How to Get Every Putt to the Hole

[Left] Allowing your left wrist to break down pushes the putterhead in front of the shaft and adds extra loft that causes your ball to bounce and skip. [Right] A firm left wrist allows you to strike the ball with the correct amount of loft and produce a pure roll.
Don Penny

This story is for you if…

• You have distance-control problems.

• You hit putts with a lot of hand action.

The Problem

Your putts always roll short of the hole, except for the times when you focus on striking the ball hard.

Why It’s Happening

You’re adding loft to the putterface at impact, causing the ball to launch into the air at impact and then skid its way to the hole.

The Solution

Keep your left wrist firm at impact. When your left wrist breaks down, it pushes the putterhead in front of the shaft and adds loft. Studies using the SAM PuttLab and Advanced Motion Measurement’s 3D Motion Analysis System show that breaking your left wrist as little as three degrees can be the difference between holing the putt and coming up short.


Try a motion that’s all shoulders — feel like your hands are just holding on to the putter as your shoulders power it back and through. If that doesn’t work, experiment with an alternative grip. Grips like the left-hand-low arrangement [photo, right left] and the claw hold [photo, right right] have been proven to control left-wrist breakdown in numerous studies by reducing the influence of your left hand in the stroke [see data, below].


Rev Overlap .5° away from target
Interlock .9° away from target
Overlap 1.0° away from target
Cross .4° away from target
Split 1.7° away from target
Baseball 1.2° away from target
Langer .9° away from target
Claw .7° toward target
Strong RH .9° away from target

* 20 mid-handicapped golfers tested using the SAM PuttLab