Why Are Pros Constantly Changing Putters and Grips?

Have you noticed that the commentators during the US Open, THE OPEN and many of the recent televised tournaments are talking about pros changing their putters and the way they grip their putters? If these great players are looking for the perfect solution to their putting as well as their swing, shouldn’t you be experimenting too?

It seems that Rory, Phil and Jason are changing putters or the style of their grip every other week. Phil Michelson is now using a claw grip with his trailing hand (which seems to guide his putter). Jason Day is very conventional with left hand high. Jordon Spieth always putts with left hand low and Rory McIlroy is flipping hands every other week. Brandt Snedeker slaps at the ball and Brooke Henderson holds her putter with 2 parallel hands as if she is in prayer (which seems to work best on Sundays).

Let’s get back to basics so that you can decide what works best for you.  Almost half of your strokes during every round of golf are putts.  More than 2 putts per hole is a big problem.  What do we know for sure?
1/ Avoid Side Spin:  Your swing must NOT be sliding across the ball or it will spin left or right. (That’s how Brittany Lang missed a 4 foot putt on the 17th to force a playoff in the LPGA Open.)

2/ Avoid Bouncing Your Ball: Hitting down will make the ball underspin, skid and bounce. Phil Michelson was famous for his forward handle lean but he recently dropped it.

3/ Get the Ball Rolling: Set the ball slightly forward of center in your stance to ensure that you hit it slightly on the upswing of your club for a clean start to the roll.

Phil Mickelson dropped his forward shaft lean and now putts by swinging with his leading hand.  His claw grip with his trailing hand is only a guide to steady his grip.  I find it easier to just let the putter go at the point of impact as my leading hand swings directly up the target line.  It’s a great way to eliminate slicing your putts.

4/ Impact Time on the Ball is a Split Second: To increase your odds of a square impact your swing and square of your putter must be moving up your target line at the point of impact.

5/ Eliminate Nervous Shaking Hands during Your Swing: Take the small muscles in your hands and arms out of your putt.  Putt using the rock of your shoulders straight through impact without bending your wrists. (Practice with GOLFSTR+ to prevent any bend in your leading wrist.)

6/ Understand the Breaks on the Green: Stand in the low point of the green in the area where you are putting to decide on the direction of your putt and the amount of break. Move to the LOW POINT of your target line to appreciate the rise or drop or tilt of your putt. (Depth is more difficult to perceive when standing above the hole on a downhill putt so don’t let it change your mind.)

7/ Choose an Aiming Point: Use a line on your ball to line up with a target point about 3 feet in front of your ball.

8/ Duplicate Your Practice Swing: Complete a practice swing with the EXACT SAME SWING tempo and length that you plan to use when you make your putt .

9/ Plan Your Putt to travel 10 to 20 Inches Past the Hole: Plan for less break at the hole as  speed minimizes the break and distortions of the green at the edge of the hole.  PET PEEVE: Pros and many golfers lean on their putter and indent the putting surface as they bend down to retrieve their ball from the hole.  DON’T DO IT AS YOU ARE MESSING UP THE NEXT PERSON’S PUTT.

Final Thoughts:  Exaggerate your swing  up your target line to ensure that you are hitting a straight putt. Even Scotty Cameron is demonstrating his new $400 putters with Fat Grips (to help with soft hands) and a flat front surface (to help you square the club with your thumbs). Practice with GOLFSTR+ to learn to lock your leading wrist during your putting stroke. Buy one today at www.golfstr.com

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