Last week, Ernie Els talked about retaining the triangle in the putting stroke. This week, he gives us a drill to help create a pendulum putting stroke.
“I think any stroke that relies heavily on the hands and wrists is inclined to be a little unpredictable, particularly if the ‘heat’ gets turned up a bit. Under pressure, and any other time, a shoulder-controlled, pendulum-type stroke is going to produce more consistent results. And that’s the name of the game.
Try the following practice drill to help enhance the sensations of a shoulder-dominated, pendulum putting stroke. Adopt a good, comfortable posture and then trap the shaft of a club under your armpits so that it’s nice and snug across your chest (see photo). As you look down, you’ll see a triangle formed by the shaft of the club and your forearms and hands. What you need to do is feel that you rock that triangle back and forth as you hit balls. Concentrate on keeping that ‘unit’ working together, your hands maintaining a soft hold on the club so that the putter head flows back and through with a syrupy smooth rhythm. Mentally, I want you to feel that the ball isn’t there. Just concentrate on your stroke and let the ball merely get in the way of the swinging putter head.
Within a few minutes of starting this drill, you’ll start to feel that everything works in unison, the entire movement controlled by the rocking motion of your shoulders. There’s no need for your hands to go ‘flicky’ or for your wrists to buckle and bend. Just spend a few minutes working on this drill once or twice a week, and it will certainly help you integrate a shoulder-dominated action into your proper stroke. I believe you’ll see some really positive results come from that change.”
Thank you, Ernie!