The Role of Each Hand in Putting with Tom Stickney

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WHAT IS THE ROLE OF EACH OF YOUR HANDS WHEN PUTTING? 

Tom Stickney -Golf Magazine Top 100 Teacher and Director of Instruction at the Big Horn Golf Club gives a great lesson in the role of each of your hands in putting. The role of your lead hand in putting is to control the putter's face angle. This determines the path the golf ball will roll upon impact with the putter. Your trailing hand controls the loft of your putter and speed of your putt. He gives a thorough explanation on how to practice effectively with each hand.

Your Lead Hand in Putting

The lead hand controls the blade alignment. If the lead hand is turning all over the place, you can see the putter face is turned all over the place. Where the blade is pointing post-impact controls eighty-three percent of all aim.

The best drill for you to learn to control your lead hand when putting - is putt with only your lead hand on the putter. When you do this, at first you will probably be surprised by just how much turning movement occurs as you practice putts. Slowly, but surely, you should start to gain a lot of control over what's going on with the face of your putter. 

Top professionals are great at making contact with the center of their putter face and striking their putts with a square putter face. Dave Pelz did a lot of research and confirmed that good golfers find the center of their putter and are square to ball almost automatically. This allows them to place all of their concentration and focus on reading greens, selecting their line and ball speed. Most amateur golfers are preoccupied on simply making square contact with their putter face, diverting focus from those other essential putting tasks.

As an amateur golfer if you're honest with yourself, how attuned are you to how squarely you are making contact with the golf ball or where you are making contact with the ball on your putter face? With most other clubs, when you strike the ball, either on the toe or heel, you will get instant feedback from the balls flight.  However, if you hit a putt on the heel or toe, the balls path may diverge only a degree or two at the start, leading you to believe you selected the wrong line or had a bad read of the green.

Your Trailing Hand in Putting

Next, we want to look at the role of your trailing hand when you are putting. Your trailing hand has a bend in it when it's holding the putter. This is what controls the loft of the putter as your stroke comes into contact with the golf ball.  Your trailing hand also controls the speed of your putter and therefor the golf ball. You want to make sure that there's a bend and that it stays intact throughout the whole stroke.  

So, when we put your hands on the putter together, we must simultaneously control our line and our speed by making sure that whatever grip we use that the lead and trailing hands are working together.


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