Want To Sink More Putts? Try this…
As much as 40-50% of your shots in a round can occur on the putting green. That is a huge number, and I know that we don’t see that percentage of articles written about putting. The reason is because most of us ignore what is occurring on the green.
Putting is an inexact science, and I don’t believe one person has the right answer for all golfers. However, anything you can do to put yourself in a positive mental state before you stroke the ball is helpful.
I continue to tweak my putting stroke on the practice green in an effort to increase my confidence. I wanted to pass along a tip that you might notice some of the pros using on the greens.
Bonus Content: Check out our putting drills guide
What is the forward press??
It’s called the forward press. I think it can be a powerful technique and mental trigger for your game.
Dave Stockton (and many other teachers) advocate the use of a forward press because it delofts the putter. There is a theory out there that since most putters actually have 3-4 degrees of loft, you have to counteract that with leaning your hands forward a little bit. The thought is that it will help you make solid contact and prevent the ball from hopping.
Whether or not this is completely true can be debated forever. But I think leaning your left hand forward is helpful because it will help maintain your wrist angle through impact. The number one mistake of the amateur golfer when they putt or chip is not maintaining their wrist angle with their lead hand.
We all have a tendency to “scoop” the ball, which is when our left hand starts to get behind the ball at impact. This leads to inconsistent strikes, one of our biggest enemies for losing strokes. I have suffered from this mightily over the years.
Rory McIroy had one session with Dave Stockton a couple of years ago that immediately had him holing more putts, and the main focus was having him introduce the forward press as a trigger right before he started his stroke.
Watch this video and notice what he does at around 7 seconds. He leans his hands forward a little bit right before his stroke.
If you watch any tournament on TV you will see a ton of pros doing this. Many of them have made it part of their routine.
Why would I do this?
Aside from the technical benefits of having your hands ahead of the ball at impact, the main reason this could help you is from a mental perspective.
One of the hardest things for any golfer to do is commit to a shot. Any sports psychologist will tell you that having some kind of trigger before your shot to signal to yourself “I’m ready” is going to lead to better performance.
Bonus Content: Be sure to check out my complete guide to putting.
There are a number of ways you can go about doing this, and I think this could be a great tool for your putting stroke. Leaning your hands forward before you initiate your stroke can prevent that extra 10-15 seconds of lingering doubt that might occur if you find yourself freezing over the ball.
I am holing more putts than ever before since I introduced my Jordan Spieth routine, and the forward press. Is it a placebo effect? Well I actually kind of hope it is, because I made these changes so I would be more confident in the stroke I am making on the green.
Give this a shot next time you are practicing (please practice your putting), and see how it feels. I encourage all of you to read Dave Stockton’s book on putting. It’s not a long read, but it offers some of the best insight I’ve ever seen on what it takes to be successful with the short stick.
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