The Pendulum Putting stroke is probably the most effective technique in the history of golf.
While there are many individual golf swings, nearly all good players approach putting in the same way. The idea is simple and take as many moving parts out of your technique as possible. The shoulders rock back and through to move the putter, while the hands and wrists just go along for the ride. This style of putting provides consistent distance control, the ability to hit your putts on line and stability under pressure. If you have struggled with being a poor putter making the switch to a pendulum stroke could just be the answer.
If you want to use a pendulum stroke you must practice the following:
- Light grip pressure because it is so important if you wish to make a successful stroke. If you grip the putter tightly it will be extremely difficult to let your stroke flow freely. You want to have a very light grip pressure at address, with the club hanging from your hands with no tension in your fingers. The putting stroke is not an aggressive action so you don’t have to worry about losing control of the putter during the shot. Commit yourself to starting each stroke with a light grip and maintain that feel all the way through to the finish.
- Keeping a stable head position is a key feature of a reliable putting stroke. From the time you address the ball and are ready to make a stroke, and to the finish of your stroke, your head should remain perfectly still. By keeping your head still, it will become easier to swing the club freely back and through. It will also be easier to make better contact with the ball on the centre of the putter face. The temptation will always be to look up early, but you need to teach yourself focus on the stroke and listen for that ball hitting the bottom of the cup.
- One of the biggest mistakes I see with amateurs is very poor posture for putting. They are either hunched over or stand very stall with their eyes nowhere near the line of the ball. The correct posture for putting is to have some flex in the knees and a tilt from your hips where your eyes are then over the ball. By taking up this stance you are now in the correct position to make a pendulum stroke. Work on this on the putting green until you find yourself in a comfortable position.
- The whole idea of a pendulum stroke is for your shoulders to rock the club back and through with no involvement of your hands. It is the right hand that frequently becomes a problem. If you let your right hand take control over the putter at any stage, the pendulum effect will be lost and you will hit a poor putt. Over the years to counteract the problems of right hand dominance, players have started gripping the putter in different ways such as the Reverse Grip and the Claw Grip. In recent times there are now new putter grips to help to keep the hands quiet.
- The piece that is going to help keep your stroke consistent is tempo. When you have a consistent, reliable tempo it will become much easier to roll the ball. Working on keeping the hands less active will also help with creating a good tempo. Whether you use a fast tempo, a slow tempo, or anything in between as long as it is consistent and it feels natural to you.
If you take on board the points listed and spend plenty of time on the practice putting green I’m sure you’ll see improved results and a drop in your putting stats in no time.
Barry Morgan – PGA Golf Professional