Fall golf. The temperatures, at least in the south, are tolerable. The course isn’t quite as crowded. And it’s a great time to try out a few different techniques to see if they might shave those last few strokes off your handicap index.
The Jordan Spieth Putting Technique
I’ve never been a good putter. Like everyone who plays, I have days where I feel a lot more comfortable than others while standing over a putt. But more times than not, I have little confidence over a putt.
I’ve tried a conventional grip, left hand low, and the claw or saw grip. Currently, I’m using a grip that I’ve not seen anyone discuss. I have an oversize grip on my putter, and I place both hands directly opposite of each other. Both of my index fingers point down either side of the grip. For a while, it seemed to help with lag putts, but recently (as in, last week at Scotch Hall Preserve), it hasn’t worked as well.
So, I thought I’d give this a shot: the “don’t look at the ball” technique.
Does Anyone Do This?
Of course, the fact that Jordan Spieth does this from time to time on putts is not news to anyone who follows golf. Typically, he does it on short putts, but not all short putts. It’s random and from what I have read, is based on how he feels at any point on the greens.
I, on the other hand, am relatively solid from 3-4 feet and in.
But lag putting is another matter. Last weekend was a low point. One lag putt would be 5 feet short and the next would race by an even longer distance. And I could not feel that I was stroking the ball any different from one putt to another. But my quest to get to a single handicap is not going to happen when I’m taking 40 putts to finish a round.
So, my next time on the practice green, I’m going to try the “look at the hole” technique for lag putts. I like the “make it random” advice from the Pinehurst Academy video. My plan is to stroke enough putts looking at the hole to ensure that I am striking the putt in the middle of the putter face. Then I am going to randomly hit several putts looking at the ball and then at the hole.
Hopefully, that might be the magic bullet to get my lag putting to where I can get to that 3-foot “gimme” range we all strive for. I have always had good hand-eye coordination, and was a pretty fair basketball player even into my 30’s. I can still hold my own in table tennis matches. And it occurred to me that both of those require the player to be looking at the target- the rim, or the part of the table to return the ball in table tennis.
So it makes sense to at least give it a shot. Maybe I can smooth out my lag putting distance. I will give it a try and let you know how it goes. And if any reader does this, or has tried it, please get in touch and tell me if it works, or hasn’t, and why.
Thanks for reading, and Enjoy Shooting Your Age!