Putting with a Pop!

Just as in the full swing a solid strike is paramount to good putting.

I have always believed there should be a measure of “hit” in every putting stroke.  In studying the top putters, it is uncanny how they seem to pop the ball off the center of the putter face; it’s almost as though they manage to compress the ball with the putter face. True, there is no divot involved (call me if there is - soon!), but there is definitely a louder and crisper impact sound when an expert putts the ball.  Throughout the stroke, the putter seems to load in the backswing, lag in the transition, pop through the hit, and release into the follow through -- a similar motion to the one required to crack a whip, yet on a substantially smaller scale.

The “Pop” Drill:

The Pop Drill

This is an excellent drill to help you acquire the feel of a solid strike: Gather a dozen balls in the center of a green and quickly and casually “hit” them back to a point off the side of the green -- just like when you are clearing a putting green by hitting all the balls off the green with your putter.  Do not emphasize a target; don’t take time to set up; just pop the balls off the face of the putter. When done correctly, you should be able to feel how efficient the stroke is.  There should be a minimal amount of follow through, the strike should feel crisp, and the sound should be louder than what you are accustomed to. When I see a golfer struggling with the putter, they are almost always overemphasizing the “stroke” element and have lost the concept that there needs to be some impact or “hit.”  The problem most often is that their motion is long, slow and overly mechanical.  I have watched Vijay Singh and Ernie Els struggle with this problem for most of the year. Watch the video below of one of the finest putters on Tour, Brandt Snedeker, and check out his "hit"....

Pop the ball into the hole!