PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club


Smooth out your stroke

By Jim Flick Photos by J.D. Cuban
January 08, 2009

Retief Goosen, winner of two U.S. Opens, has long been known for a silky-smooth putting stroke, which is great for making pressure putts on slick greens. I asked him if there is a secret to his beautifully repetitive putting action.

He showed me a special putter he practices with. It has a normal putterhead but a very whippy shaft. When using this putter, if you snap the putter back quickly or suddenly increase the pace of your through-stroke (photo above, left), you notice it immediately -- the shaft bends dramatically and the putt veers off line. If you maintain a consistent pace back and through, as I'm doing in the bottom photos, the shaft stays straight and the ball rolls true.

Even if you don't have access to such a putter, you can pretend your putter has a whippy shaft. That image will keep the putterhead and your hands moving in unison. You'll have better speed control.

FLICK, a longtime Golf Digest Teaching Professional and PGA Golf Professional Hall of Famer, worked with hundreds of amateurs and tour players including Jack Nicklaus.