Get off the clock
Why accelerating works better than a pendulum
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.
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...
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.
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