Get off the clock

Why ac­cel­er­at­ing works bet­ter than a pen­du­lum

Today's Golfer (UK) - - Fault Fixer -

Fault: Poor face con­trol when try­ing the pen­du­lum rhythm Fix: Think ‘pass’ or ‘kick’ to feel the ap­pro­pri­ate move­ment

“Swing the put­ter like a pen­du­lum” is one of those age­less pieces of ad­vice we’d do bet­ter to ig­nore. While the con­cept of the pure swing of the pen­du­lum is a se­duc­tive one, it rarely trans­lates into im­proved putting per­for­mance. For one thing, un­less you’re a ma­chine, it is hard to achieve – Bobby Jones once de­scribed the pen­du­lum stroke “a thing ab­so­lutely im­pos­si­ble of ac­com­plish­ment so long as hu­man be­ings are built as we know them”. And sec­ond, it con­fers less con­trol of the club­face. Here’s what you should do in­stead.

Set square Keep it smooth Fair trial

Fol­low through with brisk and firm mo­tion, enough to send the put­ter’s head twice as far through as you pulled it back. Note, how, with this as­sisted ac­cel­er­a­tion, the face feels more sta­ble and more ready to stay square. Ac­cel­er­a­tion does not mean your stroke has to be­come snappy or jerky. You can still use grav­ity to keep the put­ter’s change of di­rec­tion smooth; but once it has started for­ward, fo­cus on strik­ing firmly through the ball. Prac­tise this 2:1 length ra­tio un­til its rhythm starts to feel more nat­u­ral and in­stinc­tive, get­ting used to how far the ac­cel­er­a­tion sends the ball. When the stroke feels fa­mil­iar and com­fort­able, try it on the course.

Think 2:1

In a pen­du­lum stroke the through­swing is as long as the back­swing – a 1:1 ra­tio. In­stead, turn this into a 2:1 feel, your through­swing dou­bling the length of your back­swing. Prac­tise this by us­ing your trail foot in­step as a guide for back­swing length.

Low face value

To feel the weak­ness of the pen­du­lum stroke, dan­gle your put­ter in front of you, pull it back and let it swing. With noth­ing but grav­ity pow­er­ing it, lit­tle en­ergy is cre­ated and the face be­comes very un­sta­ble.

TG TOP 50 GARY CASEY THORPE WOOD GC, CAMBS 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence coach­ing golfers of all lev­els

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