When we look at the putting techniques of some of the best putters in history, one would think that at least most of them have something in common. The one thing you could take away is that they all have incredible powers of concentration and of course being a great putter that almost goes without saying. But as for a common putting technique, they vary across the board in putting style.
When we look at great putters, we look at those that have been doing it for many years. There are one-hit wonders that come and go; those golfers who lose their minds for maybe a year and then go back to normal. They should not be included with the greats. Those would include Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Billy Casper and Ben Crenshaw to name a few. But if you look at the shooting style of Tiger Woods, who many believe may be the greatest putter of all time, and compare him to Jack Nicklaus, the differences are almost night and day.
Take Wood’s style of putting, for example. In his prime, his set-up was impeccable and his putting was solid. The putter blade moved across the ball almost as if the ball were invisible, and his midshot was extraordinary. Putts could almost be conceded from five to ten feet when Tiger was at his best. Nicklaus looked completely different. He made a pronounced squat crunch, but that way he was able to eliminate a lot of moving body parts with this style. His head rarely moved and his arms were locked at his side. Basically, he pushed the ball with his right palm and forearm into the hole, but he was a great pressure pitcher because there were fewer things that could go wrong.
Another great putter from a few years ago was Billy Casper. She basically used his left wrist as a hinge, brought the putter back and aggressively sped through it. Every style of all the great putters is different, but they were still successful.
What we can perhaps take away from this is that there is a lot of wiggle room when it comes to being a successful putter. All of these players developed a style that suits their body type, but also their mindset. Putting, as we mentioned earlier, is mental, so any putting stroke someone develops has to build a sense of confidence, which in turn helps the mental aspect of putting. That’s probably why most of us end up modifying our putting game more than any part of our total golf game.