Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Did you know that one of Jack Nicklaus’ putting keys was to maintain the same grip pressure throughout his stroke?
The next time you address a putt, rate your grip pressure on a scale of 1 to 10. A grip pressure of 1 is very light -- barely holding the club at all -- and 10 is as tight as the Vulcan death grip. Now, with an awareness of your grip pressure throughout the stroke, hit two or three short putts and then three or four putts that are 80 to 90 feet. Keep staring at the same target -- for example a blade of grass on your line -- as you do this drill.
Did your grip pressure change through the stroke? It probably did on the longer putts, if not on the short ones.
Now set up about 6 to 8 feet from the hole. Continue staring at your target. Set your grip pressure at about a two or three. Now, begin stroking putts as you stare at a blade of grass on your target line. Try to maintain the same grip pressure throughout your stroke. Notice how well you stroke these putts.
Next, try this: Just before impact, increase your grip pressure in only your right hand to 7 or 8. Repeat the same exercise using your left hand. Notice that one hand pushes the putt while the other one pulls. Practice stroking putts while looking at a blade of grass and focusing on grip pressure. The lighter your grip pressure the easier it is to keep it consistent. You'll be surprised how many more putts you sink. Dr. David F. Wright teaches at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in Mission Viejo, Calif. You can read more of his tips at WrightBalance.com

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