Downhill Putting


Gripping down on the putter or choking up as it is commonly referred to is a great way to improve your control of the putter. Baseball players are taught to choke up on the bat when they get 2 strikes on them to improve their bat control. Many golfers prefer to "get closer to their work " on their short putts by choking down on their putters. 

Gripping down on the putter is also an extremely effective technique for controlling your speed on championship greens.

By gripping down on the putter the player reduces the radius of the stroke. Reducing the radius of the stroke reduces the length of the stroke and the distance the ball will roll.

Gripping the Magic putter at the bottom of the grip also lowers the effective swing weight and makes the putter head feel lighter.     

 

DOWNHILL PUTTING ON FAST GREENS IS A SPECIAL ART

There are many aspects to putting your golf ball. One of the most important putting skills is to be able to control your speed on slick downhill putts. Most poor downhill putts end up well below the hole and far from the tap-in range. The goal is to roll softer putts that die around or in the hole. Besides choking up on the putter a couple of other options for rolling softer putts are toe putting and the coveted push putt.

TOE PUTTING

Some players control their speed by intentionally miss hitting their putts. They soften the putt by putting the ball off of the toe side of the sweet spot. The result is that the putter blade will open slightly and impact less energy to the ball. There is also some loss of directional accuracy when you putt the ball off of the toe side of the sweet spot. This is what was called the "knock back theory" in the 80's. The blade opens and there is a softer contact with the ball. Heel and toe weighted models such the Magic putter will open less than solid blade putters.

TOE PUTTING: Great from below, dangerous from above

Putting the ball off of the toe is a very effective method of putting when you are standing below the ball and inside the arc of the putt. That is right-handed on right to left putts and left-handed on the left to right putts. When you putt off of the toe when you are standing below the ball, the toe opens to the high or safe side. 

DANGER...We do not recommend putting off the toe when putting the slice putt.

 

The push putt is an excellent practice drill that teaches the player how to control their speed on fast greens. You place the putter directly behind and barely touching the ball, then you gently push the ball forward. It is the absolute softest way to move the ball forward with any putter.  It is a great practice drill for learning how to reduce the amount of hit in the putting stroke. There is a different sound between a pushed putt and a putt that's been hit.

The pushed putt also teaches you to follow through with the stroke. You must accelerate the putter because there is no back swing. The push putt is an illegal stroke for putting because of the lack of a back swing. It is legal however if you add in a short back swing and then visualize pushing the ball into the hole.

The soft touch that one learns from practicing the push putt can help teach you how to control your speed on the slickest of downhill putts. Use a slow compact back swing and then push the ball on your chosen line. The swing path of the putter should move slightly on the upswing to avoid the dreaded double hit.  When you are able to push your downhill putts softly, instead of hitting them, is when you will be able to control your speed on the most treacherous downhill putts.

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