Great Putting Mechanics with Simon Holmes

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To achieve a more reliable putting stroke, you need to place your hands in a neutral position, keep your forearms parallel to the shaft, and adjust your elbows to the side while keeping your eyes still throughout the stroke. Professional Golf Coach Simon Holmes walks through the progression of putting mechanics for a 15-foot putt. He references that tour pros will spend most of their time on their putting because if they can't putt well, they won't be competitive. Most amateur golfers don't spend anywhere close to the needed time practicing their putting mechanics. Simon gives a comprehensive lesson on everything needed to become a better putter. Follow him through each element of good putting mechanics and take it to the practice green. 

Two Keys to a Correct Putting Grip

There are two key areas of getting your putting grip correct. The first key is to pay attention to how the hands are positioned on the club. Start with a totally neutral position where the hands are facing each other palm to palm. It’s important to have no wrists involved in your shorter putts, so the putter sits much higher in the palm of the left hand. Make sure to hold the putter much more in the fingers. For the first point of contact, position your left thumb down the grip while bringing the right thumb down the grip as well. The second key to a correct grip is to make sure that your forearms are parallel to the shaft. It’s important to not have the forearms come in different angles because that is going to create huge manipulations in the path during the stroke. While placing your forearms parallel to the shaft, make sure to keep the elbows into your side as well.

Alignment in Your Putting Setup

Alignment is visual and it is the hardest part of putting. You need to be able to find the eye position that allows for the best look at the target line. It's important to have your eyes right on top of the target line. Make sure to not be standing either too far away or too close to the ball because that will distort the view of the target line to the hole. 

Your Shoulders are the Engine of Your Putting Stroke

The best engine for putting is to position the arms inward to get the torso and shoulders to be the engines of the stroke. This creates a big pendulum movement where the shaft and the arms are always staying in the same relation throughout the stroke. Make sure not to be too handsy or too much forearm rotation during the stroke because that is going to be very hard to repeat and unreliable when under pressure. These mechanics are vital for consistency.

Rolling the Rock Consistently

The next part is the engine for putting is controlling the clubhead speed. Rolling the ball requires quite a few different things to happen. Make sure to have the same loft and hit the ball with a square face so that the shaft returns to a positive position. Many individuals push their hands forward as if they are trying to guide it, but this takes all the loft away by squeezing the ball into the green and bouncing it all over the place. Because of this, make sure to never change the wrist angles to maintain consistency.

Putting is Over Half Your Strokes in Golf - Practice, Practice, Practice!

The potential to lower your golf scores by improving your putting is huge. Consider that in a round with 18 holes, you will almost certainly be looking at 40% to 50% of your total strokes taking place on the putting green. By shaving off one stroke per hole on average, you could reduce your overall golf scores by 20% to 30%. A great way to start is learning to get your ball within three feet of the cup (the circle of love) at least one stroke faster. This means learning distance control in your long putts. To learn to control your distance effectively, you should try to reduce your putting to only changing one variable. You should attempt to keep everything else as a constant. Making your putting mechanics the exact same for every distance, but only altering either the amount of backswing or pace of the putter can be a gamechanger for most players. Avoid changing both variables from putt to putt.

And you can combine the Karate Kid Drill with the ladder drill which focuses on developing great putting distance control.

Spend 50% of your practice time on the putting green. Spend 50% or more of that time working on your distance and speed control.

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