Nobody likes to be manipulated, especially your putter. When you manipulate your putter, your stroke becomes unnatural, and your putter ultimately becomes uncooperative.
In today’s exclusive Drill Bit, Tom Conway, a PGA Life Member based in Indiana, explains how excessive focus on the golf ball can result in unintentional putter manipulation:
When I was a kid, my only thought was to swing fast and hard and hit the ball. My father Gene, a PGA pro for more than 50 years, walked up one day when I was really struggling and said, “The ball is just in your way.” Say what? “Just swing the club and don’t worry about the ball.” In other words, make a good swing. If you do, it will surprise you. The ball will get in your way.
Putting is no different! We tend to think more about moving or striking the ball than simply allowing the putter face to do its job.
The putter simply needs to move in a natural arc back inside, then square at the ball, and then inside again to finish the stroke. So stop making harmful moves such as trying to take the putter head or shaft straight back and through, or straight to the intended line, or deliberately inside or outside—all of which require the hands and arms to manipulate the putter face to meet the ball.
The bottom line is that any means of manipulation will cause unneeded focus on the ball, which will result in erratic putting. Just stroke the putt and don’t worry about the ball, because it’s really just in your way.