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Putting Tip - The Pendulum Effect

Everyone has heard of the saying "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line". The same holds true in golf, especially for putting. The shortest distance for your putter head to travel during your putting swing is back-and-forth along a striaght line.

Doing so will also keep your putter face square to the ball and will result in a put that should start off perpendicular to the putter face and on the intended line. Swinging back-and-forth along a straight line will help eliminate "pushes" or "pulls" which result from an in-to-out or out-to-in swing which is usually tough to spot, especially from your own eye as you putt.

A quick drill to help stay along the intended line is to putt against a section of wall. You want the wall to be parallel with your feet, and place your putter about an inch or so away from the wall. On your backswing try to keep the putter along the same line, without touching the wall or coming too far away from the wall. The first time I tried this it was definitely an eye-opener and practicing this drill every once in awhile, even if only for a few swings, will help ensure you have that "straight-line" approach when you putt.

The motion is similar to a pendulum. A pendulum swings back and forth along the same line, and very closely resembles a good putting swing. Another important factor from a pendulum which can be attributed to a good putting swing is rhythm and momentum. A good putting swing will have a good momentum, no stops, no sudden speadups or slow downs, just a nice smooth swing, back and forth.

A good way to practice smooth momentum is to use a metronome, or the ticking of a clock. Get into your putting stance and take practice swings to the ticks of a clock. On the first tick, take your backswing and come to a complete stop. Now start your downswing on the next tick. Keep practicing this (and remember to keep in a straight line!), make sure you come to a complete stop at the end of your backswing. This will ensure you isolate your downswing and don't use too much speed. Once you take a few swings, slowly try to eliminate the pause at the back of your backswing. Try to "feel" the should probably notice that the longer the stroke you take, the faster the clubhead moves towards the end of the stroke. This is what you want! When you want to hit the ball when putting further, you need to take a farther backswing, not take your usual backswing and swing harder!

The two basic elements of a good putting stroke are to keep along a straight line and ensure you keep to a smooth momentum. Doing so will make sure you hit the ball where you are aiming and will result in more accurate putts.

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