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Friday, June 9, 2017

A Nicklaus Putting Tip

I'm going back a ways here, to an old Golf Digest (print copy!) from April 2013, to get you an image to help your putting from none other than Jack Nicklaus.

Jack Nicklaus putting stroke -- before and after impact

In that issue Jack wrote that, in order to help him hit putts more softly on fast greens, he used to imagine his putter shaft was made of rope. Those of you who have read Ruthless Putting know that I have a drill that actually uses a weighted rope, but what Jack's after here is something different. While my drill is designed to help you hit your putts more decisively with less tension, Jack's image is intended to create a softer hit. Remember, he's putting on fast greens and he already has a pretty firm stroke... plus this tip was in a Masters issue.

What Jack said he found to be more successful was imagining that his putter shaft was made of glass. If he hit the ball with too much force, the shaft would shatter. He said the glass image was key to winning the 1986 Masters, when he used that bigheaded Response putter. That putter had more loft, so his tendency was to get the ball airborne with his normal stroke.

Most of you don't play greens as fast as Augusta. However, you probably see quite a few fast downhill putts during your round. Imagining that your putter shaft is made of glass could help you avoid hitting your putt too hard and leaving yourself a long comebacker. Just remember that this is a technique for hitting fast putts, NOT your normal run-of-the-mill putts.

Btw, the photo came from this post at the Golf Digest site, from another putting article by Nicklaus and the late Jim Flick. You might want to take a look at that post as well.

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