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How to Make Short Putts

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Greetings Golfers,

Why does Adam Scott fly under the radar? He’s got a perfect swing and is a great shot maker – has been for 15 years. Is it because he’s never really dominated? He seems like a really nice guy … and my wife thinks he’s great looking.

Maybe it was because he was using that long putter. But he’s won two tournaments this year without it. People go to the long putter when they get yippy with little putts. It’s usually not about medium length or long putts … but the tall putter seems to help people make those testy short putts.

Well I’ve got some thoughts on that subject – hang in there while I try to make my point. Everybody goes through a phase when they miss little putts. But sometimes it becomes a phobia and can really become a problem. The typical analysis is that the player is using too much right hand and is too “flippy”. So, the recommended fix is to putt cross-handed or as they say “left hand low”. The reasoning is that it’s a good way to take the right hand out of the stroke.

But what if that doesn’t work? Well the next step was the tall putter. That style meant anchoring the top of the putter on your chest and stroking the putt with your right hand.

Yeah … I said “stroking the putt with your right hand”. And, with a somewhat “flippy” stroke.

I think the yips are a result of NOT using your right hand in a natural flippy stroke. How often have you left yourself a short putt and just tapped it in with your right hand only? I bet you never miss.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, I believe that you should hit up on the ball with the putter – and with a wristy action especially of your right hand. You then use more of a swinging arm stroke as the putt becomes longer.

The problem with all of this started because too many people tried to scoop the ball on their full shots. That wristy scooping action leads to hitting behind the ball or hitting the top of the ball. Trying to get the clubhead under the ball is the opposite of the proper impact with an iron shot.

But the goal of putting is not the same impact position as that of hitting an iron. Putting is about rolling the ball. You roll the ball with a flat-faced club on a smooth surface. The best and easiest way is to use your right hand and wrist to hit the ball on the way up and impart topspin to your putt.

There is no need for the long putter. Just use your right hand on a normal size putter and your yips and fear of short putts will be gone.

Adam Scott might become the superstar he seemed destined to be … if he starts putting more with his right hand!


Tom Abts
GM and Head Golf Professional