One of the common questions golfers ask me during a putting lesson is which method of putting stroke do I teach people? My initial thought is: whichever one I think is going to help the player putt consistently well. I don’t teach one single method to putt.
I don’t actually say this to the players, however, as I know what they really wonder is, do I agree with the theory that the putter face opens and closes during the stroke or do I think it should swing straight back and straight through.
Like with any golf shot, to hit the ball straight, the club face should be square to the path it is swinging on. So this throws a spanner in the works, because in actual fact, BOTH explanations of the putting stroke are incorrect. So how can we ensure that YOU are swinging the putter on the correct path and the putter face is behaving?
The photos this month show you a close up of Ellen’s (a client) putterhead. It demonstrates that it is swinging on the correct path, this is evident because her putterhead is not touching any of the six bumpers (three on the outside and three on the inside) on The Putting Coach, and the fact that her golf ball has started in the centre of the tunnel on The Putting Coach means that her putter face was square as it struck the ball. If her putterface was closed at impact the ball would have started left and hit the left hand side of the tunnel and if it was open it would have started right and hit the right hand side of the tunnel
The thing I like for Ellen is, she is learning the correct swing path and putter face position at impact without me using a lot of words. Also, I really like that she is learning to do it for herself as opposed to being forced to do it correctly. I believe this will have a much longer-lasting impact on her.
I must mention that I needed to make a number of set-up changes before I thought Ellen was ready to work on her putting stroke. Without these changes I don’t think she would be able make this new stroke quite so easily.