Putting – With Mark Lye
Most players are looking for ways to shave a few strokes off their score. Since half of all strokes taken in a round are on the greens, putting seems to be the first place players look to improve. These days on all the tours, players try changing their hand position on the putting grip. We have seen belly putters, long putters, short putters and the like. However, before changing your equipment, try a different approach on the putting grip… “left hand low” (the opposite, “right hand low” for left handers).
Conventional Grip – Right hand low
In the two photos, you will see a conventional grip on the left. Notice, with a conventional grip, the right shoulder is well below the left shoulder, and closer to the ball. If you stroke the ball from this position, the tendency is to strike “up” on the ball using a classic pendulum stroke (photo on right). This may produce more of a glancing blow rather than a solid strike. A solid strike is the objective.
Left hand low
In the photo on the left, notice that I have altered my conventional grip to a left hand low set-up. Observe that my shoulders are more level to the ground, and that both shoulders are equidistant to the ball and ground. When I stroke the ball from this slightly altered position, there is more of a balanced stroke back and forward through the ball. My follow through is lower (see pic on right), and I guarantee that from this position I will hit more “solid” putts. Try and visualize the head of the putter working like the pendulum bob on a Grandfather clock, do you get the picture now? Give this method a try and you may find a better picture on your scorecard.
FINE Magazine Golf Writer, Mark Lye, was a player on the PGA Tour for 18 years, and is currently in his 18th year as an analyst for The Golf Channel. He has won events in Australia, Europe, and the US. Watch him on the Web.com Tour’s televised events , Thursday and Friday’s “Instant Lessons” with Mark Lye.