Play Your Best: ShortcutsFebruary 9, 2015

A Handy Putting Tip

Change your grip to roll it in the side door

Do you miss a lot of putts that curl away before reaching the hole? We call that missing on the amateur side—the low side. Your goal is to get the ball tracking toward the hole from the pro side. Start by adjusting your grip.

If I want to make sure I don't miss on the low side on a left-to-right putt, I'll shift my left hand a bit to the right on the handle of my putter. In other words, I strengthen my left-hand grip so I can see one or two knuckles. This helps keep the putterface from opening, which would cause a miss to the right.

Putting

Illustration by Chris Gash

The opposite adjustment helps on a right-to-left putt. I shift my left hand on the grip so I can't see any knuckles. This weakened left-hand position helps keep the putterface from closing, which would cause me to miss to the left.

With either grip change, make your normal pendulum stroke, and concentrate on the line. You'll start cashing in.

ELEMENTARY WATSON

Staying balanced is crucial when putting in the wind. I widen my stance and bend over more when the wind is howling. That posture would be too restrictive for a full swing, but you want minimal body motion to strike a solid putt.

Tom Watson is a Golf Digest Playing Editor.


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