Should you get fit for putting? Is poor posture costing you strokes on the dance floor?
Whether you are right- or left-hand low now, if you are struggling with your putting, strengthening your core muscles and improving your balance may be your answer. Improved posture and core stability will help produce a smoother, more stable pendular motion.
Test your stability on a practice green by casting a shadow in front of you. See if your shadow moves at all during a putting stroke. If it does, see if you can stabilize yourself by slightly contracting your lower abdominals and bending slightly more from your hips to straighten and lengthen your spine. You can also put pressure on both of your insteps to help stabilize your stroke.
If you have difficulty finding your lower abdominals, stand as tall as you possibly can with your stomach pulled in and shoulders down and back. Maintain that level of support as you assume your putting address position.
Anything you can do during the day to challenge your balance is another way to improve putting accuracy. Standing on one leg while brushing your teeth or waiting for an elevator, for example, can help your body learn to stabilize itself. Improved overall balance improves ball striking from driver to putter.
We often get asked about the use of belly and long putters vs. regular length putters. Putting, putters, and putting grips vary greatly, so try as many variations as you want to find what feels the best for you. Even Tour players change these variables on a regular basis. The most important factor is how stable you are without compromising your body in the process.
It is amazing how many “just putting” injuries we treat a year. The worst thing you can do to your low back is load it (standing or sitting), bend forward (round or slouch), then rotate. Many golfers feel they need to round way over the ball to get their eyes directly over the ball. This compromises their bodies and their putting accuracy. Yes, many outstanding players have this type of putting stance, but they have hit thousands of balls to groove the motion, and many have had a number of physical problems that still haunt them. Your body has fewer joints to control if it is strong, stable, and balanced. And as you know, your body is the most important piece of equipment that you own.