Golf Digest editors picks

Should You Forward Press?

Here's how I do it, and why it works

Lesson Tee: Phil Mickelson

Give it a head start After you take your setup, your hands should be directly over the ball (far left). To forward press, move them an inch or two up the target line (left).

Photo: J.D. Cuban

August 2009

Although the forward press in putting is a matter of preference, it has always been my style to use one, and I recommend you give it a try. By nudging your hands toward the target a couple of inches before starting your takeaway, you'll find it easier to return at impact with your hands ahead of the ball -- a real key to maintaining the ideal amount of clubface loft and making the ball roll smoothly. The forward press also will signal you to keep your hands moving toward the target during the forward stroke, instead of stopping and allowing the clubhead to pass your hands, which adds loft and often changes the face angle. No good player lets that happen. Finally, the forward press can help you at the start to establish good tempo and rhythm, which are as important in putting as they are in the full swing.

The instruction in this article was adapted from "Phil Mickelson: Secrets of the Short Game." The DVD will be available in April. For more information, click www.golfdigestshop.com

Phil also shares his short-game knowledge in Golf Digest's Make Me Better initiative, where you can access hundreds of lessons, enter our grand-prize sweepstakes and get a free putter grip.

J.D. Cuban
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