High Performance Golf
Master the Game!
This is a screenshot of SAM Puttlab from Science and Motion Golf. It’s the equivalent of an MRI for your putting stroke. Yep, it’s my stroke, and I am using a 10 foot putt. My goal for all my students is to give me “green across my screen.” That means that the stroke is better than 32% of the PGA Tour. I’ll take that! Now, you know full well that there’s more to putting than the stroke: you have to control your speed and read greens very well, but this report is telling me a lot about the consistency of my stroke itself. When it comes to short putting, the flaw I see over and over again is the initial aim of the putter and the impact aim. I don’t care how well you control your speed and read the greens, if you don’t start the ball on your line, you won’t make any of the 4-8 footers that are oh so important to your score.
Stroke VS Consistency
The best putters on tour don’t necessarily have the best strokes (tendency in the report), they have the highest consistency putt after putt. That ensures that the ball always leaves the putter face in essentially the same direction. When that is happening, it’s easy to adapt to where the ball is starting to make more putts. When we have inconsistency, the ball doesn’t do the same thing twice in a row, and we have no way to adapt.
In the second screen shot, you can see that my average face angle at impact is seven tenths of a degree to the right. That little error will still make a 10 foot putt. And baby, if I make most of my 10 footers, I am one tough golfer to beat! You see a very high consistency score, and that’s the key. But wait. Right below that is a low path consistency score. My putter path is not nearly as consistent as my putter face. But guess what? The putter face is 5 times more important than the path in telling the ball where to start rolling. The putter path has to be 5 degrees off line to cause the same ball direction error as a 1 degree putter face aim error.
Many golfers spend a LOT of time working on improving their putting stroke path in hopes of putting better. But we KNOW that the face is way more important! You can work on your stroke and get nowhere, people! Accordingly, I want you to work on the face angle!
Easy as 1, 2, 3.
To make your club face angle at impact more consistent, you need only do three things.
1. Hold the club in the palms of your hands so that the grip lay in the life line of both hands.
2. Be sure that your palms face each other and are perpendicular to the target line. This is also called The Prayer Grip. Many of us will need to pray for putts to go in…
3. For goodness’ sake, stop swinging the putter with your wrists and make sure the putter and your arms move together throughout the stroke.
Don’t hold the putter like any of your other clubs. Think of it as having a power grip and an accuracy grip. I hope you’re not looking for more power in your putting…
This method ensures that the putter face will return at impact to its original aim. You will quickly adapt your setup at address to then make more putts. Or you can work on your initial aim with a mirror or a laser to accelerate your progress.
Remember, “Uncomfortable doesn’t mean wrong.” A grip change may feel awkward at first, but that’s just because it’s new, not necessarily wrong.
Roll ‘em and Hole ‘Em