Hey, Performance Golfers, Matt Walter here at Vanderbilt Legends Club. Today, I want you to forget everything you learned about putting because, more than likely, it’s dead wrong. And that may sound kind of preposterous to you. You may think I’m a little arrogant by saying that, but I’ll tell you this right now, I’ve fixed so many common phrases, and I swear, if you guys keep saying it for me, it’s just going to help me become a better coach because I get more players in, about hearing this “straight down the line” or “keep your wrists still” and all the other verbiage that I hear that are one-line tips that just aren’t true.
So, what I mean by that is, the golf swing with the putter is way more complex than trying to keep it straight, and keeping it straight-back and straight-through, or the fact that, you know, you’re supposed to keep your hands still and make it like a pendulum. The problem becomes, the putting stroke isn’t a pendulum. It’s not fixed right here at the top of the putter and gravity doing the rest of the work. That’s not how the putter works.
So, we have to understand that what we’re swinging here is very similar to that of a golf swing. We have multiple joints that we’re using to move and influence the putter. Your hand is moving in three dimensions, hopefully your elbow’s only moving in and out, and your shoulder is another three-dimensional joint. So, we have to understand that these are tools to utilize and control club face.
Now, here’s what I mean by all this. It’s really difficult to make a straight-back/straight-through stroke when the putter sits on a plane that’s not straight up and down. The shaft would have to sit almost vertically, if not vertically, to have a traditional straight-back/straight-through. I wouldn’t even say ‘traditional’. I would just say, this is the only way for it to go, is straight-back/straight-through, but even then, it’s not operating on a pendulum because we can’t keep it fixed in the same place. It’s going to move side-to-side with some linear motion.