I’m very slow to make big changes in my golf game. My basic operating principle is that I’m having trouble because I’m not executing properly, not because I need to try to learn another way to play. But after years of having repeated bouts of putting trouble of the same kind, I finally made a change. I’ve gone to a left-hand-low putting grip. (I play right-handed.)
I’ve been plagued by two types of putting errors. First, I leave a lot of putts short. If I try to hit them harder I tend to lose the line or hit them way too hard. Second, I tend to push and pull short putts. I can beat this problem for a while by reminding myself to not look up until I hear the ball drop into the cup, by working extra hard to create a repeating pendulum stroke, by trying to keep my stroke smooth, by putting with my eyes closed (on Morning Drive, Suzann Pettersen said she’d been doing this and she won today, so it may not be as crazy as it sounds), etc. but the problem always comes back.
Since I’ve gone to left-hand-low, my most common miss on longer putts is a foot or two past the hole and I miss very few short putts. When I miss them, I can feel that I haven’t let my low hand lead toward the hole, so it’s pretty easy to fix.
The biggest thing I’ve noticed about the feel of putting left-hand-low is that I now have a pronounced feel of a pendulum stroke. It’s like my leading arm easily swings toward the target. With a standard grip I was always working to find a comfortable sense of balance between the hands, but my stroke is more comfortable now.
That seems to make my stroke more confident, so I don’t leave things short so often. I’ve holed more long putts and burned more edges from long range since I’ve made the change.
I’m still working to find a really comfortable grip, and may try a larger grip on the putter. It sometimes feels like my right hand doesn’t know where to go or what to do, but the feeling of not doing much with the right hand seems to be what makes this system work for me. I’d just like my grip to feel a little more natural.
I suppose that will happen eventually. For now, I’m off the watch the RBC Heritage and study all the left hand low grips I can find.