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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Just a Thought on Snedeker's Putting

I'm not going to make a long post out of this, but I do want to make an observation about the way Sneds putts. There may be other clips, but this is the only one I found that showed him making a good putt (remember, until Sunday he was best-known for that 4-jack at the BMW a few years back). Pay attention, it's a short clip:

Sneds addresses the ball with a good square setup. The main thing he does differently from other players is make a short quick stroke. For most players that's the kiss of death... but not for Sneds.

Here's the main key -- at least, as best as I can tell: Because Sneds is a fast player anyway, he manages to make a smooth fluid motion DESPITE the quickness of it. Watch most players stab at putts and you'll see the club go back, stop for a moment, then jerk forward. There's none of that with Sneds! Given the speed of his stroke, it's a nice even tick-tock motion. Anything else would result in constantly pulled putts.

Likewise, most players would have trouble controlling their distance with a stroke this quick. Sneds controls his distance very well. I don't know if that comes naturally to him or whether he spends a lot of time practicing, but he's very successful with it.

I'll make one other observation that I think is extremely important to his consistency but gets overlooked when his stroke is analyzed:
Because his stroke is so short, Sneds doesn't turn his shoulders much. The vast majority of movement in his stroke comes from the elbows and hands. Unlike many players, he doesn't twist his forearms when he putts. (Watch this short video several times and look at how solid all of these things are in his stroke. It's beautiful!) Together, those things mean he knows his putt is going to be on line as long as he keeps his rhythm and doesn't jerk the putter. All he has to think about is rhythm and distance.
And that, my friends, results in a very dependable putting stroke. I wouldn't recommend putting with as quick a stroke as Sneds, but you won't go wrong by copying the rest of it!

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