Putt Better Today
By Vince Fratercangelo-Director of Instruction at VJF Golf Academy
In effort to putt better one must master the “yips.” The “yips” to many golfers are somewhat of a mystery in that a majority of golfers aren’t quite sure exactly what the origin stems from; part psychological or part technical or maybe a hybrid of both perhaps. As someone who has helped numerous golfers overcome this problem I can tell you, from my perspective, its a combination of both. Well, kind of anyway, let me explain.
The infancy of the issue starts as a psychological barrier which in turn infiltrates one’s technical capabilities thus making the simplest of functions seem extraordinarily difficult i.e. a 3 foot putt. So how does one overcome such an issue to putt better and to regain control over what should be routine functions? Well, that is the million dollar question and I can tell you that different professionals have different philosophical ideas on how to tackle the problem.
For me, when working with players, I approach it through a alteration of feel. First, regardless of the grip style you are using I have my students grip their putter with 80-85% grip pressure in their non dominant hand and 15-20% grip pressure in their dominant hand. Second I have my students (using the grip pressures mentioned) hit 3 and 4 foot putts with the putter head cover on.
The reasons for the lopsided grip pressure distribution is due to the fact that in highly accomplished players especially, the “yips” tend to effect the dominant hand. So the less grip pressure applied to the putter with the dominant hand, the less chance it has to wreak havoc on the putting motion and you’ll putt better.
As for the head cover on the putter, this is to change the sensation (feel) of impact. It’s a form of tricking your senses. The combination of different grip pressures coupled with the sensation of the golf ball being stroked with a softer feel (head cover on putter) gives the mind a different set of circumstances to deal with, this changes the focus of the mind.
Once this is conducted for a period of time, remove the head cover and continue applying the two different grip pressures mentioned above. Start with 2 footers working up to about 5 feet. Anything longer than 5 feet I suggest balancing out the grip pressure more evenly. However on shorter putts (5 feet or less) I highly recommend implementing the duel grip pressure method to all golfers regardless of whether or not the golfer is dealing with the yips. This will help to decrease the chances of the dominant hand dominating the putting motion.
Click here to watch a video on how to correctly grip the club: Click Here.