The 2 fundamentals of putting, according to Phil.
Many players struggle with putting in part because it’s such a stark contract to the golf club swing - slow and deliberate with the target being just a stones throw away. You’re no longer focused as much on power and rhythm, but instead stability and precise movement.
The putting stroke requires a mental understanding as well where small adjustments and movements can reduce a remarkable number of strokes.
Famed golfer Phil Mickelson notes that for his putting game it’s really about the simplifying it down to fundamentals. Just two fundamentals, to be precise.
#1 - High hands
“When they break their wrists, the face stays square, it’s just de-lofted. But it’s still aiming at the target. When they drop their hands, the face rotates more and they have to time it.”
What Mickelson is focusing on here is minimizing arm and wrist rotation. From his research, having hand lower on the shaft provides more tendency to rotate the hands and thus face. Perhaps because having hands up higher and closer to the body stabilizes the arms, and prevents unnecessary movements.
#2 - Start the backswing with the heel
“They all started the putter back with the heel. They never wanted the toe to open because they felt like they could never get it back to square. If they started it back with the heel, they could cover the ball and extend to the target.”
With this strategy, getting the face to square through the put is key. With club swings, the impact time is minimal. But with a putter, the impact can take much longer time before release, meaning the face needs to be square with the target line consistently through the putt.
Looking for the right putter grip? Learn more about the 6 different putter shapes, and how each one can change your putts.