Concentrate on clubface stability and watch the putts start dropping
By Mike Kinloch
A few minutes watching PGA or European Tour coverage is all the evidence you need; there is not one single method that guarantees consistent putting success. A multitude of different grips, holds and putting styles are employed by the world’s best. That said, there are some principles that are common to good putters. One of these is club face stability.
A good way to maintain this stability is with good connection between body and arms. Many problems arise with face and distance control when the arms separate from the body and independently move the putter. The photographs above illustrate this separation. Typically the elbows are pointing out and often the wrist angles change during the stroke.
For those players who use a conventional stance and a traditional length of putter, there are some drills that can encourage a solid connection to improve face stability and distance control.
A good feel is to have the elbows of both arms gently flexed and orientated towards the hips. This will set the shoulders and arms in a stable position. To foster a good connection with the body, grab the material of your shirt high on the lead side of your body and tuck it in to the armpit, gently hold it there with the top of the arm and shoulder. As you make your practice stroke, hold the material in place for the duration of the putt. This will keep the lead side of your body solid through the stroke. Start with short putts and as you get more comfortable with the feeling, extend the length of the stroke. As you are practising, maintain good balance and remain as steady as possible with the lower body.
As an alternative to tucking your shirt, you can position a towel under the armpits as I’m illustrating here. As well as improving body and arm connection, these drills can help stabilise the path and arc of the stroke. The towel will provide great feedback. Remember to maintain a gentle pressure throughout the stroke; any slip of the towel is a sure sign there is separation in your stroke.
Michael Kinloch is Head Professional at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club’s Peter Cowen Academy Dubai. For more information, visit dubaigolf.com