When putting, how do you promote a stable face at impact position?
Use alignment rods when putting
The key to sinking putts is having your putter face aimed properly. Here’s a great tip for getting your putter face square at impact. On the practice putting green, find a 3 foot putt that is flat. Lay down two alignment rods, 4 inches apart and parallel to one another. With the golf hole on one end of the alignment rods, place a golf ball on the other end of the alignment rods. Place your putter head behind the golf ball. Make sure your putter face is aimed square to the hole, on this straight putt, by positioning the face of the putter so that it is perfectly perpendicular to the two parallel alignment rods. As you stroke the putt, visualize keeping the putter face straight. Try hitting several putts between the alignment rods and into the cup. It is a good visual that helps understand how a properly aligned putter face can help you sink more putts.
Grip pressure is the key
90% of the time when I am working with a player on putting they squeeze the grip way too hard. The more pressure you put on the grip the more the face moves and rotates through impact. The best most simple advice you can try is to grip the putter as lightly as possible.
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Stable base leads to stable face
A stable base wil help to promote a more stable face at impact. I see a lot of my students , especially beginners, move their lower body a lot while making their putting stroke. Try putting with no lower body movement, so the face can be more stable at impact. This way unnecessary movement can me limited and the stroke can be made more with the upper body, using more of your arms and shoulders.
Grip and Balance are Key
To promote a stable face at impact when putting, as well as any other shot, your grip needs to be secure and correct and your body needs to be in balance. Although a putt may not be the biggest swing you bring to your golf game it still needs to be correct. What is correct? One that gives you a good feel for different lengths of putts and allows you to return the putter head back to a square position at impact. If one or both are missing, you need to change grip style, pressure or configuration. If you have problems with your head moving in the putting stroke, or have issues hitting the sweet spot consistently, these are telltale signs of swaying or off balance motions during the stroke.
For more information or help with these items, please see your local PGA golf instructor.
Keep It Simple
To maintain a stable club face through impact, there are many opinions amongst many good players as to how to do just that. Some promote the opposite hand low method. Others promote the claw grip or long putters, etc. Any way you look at it, the purpose of all of these methods is to maintain some square face consistency through impact. I personally think that maintaining a firm top hand with a conventional reverse overlap or baseball grip, along with a straight back straight through stroke that’s not too handsy helps to do that just fine.
Ultimately, the best putters (with any method) do maintain square face consistency with good distance control and feel. Just remember that (as in anything in golf) putting is only part science and a whole lot of an art form. So, don’t get too caught up in the mechanics. Maintain a good, sound simple grip with a rhythmic stroke and let your creative juices flow. But, never forget that feel and intuition are such a huge part of golf, especially when putting.
Set up and practice
The grip for a putter needs to be very different than the grip for a full swing. In a full swing grip, you grip on your fingers with your forearms rotated so they point down. This encourages free wrist action during the swing. The putter grip should be in your palms with both firearms pointing up. This restricts wrist action.
Then lots of practice feeling shoulder rotation with very quiet hands and wrists.
Push or Pull Your Putts?
Learn to pull with your left or push with your right hand. Pulling means back of the left hand at the hole, pushing I mean palm of the right hand at the hole.
Determine which hand is your dominant hand by hitting putts one handed. If you can control the face better with the right hand use a slightly firmer grip with the right hand and looser grip pressure with the left hand. If your left hand is dominate use a firmer grip with your left hand and looser grip with the right hand.
Starts at the Beginning
A player is more likely to manipulate the club face if they don’t trust that it is correct at setup. First, the hands must be properly placed on the grip. There are a lot of grip styles but traditionally getting that target side hand grip correct with the handle through the palm and not in the fingers will stabilize the face. Proper alignment of face and shoulders will encourage the player to keep the hands and wrists quiet throughout the stroke and minimizing the stroke length (as much as possible with proper head speed and rhythm) should then lesson the margin for error in face dispersion.