So as if getting used to my first new putter in years wasn’t enough of a shock to the putting system this week I also made some pretty drastic changes to my putting set up and routine. It’s not a case of panic changing just because I had a bad putting week recently. A lot of these things have been bugging me for a while and it was good to have them highlighted and change them with my coach Andrew Argus this week.
Just like with the full swing in golf, it’s easy to fall into bad habits with your putting set up. The picture above shows how my old STX putter was sitting at address a little while back when I took some video footage of my stroke. As you can see the toe end of the putter is way up in the air. Now, not only does this potentially bring about problems from the loft / lie angle issues (yes, putters have loft and the loft only points in the right direction if the putter head is sitting correctly on the ground) but it had begun to effect my grip.
Without going into too much boring detail here I had ended up with the putter sitting too low, too much in my fingers rather than in the palms of my hands where I prefer it to sit. The change felt very weird at first but the ‘new’ grip felt somehow familiar. I’m positive it’s exactly how I used to hold the putter years ago arguably when I was putting at my best. So a re-vamped grip combined with a much better position for the putter head to sit should all add up to the loft actually pointing where I want it to now. Still following me? 🙂
Other alterations were to slightly widen my stance to give a bit more stability and a slight change in my weight distribution. Finally, I have got rid of the several practice strokes all merged into one continuos movement and replaced them with one purposeful practice stroke. It makes far more sense to make the same stroke you are about to try and make with a ball. This last point is something I have been aware of for a while but again, it’s a bad habit I have gradually drifted into.
Just like alterations made to the full golf swing, these changes will take some getting used to. Hence why my practice time on the putting green has increased this week. The only way to change a routine is to stand there and repeat the new routine over and over again until that becomes the norm. Obviously I want the new set up positions and routine to feel natural by the time I next compete so that I don’t have to think about them. That means hours and hours of putting practice and drills this week and next.
See you on the putting green! 😉