Roll It Like A Pro

Need to improve golf swing performance on the green? Here is some excellent skill development advice in the below article by Jack Moorehouse.

Golf is a great game. But it’s harder than it looks.

To be good at golf, you must master not only the big things but also the little things. Take roll in putting.

Roll isn’t the most important factor in putting. That’s why most golf lessons on putting cover other topics, like speed and line. But roll is still a factor in putting and can prevent you from sinking putts. So if you want to become a great putter—and chop strokes off your golf handicap in the process—learn to generate good roll.

The key to generating good roll is releasing the putterhead through impact. We’ve talked about release in our written golf tips. Usually, it’s when discussing the full swing. But release is also important in putting. If you watch the pros closely on TV, you’ll see a lack of stiffness in the left wrist at the moment of impact, if they’re putting right-handed (right wrist, if you’re putting right-handed). That slight angle indicates they’ve released the putterhead correctly.

Factors Affecting Release

When we say release in our golf tips or golf lessons, what we’re really talking about is letting the putterhead go so the club swings past your hands. This isn’t always easy to do. But when you do it correctly, the putterhead is free to flow into a fully natural follow-through. That generates good roll.

In a conventional putting approach, three things affect release—grip, setup, and correct wrist action. Using a conventional reverse overlap grip, works best when it comes to achieving good release. This grip encourages you to let the putterhead flow through impact. Just make sure you don’t grip the club too tightly, which prevents you from releasing the putterhead altogether. Other grips don’t permit this kind of release. Because the left hand is stiff at impact, a cross-handed stroke is not conducive to letting the putterhead release.

Your setup also affects your release. The proper setup has your arms hanging down naturally, your left elbow close to your side (if you’re putting right-handed), and the putterhead flat on the ground or with the toe slightly elevated. This setup allows you to swing the putter straight back and through. In a poor setup, the heel of the putter is off the ground. The left wrist is arched. Or, the elbow is well away from the side. A poor setup “blocks” the putterface open through impact, resulting in misses to the right.

Left Wrist Is The Key

Correct wrist is the third and final factor affecting release. Contrary to what some people think, a stiff left wrist isn’t good when putting. It reduces putterhead control, turns your grip into a left-hand dominant affair, and encourages a stiff, jerky stroke, instead of nice free-flowing one. None of these, as I’ve said in my golf lessons many times, is conducive to achieving good roll on the ball. More importantly, a stiff left wrist delofts the putterface driving the ball into the ground just after contact.

A putter, if you recall from my golf tips newsletter, has three to six degrees of loft. Using the proper release, on the other hand, encourages you to hit the ball at the bottom of your stroke with the putterhead moving level, then up, generating good roll on a putt.

Too Much Release

Of course, you can become too wristy in your stroke. That in turn hampers your stroke as much as maintaining a stiff left wrist—maybe more. Allowing the putterhead to release through impact using just the right amount of wrist action promotes square contact and optimum launch conditions.

Roll is critical to good putting. Three things affect roll when putting—grip, setup, and wrist action. If you grip the club lightly, set up to the putt correctly, and allow your left wrist to move freely, you’ll release the putterhead properly. You’ll also put good roll on the ball. Golfers who achieve good roll when putting will sink more putts than those who don’t, regardless of their golf handicaps.

Jack Moorehouse is the author of the best-selling book “ How To Break 80 And Shoot Like The Pros .” He is NOT a golf pro, rather a working man that has helped thousands of golfers from all seven continents lower their handicap immediately. He has a free weekly newsletter with the latest golf tips, golf lessons and golf instruction .

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