Marius Filmalter: How Your Posture Affects Your Putting Stroke
Posture is basically your setup at address, that is, it's the way you stand to the ball before initiating the golf swing or stroke. Some people might not regard the posture as an important fundamental in putting because we see so many different methods and styles on Tour and elsewhere.
* Arnold Palmer, knocked-kneed and crouched...
* Gary Player, closed with his feet but square with his shoulders...
* Phil Mickelson, long arms and open to the target...
But let’s compare two players with double-digit major wins...
Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are two of the best putters of all time, but Nicklaus had a much different posture compared to Tiger, but both of them were arguably two of best putters ever. Jack was bent over the ball and Tiger stands very upright. In other words, their spine angles in the address position are much different. Jack’s spine angle at address was much more parallel to horizontal whereas Tiger is parallel to vertical. Jack had his eyes close to the ball whereas Tiger is tall to the ball.
These seemingly trivial differences in their setups had a significant and profound effect on their putting strokes. Remember, the body is the engine of the putting stroke, the generator of energy. Good putters use rotational forces to create this energy.
So what does that mean?
The golf swing is all about rotation, circular motions.
It isn't different in the putting stroke?
We want the ball to roll around its own axis thereby eliminating spin and skid. We create energy by turning the shoulders around the spine and that is why the position of your spine will determine the type of putting stroke you will have.
Tiger’s stroke has a lot more rotation and arc when compared to the stroke of Jack. But why? Because Jack’s spine angle was more horizontal, rotation around such an axes will result in a straighter arc with minimum rotation.Another player implementing this strategy is Jim Furyk: he is very bent over the ball which reduces arc and rotation.
Conversely, Tiger and Rory McIlroy stand tall to the ball, thereby turning their shoulders on a flatter plane resulting in more rotation and arc. We could even compare that to a full swing! Traditionally, shorter players had a flatter swing and taller players a more upright plane. That is all determined by and a result of their spine angle at address.
Does that mean the one is better than the other? Absolutely not!
My recommendation: Find a comfortable, relaxed setup and let that model your putting stroke.
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