Consistently good putting requires consistent action. Too often, amateurs stroke putts using only their hands and arms. This leads to inconsistent contact, which in turn makes it difficult to control pace on the greens. It's effective sometimes but difficult to repeat.
Ideally, you want your hands and arms working in unison with your chest and shoulders to control the putter's motion and keep the face square to its path. Here's a great drill to hone a unified stroke. Take an empty water bottle and position it between your right biceps and your rib cage. Set up to the putt as you normally would and make a stroke while maintaining pressure on the water bottle. You should immediately start to feel a distinct connection between the movement of your upper body with the swinging motion of your hands and arms. Keep using this drill, and you'll unify your putting stroke and consistently hit putts more solidly.
LEARN FROM THE LEGENDS
Jack's Good Footwork
One of Jack Nicklaus' greatest attributes was his wonderful balance, which he got by keeping his feet relatively quiet through the hit. You get a sense of it in this snapshot of him through impact. He has a very calm look in his lower body, depicted by the way his right foot has rolled inward. His quiet feet enabled Jack to match his arm swing with the motion of his torso. This was crucial for Jack's full-swing consistency, especially with the power he generated.
DAVID LEADBETTER,* a Golf Digest Teaching Professional, is based at ChampionsGate, near Orlando.*