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Putting - The Right Pressure is a Light Pressure
By Sue Powers – 2013 LPGA National Teacher of the Year
Do you sometimes feel you have a “death grip” on your putter during your stroke? Do you sometimes decelerate during your stroke or feel you hit or ‘pop’ the putt instead of making a smooth pendulum stroke? One culprit may be your grip pressure as your hands are your only connection to your putter and too much pressure in the hands will affect your putter’s motion during your stroke.
What ingredients will help you get the ball in the hole in fewer strokes? The first and most important key to successful putting is the belief that you…“Are a GREAT putter.” Believe that you CAN make putts and you WILL make putts.
Another important part of your formula for successful putting is to keep your hand pressure light on the club so you can feel the weight of your putter head instead of the handle of your club. Your hand pressure should remain the same throughout your stroke.
FEEL THE WEIGHT OF YOUR PUTTER HEAD DRILL
Here’s how it works:
- Set up in your normal putting position (photo #1)
- Raise your putter about one inch above the ground (photo #2)
- Start swinging your putter back and forth in a continuous motion with your shoulders and with no wrist hinge (photo #3)
- As you are swinging your putter back and forth, notice if you feel the handle of your putter or the weight of your putter head. If you feel the handle, you have too much grip pressure in your hands. Continue to lighten your grip pressure until you feel the weight of the putter head and not the handle of the putter. (photo #4)
- Continue swinging your putter back and forth while feeling the weight of your putter head. Now close your eyes and continue to feel the weight of your putter head.
- With your eyes closed, tighten your grip pressure and notice what happens to your swinging motion and your club. Did you feel your stroke slow down or stop? Did your smooth, pendulum motion change? Did you feel the handle more than the weight of your putter head? Did you feel your fingers squeezing your putter handle?
- Continue to swing your putter back and forth as you gradually loosen your grip pressure so you again feel the weight of the putter head. Notice the changes in your swinging motion, tempo and body as tighten and loosen your grip pressure during this practice drill.
How do you take this drill to the course with you so you can feel the proper grip pressure for your most successful stroke? As part of your pre-shot routine for putting, make one or two practice swings with your only goal being to feel the weight of your putter head and not your putter handle during your practice strokes. Maintain this same pressure during your “real” putting stroke. Maintaining the same pressure will allow you feel the weight of your putter head throughout your entire putting stroke.
Putting is the most individualized area in golf …be yourself, believe, feel the weight of your putter head and you WILL get the ball in the hole in fewer strokes!
Sue Powers is the 2013 LPGA National Teacher of the Year and Teaching Professional, Pelican Point Country Club, Venice, Florida. To learn more from Sue go to http://www.pelicanpointeclub.com/-golf-instructions