July 4, 2007

Killer Stats: How the best can get better

Vijay Singh: 168th in Putts from 7-8 Feet

Photo: Darren Carroll

Photo: Darren Carroll

MAKING 45.3 PERCENT IN THIS RANGE. Vijay used to putt with a belly putter and also tried cross-handed, although much of the year he putted with a conventional putter and grip. However, belly and cross-handed putt-ing can introduce flaws. Cross-handed lowers the left shoulder, causing a descending hit, and belly putting puts your hands behind the ball. Both methods can cause the ball to fly or skid before rolling.

Swing low to high Stick a thin dowel or shaft in the practice green about six feet from a hole, pointing upward and toward the cup. Place a ball under the dowel, set your hands ahead and putt. This ingrains a low-to-high stroke and a slightly ascending arc at impact that gets the ball rolling sooner.