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Mr Puddle

Putting Techniques

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I took up golf four years ago, and I think it's fair to say my putting has been pretty dreadful. To be honest I don't think I will ever be a great putter, but something I started doing about a month ago has made me at least average, and the other day I was pretty awesome. I have purchased and sold various putters without any real change, I have changed my stance, my grip, and marked the balls, but nothing made any real difference. This is going to sound pretty stupid, because it is so simple, and to be honest I am annoyed nobody suggested it to me, as I had to find out for myself. I simply have the ball further back in my stance. Even after a month this still feels a little strange,and apart from that I am not doing anything differently. Today whilst watching Youtube the science behind this has been explained. When a golfer puts his right hand under his left it makes the right shoulder drop, and this in turn may make him drag the ball to the left. By putting the ball further back squares up the shoulders, which in turn helps the ball to be putted straighter. The thing is most of you on here will already know that, and it's quite possible every other golfer on the course knows it, so why didn't anyone tell me ?

Anyway, is there anything that has helped you ?

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I adopted a similar method to what Jack Niclaus used in that i stick my elbows out so it prevents my wrists from being over active. I have trouble with using rocking my shoulders to power the stroke and this really helps.

His "golf my way" video is on youtube, watching the putting and chipping (similar concept) really improved those areas of my game.

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I switched chipping, and short pitching techniques. Went with Paul Runyon's chip/putt method. The switch allowed for shorter first putts. 

 

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Ball back? Ugh. No.

6 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

By putting the ball further back squares up the shoulders, which in turn helps the ball to be putted straighter.

No. The shoulders can be square with the ball just forward of center, which is where you generally want it on a putt.

Ball back = bad. Do not do that.

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I've gone with Stan Utley's set-up that allows me to get the ball rolling as soon as possible and on the starting line I want.  From there it's just ensuring I hit it the right distance and read the green correctly.

My setup thought is always to try to keep my putter shaft and forearms on the same plane, that tends to help me get myself in the right spot.

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You definitely don’t want to move the ball back in your stance. You want the putter to hit the ball on a slightly uphill plane to get the ball rolling with less drag. As far as you stance that’s going to be your personal preference. Just like Jack Nickolas his stance is not the typical picture but it works for him. Now Brad Faxon is one of the better putters on tour and has explained why he does what he does. Watch his videos on putting... that should be very helpful. Just like everything else tho... practice, practice, practice!

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6 hours ago, Mr Puddle said:

 I simply have the ball further back in my stance.

The only way this would possibly work is if your previous position had the ball miles too far forward in your stance. You do not hit putts with a descending blow. It is possible that you have "corrected" your ball position.

15 minutes ago, Colorado14 said:

Jack Nickolas 

Come on.....

Edited by leftybutnotPM

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2 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

The only way this would possibly work is if your previous position had the ball miles too far forward in your stance. You do not hit putts with a descending blow. It is possible that you have "corrected" your ball position.

Come on.....

😂

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10 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

 

Come on.....

You've not heard of Jack Nickolas, Kirklees district pitch and putt champion 1972??!!

some say he's the GOAT, others say i may have made him up :-P

 

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@Mr Puddle,

Stan Utley's The Art of Putting is a very good book that discussed set up and stroke. It also discusses how most players he has worked with don't have their dominant eye directly over the ball as some would think. If you have a chance to pick up the book, it is a good read.

The best position for the ball is forward of center, somewhere under your left armpit where your stroke squares. Remember, you are putting on an arc because your shaft is out in front of you. The spot for the ball should be at that point.

For me, my stance is fairly narrow, so the ball is right off my left heel. My foot width is the same as I have just standing. 

It is all in the book.

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Putting is like the rest of golf, it's about what works for the individual. I know that putting the ball back in my stance has straightened my putting, and has vastly reduced my average. It doesn't matter what the books say, it doesn't matter what the pro says, IT WORKS FOR ME. We all know good golfers with bad swings, and we all know bad golfers with fairly good swings. I used to know a chap who used to place his left leg so far in front of his right when he putted, he looked like he was walking. He was one of the best putters I have ever played with. I tried it myself, and it didn't work at all for me. 

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57 minutes ago, Mr Puddle said:

Putting is like the rest of golf, it's about what works for the individual.

No.

