Instruction

Stop Pulled Putts

Photo: Leonard Kamsler

The mantra of many hot putters on Tour has become, "I CAME, I SAWED, I CONQUERED!"

Dave Pelz, one of the foremost short game and putting instructors in golf, offers schools and clinics across the U.S. Click here to find out more information.

Send your questions to askpelz@golf.com

The Problem
Too many of your missed putts miss left of the hole.

Why it's happening
You swing your putter like your irons and woods, rotating your forearms through impact. This rotates your putterface through impact, which can send your putt left of target.

The Solution
Follow the lead of several Tour pros and try a saw grip. This grip guides your hands and arms like you're sawing wood. If you recall the last time you cut wood, your hands and arms move along the same line as the cut. This is good news for your putting stroke since a saw stroke allows you to swing your putter straight back and forth along your intended line. It's a pure, in-line motion with zero forearm rotation so the face remains square and your tendency to pull putts disappears. There are four popular variations of the saw grip, and they're all solid options for eliminating the pull stroke.

Research and Data
Saw putters rank toward the top
The saw grip is generating reasonably good putting stats on the 2007 pro tours. Players who use it rank above average in Putting Average statistical category, including one in the top ten, and those players' average number of putts per green in regulation is better than the norm. Pros who try the saw grip do so to combat a tendency to pull putts, or to get over a problem of pushing putts when trying to avoid pulling them. Once their pulls are eliminated they become better putters.A saw grip might be the magic bullet for your putting woes, too, because if it can work on Tour, it just might work for you.


PerpendicularClaw
Used by: Bernhard Langer, Marck Calcavecchia
Grip: Thumb and last three fingers of the right hand positioned forward of the shaft.
Try it if: You can't stop releasing your forearms. You'll be surprised how well it retains your touch.
Used by: Chris DiMarco
Grip: Keeps the right hand and arm in line with the shaft.
Try it if: Your putterface rotates left after impact. The claw keeps your putter moving squarely down the putt line.
ParallelVertical
Used by: Mark O'Meara
Grip: Looks and feels like the standard right-hand position used for sawing wood.
Try it if: Your putter path heads left in your follow-through. This grip will smooth out your stroke and harness right-hand power.
Used by: Stewart Cink, Bart Bryant
Grip: Last three fingers of the right hand positioned behind but in line with shaft.
Try it if: You often miss right. It keeps your putter on line if your left wrist breaks down.
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