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The mechanics of Putting


Putting is a game within a game, the correct set up will lead to a correct club path.

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of putting
          By Martin Vincent
   Putting – probably the most under practised and mis-informed part of Golf. Tell me why, if
putting is about 43% of the game of Golf why you don’t see people at driving ranges or golf clubs
practising their putting and if they do it’s just before they tee off. I always ask a new student what
they would find most rewarding – A 300yrd drive or a 50 foot putt, if they reply 300yrd drive I know
I’m dealing with an ego, results orientated Golfer instead of a mastery orientated Golfer.

    The use of the mental game is so important in putting, you need to be calm, aware and tension
free (not relaxed), relaxed is a common word used in golf and is probably one of the worst, you are
relaxed when all your muscles aren’t doing anything, we don’t want this, not in putting.

   There is a lot of putting ‘Golf Gurus’ around these days telling you how you should putt, but in
my view you should listen to Dave Pelz or a close friend of mine Glenn Billington – Yeah, I hear you say but its hardly rocket science, well as a former
NASA scientist Dave Pelz has done extensive testing on putting and has realised that with a few
simple set up changes the golfer can have a repeatable stroke that is always square to the target, so
you see it is rocket science.

    Firstly, the most important fundamental is posture and stance. You must be comfortable, with
your arms hanging straight down from your armpits, directly under your shoulders – very important.
With your arms hanging straight down it is now possible to rock your shoulders in a single plane that
will keep the putter square to your target, it’s what Dave Pelz called the ‘PILS’ stroke (pure in-line
stroke). Glenns approach is slightly different but equally as good, he focuses on the correct hold of
the putter with a solid stance causing the ball to roll straight off the face instead off skidding, he uses
Yes! Putters has he feels these give the truest roll. He teaches that the first hand to be place on the
club is the target hand and that the back of the hand should be square to the putter face, the other
hand is placed on the putter grip but positioned under the shaft and then take a normal hold, this will
place your non-target elbow in very close to your body eliminating the dreaded pull stroke, this
simple action has cut up to 10 shots on some of my students, so thank you Glenn for your time and
    Most golfers hands are well outside of their shoulders causing a slight arc to the putter path, this
is ok so long as the ball is always placed in the correct position in your stance so that the putter face
will be square at impact, if not the putter face will be closing or still open towards impact causing a
slight pull or push. This is not so much of a factor with the PILS stroke as the putter face is always
square, obviously where you hit the ball on the face is another factor as an off centre hit will cause
twisting of the putter face. Remember, putting is an educated guess, even if you make the best stroke
but your aim is wrong it won’t go in, speed is more important than line. If you learn proper aim and
minimise, or eliminate, your putter face rotation, good strokes will follow. You will see that the
better you aim and control your distance, the more putts you will make and for god sake don’t forget
to breath!

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