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Open putting stance?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I was doing a bit of putting around the house today trying to get my alignment issues fixed, and sort of stumbled across a technique that feels very comfortable to me.  My typical putting stance/stroke is pretty conventional, eyes over ball, stance inline with the intended start line of the putt.  My problem has always been that when I'm over the ball I have no feel for my line. It's like when my eyes are parallel, the line disappears in my head.  So I end up starting everything right.  I can compensate, but the bottom line is that I have no feel for the direction of the putt, and it really hurts my score.

 

So I started messing around with a very open putting stance, and playing the ball off my back foot.  Something akin to a side saddle stance, but with a conventional putting grip.  The stance is about 45 degrees open to the line, just enough to let me use my binocular vision for gauging distance and direction.  I started sinking putts left and right.  I could see the starting line in my head, and while I don't have the technique down quite yet, my confidence on each putt was way up.  Now I know I'm just putting around on a carpet in my house (that's hopefully level), and from inside of 12 feet or so, but I've never felt this comfortable putting.  Once it stops raining here I might take it to the practice green and see how it goes

 

I'm pretty sure the stance is legal, but has anyone good (past or present) ever used a putting stance like this?  I know I'm going to look like a fool if I end up sticking with it, but if I can sink putts I don't care what it looks like.

post #2 of 12

I use it from three feet and in on occasion, but never outside that.

 

George Low's book on putting shows that to be the stance he used for everything, and he was the guy you didn't want to bet against.

post #3 of 12

 

I'm pretty sure the stance is legal, but has anyone good (past or present) ever used a putting stance like this?  I know I'm going to look like a fool if I end up sticking with it, but if I can sink putts I don't care what it looks like.

 Sam Snead putted absolutely square sidesaddle after they ruled his croquet style illegal.

 

I use a 45-degree stance and belly putter (not touching my belly) every day and don't feel at all foolish.
 

 

post #4 of 12

I use the type of stance all the time, and have for about two years. My direction and speed judgement on putts has improved dramatically. You don't get points for style...look at Jim Furyk, or Allan Doyle of the Champions Tour.

post #5 of 12

I have always used an open stance (45 years) for the very reason of which you stumbled on. I can see the line better, I don't have to keep swiveling my head up as much. One does have a tendency to miss left though-for r/h putters.

post #6 of 12

I believe Jack Nicklaus used an open putting stance with some success.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by falconjfs View Post

I use the type of stance all the time, and have for about two years. My direction and speed judgement on putts has improved dramatically. You don't get points for style...look at Jim Furyk, or Allan Doyle of the Champions Tour.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bullseye View Post

I have always used an open stance (45 years) for the very reason of which you stumbled on. I can see the line better, I don't have to keep swiveling my head up as much. One does have a tendency to miss left though-for r/h putters.


How far are your stances open?  Do you guys play the ball off your back foot?

 

post #8 of 12

+1 for Jack Nicklaus - he did have a fairly open stance.  I also putt with an open stance, about 45* with the putter leaning forwards, I play it off the inside of my left foot.  I used to play it off the back, but then the blow was more 'descending' and would cause the ball to 'pop' and jump sometimes.  I rarely 3-putt and today for 9 holes I had 14 putts on plugged and sanded greens.  The open stance helps me see the line better and also I feel I have better speed control.  The only thing I have to make sure is that I don't have the ball too far forward, then I can end up pulling it 'sometimes'.fairly

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterP View Post


How far are your stances open?  Do you guys play the ball off your back foot?

 

  Left foot turned out 45 degrees, back about two inches, ball in the middle. I think about hitting slightly on an upstroke to insure back to front roll. Some people disagree and feel they want to stroke it so the putter head hits it dead level but like i said, with an open stance there is a tendency to pull it a little left and getting that over spin seems to work good for me.
 

 

post #10 of 12
I use an open stance. I am open to the point my right, (back) elbow is very close to my right hip. I believe when you putt with an open stance the right arm and hand are controlling direction instead of the left and I think of the putt as almost an underhand throwing motion.
post #11 of 12

I am very open when I putt with this stance, and I play the ball just inside my back foot. One other thing I do that maybe others don't do. I stand away from the ball so that my arms are actually extended. I find that this gives me better judgement on the distance/speed, and prevents the putter head from going out of line. .

post #12 of 12

I open up on long puts, stay closed on short ones. 

 

Ball positioning is affected by whatever putter I'm using at the time. 

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