Do your putts ever bounce or get airborne? How do those putts turn out? Not so good, huh. When I teach putting, I stress the importance of solid contact in order to control distance. Solid contact is second only to club face control in the order of importance in a good putting stroke. The question is,”Should you hit up on the ball or hit down to achieve the best roll?” About 10 Years, I had the same question, so I decided to put a video camera on the ground to see what impact characteristics produced the best results.
What did I find?
A ball hit with a shaft that leaned toward the target slightly produced a ball that had a small skid and then a consistent roll. The ball that was struck with a neutral to backwards leaning shaft tended to hop or bounce. Which way is going to be more consistent, the forward lean of course.
The worms eye view:
Even though the golf ball weighs slightly less than an ounce, on a soft putting green it creates a slight depression on the ground (a hole perse). If you hit a putt on the upswing, you will drive the ball down into the front of the depression and the ball will hop.
A Forward Press Helps:
A typical putter has 3 to 5 degrees of loft on it. In order to get a consistent roll, the last thing you want to do is add more loft. Good putters tend to be neutral or take loft away at impact. This is why I like to see a slight forward press at set up. This means that your hands will be positioned just ahead of the club face. I use high-speed video when I teach putting and I have found that 4 to 5 degrees of forward shaft lean seems to produce the most consistent roll and contact. The more I use “The Kure” putting solution training aid, the more I like it because it forces you to get your handle forward at impact in order to make the green light to come on. So why not go ahead and start there.
Hit Down Not Up:
If you have always hit up on your putts for whatever reason, when you lean the shaft forward you will have the sensation of hitting down. If you are topping your putts, you are doing one of three things.
1) your lead wrist is breaking down
2) your weight or your head is too far behind the ball
3) your ball position is too far forward. Start with placing the ball a putter head length inside your lead foot.
A drill to find low point in your putting stroke
Place the grip end of a golf club about 6 inches behind your putter as you set up to hit a putt. Hit putts as you miss the grip in your backstroke. You will feel your stroke swinging from high in the backstroke to low in the follow through. This will help get your hands ahead at impact.
This something that you can work on in the house on the carpet. Best of luck and I will
See you on the lesson tee,