is one part of the game that I believe is VERY mental. The metronome and Wayne’s putting vids have helped me. Harvey Penick said to go to dinner with good putters. They look at me weird when I walk in to the restaurant with my putter.

  3. John January 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm #

    I think there are extremes when discussing body movements during putting. Look at most beginners and you will see all sorts of pivots, lunges and lurches, which are excessive. On the other hand, many great putters from Jones, through Crenshaw and Faxon all advocated against being rigid and trying to keep everything still.
    I found that when I tried to keep my head still, I became sort of frozen and missed short putts. By concentrating on keeping things still, I tend to lose a sense of where the hole is, especially on the short ones.
    Rather than keeping the head still, I get better results if I think about keeping the top of my spine stable and not coming out of my posture until the ball has reached the hole. This is good advice and relates to WD’s point 4).
    I tend to putt well when I have a I am concentrating on a key of some sort. This could be simply taking the putter back on the aim line inscribed on the putter head. Or making sure I have no pause between back stroke and through stroke. This is an old reliable for me. I tend to think of driving a nail with a hammer. At no point do you try to pause the hammer at the top of the swing. Another one is thinking about striking the ball with my shoulder swing.
    I am sure I am lucky enough to keep the essential parts relatively stable but I tend to putt worse if I think about it.

  4. Cary December 13, 2017 at 8:28 pm #

    I am pretty knowledgeable about brainwaves as I was in the medical field and reading brainwaves was the main part of my job I would love to know and see the brainwaves as it relates to golf.

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