That can be true to a certain extent (i.e. if you're putting like a 36 handicapper when you're a 15), but no - there are very real and valid reasons why putting the ball back in your stance is bad, and why virtually nobody who is GOOD at golf (or putting) does it.

It might be a temporary band-aid type of "solution" so you can putt better temporarily or something, but to putt best or "well" you likely won't do that.

57 minutes ago, Mr Puddle said:

I know that putting the ball back in my stance has straightened my putting, and has vastly reduced my average.

Band-aid.

57 minutes ago, Mr Puddle said:

It doesn't matter what the books say, it doesn't matter what the pro says, IT WORKS FOR ME.

:doh:

57 minutes ago, Mr Puddle said:

We all know good golfers with bad swings

I don't know of a single one.

You're conning yourself. You're taking the cheap and easy way out, thinking you've "solved" something instead of putting in the work to actually improve in a long-lasting and meaningful way.

That's fine if you don't really care about improving in a long-lasting and meaningful way. But it's not how many (most?) here look at their golf games.

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18 hours ago, leftybutnotPM said:

 

Come on.....

Okay yeah this young Lad! “Jack Nicklaus!” 

Better? 

Here is the point I was trying to make. Look at his putting stance at 23 years of age. The top picture. Not a typical stance that is taught. The second pic is Michelle Wie putting like Jack “Nicklaus” which looks crazy awkward. Yes as it was mentioned “what ever works for me” is just a bandaid. If you want to become a better putter you have to start with a good base. Then you have to figure out what kind of swing path you have.. my natural swing path is from in to out so I did adjust my stance to slightly open which helped me get the ball started on a better line. This is shown in the 3rd pic. Unfortunately as boring as practice is with the putter it requires the most practice because it is where you can lose the most strokes. “Drive for show, putt for dough!” 

Although with any practice you need to have a purpose when you are there. You can just hit putt after putt and not gain anything as to making yourself a better putter. So watch the videos that show you how to achieve a base, learn how much your arms should hang, how close to the ball you should stand, ball position in your stance. Then go practice that and make it happen.. get the muscle memory of what you are trying to accomplish on the putting green and then you can repeat that on the course.. good luck!

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36 minutes ago, Colorado14 said:

Unfortunately as boring as practice is with the putter it requires the most practice because it is where you can lose the most strokes. “Drive for show, putt for dough!” 

No. Just stop. None of that is true.

39 minutes ago, Colorado14 said:

Unfortunately as boring as practice is with the putter it requires the most practice 

Putting is the slowest and shortest movement, so that means less skill is required to execute the motion.

 

40 minutes ago, Colorado14 said:

 because it is where you can lose the most strokes

You can lose significantly more strokes off the tee or with full swing shots (lost balls, O.B., penalty areas, etc) than you can with putter.

 

41 minutes ago, Colorado14 said:

“Drive for show, putt for dough!” 

An old and outdated phrase that has been proven to be false. 

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

What @klineka said, @Colorado14.

Putting lets you shave a few strokes the fastest but also the fewest strokes, generally.

 I guess it was just my thought process but it all depends on where you game is. Higher handicapper may lose balls and miss fairways and GIRS and chunk or thin a chip shot and then 3-4 putt. Where are a mid to low handicapper may miss every fairway but short game is good that day and they save par. They may hit every fairway and hit every GIR and still only make par. (2 putts no birdies) where are the shots lost? 

Although I don’t disagree with klineka there is more to it..

Edited by Colorado14
Wrong post

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2 hours ago, iacas said:

No.

That can be true to a certain extent (i.e. if you're putting like a 36 handicapper when you're a 15), but no - there are very real and valid reasons why putting the ball back in your stance is bad, and why virtually nobody who is GOOD at golf (or putting) does it.

It might be a temporary band-aid type of "solution" so you can putt better temporarily or something, but to putt best or "well" you likely won't do that.

Band-aid.

:doh:

I don't know of a single one.

You're conning yourself. You're taking the cheap and easy way out, thinking you've "solved" something instead of putting in the work to actually improve in a long-lasting and meaningful way.

That's fine if you don't really care about improving in a long-lasting and meaningful way. But it's not how many (most?) here look at their golf games.

Disagree. What your saying is everyone has to putt using the same technique to get it right, when in actual fact putting techniques vary incredibly, even amongst the worlds best. If standing on my head and putting backwards with my left hand makes the ball go in the hole, then surely that's the path to take?

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