Jack Nicklaus: 4 things I do to make every single putt
At setup, make sure that your eyes are over the line of putt. This is critical for keeping your putter on track. The real trick, however, is to get your left eye over the ball, with your right eye behind it. That way, when you swivel your head to give the target a final look, you’re looking right down the intended line. Since you’re behind the ball, make sure the shaft is straight up and down. Don’t lean it toward the target.
My putting stance was pretty unique: feet together, knees “pinched,” upper body hunched over the ball. You can copy me if you’d like, but as long as you’re comfortable in your putting stance with your arms and shoulders parallel to your putt line, you’re good. It doesn’t matter if your feet are together or wide, or open or closed.
Your stroke can be medium-paced (like mine), quick (like Tom Watson’s) or wristy (à la Arnold Palmer). Whatever you choose, maintain the same grip pressure throughout. If your grip strength is a “6” at setup, it’d better be a “6” when you strike the ball. It’s the savvy putter’s trick for consistency.
My long-time coach, Jack Grout, always said, “Soft forearms, Jackie-boy. Soft forearms.” Great advice for maintaining constant grip pressure. From there, “I never missed a putt in my mind.” it’s a mindset. For many years I wanted putts to go in. As I matured as a player, my thought process became “this has to go in.” Reminding yourself that every putt is an opportunity for a make is powerful stuff. Invite visions or thoughts that inspire makes, not misses.