As the snow accumulates here in Colorado, I’ve been working indoors on my putting stroke looking to shave off a couple more strokes from my golf scores for this upcoming season. One subtle move I’ve been focused on is to forward-press my hands at the beginning of my putting stroke – a move used by Jack Nicklaus, Ben Crenshaw, Phil Mickelson, Ryan Palmer and many others.
Forward-pressing your hands gets me a better roll on the golf ball and also allows for a more consistent putting stroke. The key is to forward press your hands right before you pull the putter back.
This forward-press is very subtle and happens a quick instance right before you take the putter back. While simple, this single move can improve your consistency with putting distance so you can putt like a pro!
If you press it too far forward, you will create too much of a slant in your putter shaft and putterface which will eventually lead to bad contact and an open face. So make sure you start your putter shaft perfectly vertical at setup then start your hands forward to start your backswing.
Here are the reasons to have a forward-press to help you become a better putter.
Eliminate Your Hands
When you feel like your stroke is more controlled, this means that you are moving the putter more with your upper frame than with your hands. A forward-press can help eliminate any unintentional movement with your hands so your shoulders can act as that lever and create the pendulum with the putter that we all want.
This may mean a bit more of a better pace in your putting stroke which can allow you to control the distance better. This can also feel more comfortable in making an athletic move in your putting stroke.
Let the Hands Lead the Forward Stroke
To stay consistent with your putting stroke after you transition forward, you want to try and maintain your hands in front of the putterhead. This is important so you can stay consistent with the positions of your hands and putter throughout the forward stroke.
This can also prevent a rushed transition which leads to mis-hits and making contact with the ball with too much loft.
Let Clubhead Get Ahead Through Impact
This is where you can see and feel the putterhead release and make great contact with the center of your putter face. When you see the best players putt, you can see that their bottom hand is more active just after impact and their top hand less active.
This means that they are allowing the putter to release and to make contact on its own.
Feel Square with Better Contact at Impact
You will feel square at impact if you’re not trying to make the putt rather than making the stroke. Keep your hands quiet and let your upper frame and putterhead do the work at impact.