WOW… Time really does fly. I guess when you average 200+ rounds a day like we do here at Cranberry Highlands, two months disappear in the blink of an eye. So here we are in September. Since my last golf tip in mid-June, we saw some great golf from quite a few of the PGA Tour’s best…. Particularly, Jordan Spieth. How did this 22 year old kid from Texas manage to win 2 Majors and a handful of other events? Was it his power? No. Jordan ranks 74th on the PGA Tour in driving distance. Was it precision accuracy with his irons? Not necessarily considering he ranks 55th in greens in regulation. The number one reason for Jordan’s monumental success has been his putting! He ranks in the top 5 in almost every putting statistic. Young Mr. Spieth makes more putts from 20-25 feet than any other player on tour. How does he do it? I’ll try to break it down…..
Most average players I see putt with what we call a conventional grip. For a right handed golfer this is a grip that has the right hand lowest and both hands are together in a neutral position. This is a timeless method that has been taught since the beginning. If you are comfortable putting this way and it has worked for you, then don’t change it. Like they say, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it!” If you are someone that lacks consistency in your putting, never gets the ball on the right line, has trouble getting the ball in the hole, or are just looking to try something different, then cross-handed putting might be worth a shot. Heck, it works for Jordan Spieth. Putting with a cross-handed grip is the best way to set the club square to your line and keep it square throughout the stroke. It takes some getting used to at first, but a few sessions on the putting green will take care of that.
Next time you are watching Jordan Spieth putting, pay close attention to what he does just prior to taking the putter back. You will notice a slight forward press motion. This is Jordan’s trigger. Most weekend golfers struggle with their putting because of tension that builds up in their hands and arms. By adding this little forward press to start the putting stroke, you will eliminate this tension. Learn to do this EVERY SINGLE TIME you hit a putt and you will start the ball on line much more often.
KEEP THE PUTTER HEAD SQUARE
There are MANY schools of thought these days when it comes to the putting stroke. It is easy to get confused or overwhelmed when trying to find the best method for you. In keeping with this month’s focus on Jordan Spieth, you will be happy to know that when it come to the putting stroke, he KEEPS IT SIMPLE. It is too difficult to worry about the opening and closing of the putter face in his opinion. Instead, Jordan focuses on the back of his left hand. When Jordan take his grip, the back of his left hand is square with the face of his putter. He then simply keeps the back of his hand square to his target all the way through his stroke. If you watch him putt, you will see him hold his finish position and his left hand is perfectly square with his line. If you take nothing else from this article, LEARN THIS. It obviously works for Jordan Spieth, two-time Major Champion in 2015.
Thanks for reading this month’s golf tip! I hope they help you in your quest to get better at this great game. Come on out to Cranberry Highlands to play some golf as we transition into the fall season. (In my opinion, the best time of year to play!) If you haven’t already heard, we will NOT be aerifying our greens this fall… That means one thing: A longer season! We will see you on the course.