Ask the Top 100: TJ + YouTube = No More 3-Putts

E-mail askgolf@golf.com to
cure what's hurting your scores with advice from the very best teachers
in the game. Please include your name and hometown. Do you have a video of your faulty swing? Upload the video from your digital camera to a service like YouTube and send us the link. We'll send it off to a Top 100 Teacher for help ASAP. Dear T.J.,Please take a look at my daughter's putting stroke and let me know any advice you have for her. She's only 12 but I think she has potential.

Thanks,  Mike S. via email Hi Mike,
The key to putting is the Two Inch Rule.
Your daughter’s stroke looks good. The best thing about it is that the face of the club stays so square through impact. It follows my two inch rule: I like to see the clubface stay looking directly down the line of start for at least two inches after impact and she does just that.
There is only one thing I'd keep an eye on. When she grounds the club behind the ball she lines the ball up off the heel then loops the putterhead ever so slightly to catch the ball in the center of the face. She'll have to over-read right-to-left putts to allow for the pull.
But even the best putters in the world don't all have perfect mechanics and perfect aim. What they do have is a stroke that repeats. So if she's making everything, I'd let her go for a while. Mike, it’s a funny game isn't it -- if you can repeat your error perfectly it’s not an error at all.
Best,T.J. Hi T.J.,I'm a 4 handicap and I have struggled with my grip for more than 15 years. Between one and five times per round, the driver slips in my left hand on my downswing, resulting in short, ugly toe hooks. I grip the club pretty much per Ben Hogan’s advice and use an interlocking grip. I suspect my problem is initiating the downswing with the hands versus the hips. Any ideas?Mike B.,
Arlington Va.
Hello Mike,
Your problem is something I call the Interlock-ness Monster.
The interlocking grip is a good way to hold the club but there is something you have to watch out for.
When you intertwine your left index finger and your right pinkie, you can push the club to far up into the palm of your left hand without realizing it. And if you make the mistake most golfers make -- placing their left hand on the club with their hand at their side -- the monster gets even bigger. Why? Because if you're not careful, taking your grip with the clubhead near the ground places the club handle at too sharp an angle in the palm, allowing it to flop around as the club gathers speed during the downswing.
The reason for this is simple: As you accelerate the club at high speed in less than a half second, there is a tremendous amount of "out force" pulling on the shaft that can cause you to lose control of the clubhead if your handle is not secure. At this crucial period of the swing, you must own the club; it can’t own you. You can accomplish this by gripping the club properly. Asktop1oo_400

Grasp the club with the fingers of your right hand in the middle of the shaft and hold the club at arm's length so that the clubhead is above your forehead. Now, reach out and wrap the fingers of your left hand around the shaft and place your left thumb down the right side of the shaft. Asktop1002_300Its the fat pad of the left hand that secures the handle of the cub.

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