I am lucky to coach putting at a great indoor facility at Clydeway Golf and Performance Centre in Glasgow. Apart from the odd rare day like yesterday (Sept 19th) it is always open for business. Storm Ali was too much for us this week and we had to close the range for safety reasons. Anyway, I get to see first-hand the putting strokes of a very wide range of golfers from professional level to beginners. One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the last few years is that putting is very personal/individualised.
When I coach putting I may have some preferences but I certainly do not teach a model of putting. There are lots of different styles out there that can and do work. Some great putters are very upright in their posture, some are more bent over. The amount of grips out there are too many to list! There are strokes that arc a lot, some that are pretty straight. Although I would like to add that the concept of “straight back straight through” is possibly the biggest myth in putting. There are very few true “straight back and through” putting strokes out there and it’s actually unnatural. We stand side on to the ball and the putter shaft is usually at about a 70 degree angle. This makes a slight arc to your putting stroke completely natural. I’ve seen a lot of poor putting strokes that are a result of trying to comply with the myth of “SBST”.
I believe you need to find out more about YOUR putting. What grip will work best for you to give you good face control? A big one I see golfers having issues with is where their eyes should be. Are you best over the ball or just inside? How do you read greens? Do you pick a spot say 18 inches left of the hole for a breaking putt or do you see the curves of the putt and go more on feel? Is your left eye stronger than your right? This can effect where your ball position should be. Is a slight forward press good or bad for you? Should you use a line on the ball when you putt? Is your best tempo quick, slow or medium?
It’s VERY common for poor putters in the Clydeway lab to tell me they simply do not have a plan on how to putt. They change grips and stroke styles and putters ALL the time! Once you start answering the questions above you will find putting becoming a lot simpler.
Next time you practice your putting why not try and get some answers to your own putting story. Or better still come and see me at Clydeway where we can find the answers together. Anyone can be a good or even great putter with the right information applied correctly.
My final advice is be wary of general one size fits all advice. Find YOUR style and enjoy the journey of doing so! Good luck and let me know if I can help.
Thanks for reading.