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Original Issue

Putting from 12 feet in

A word or two, first, about stance and position. I try to maintain the shoulders, hips and feet square to the intended line. The left elbow rides on the left hip, the right elbow on the right hip, maintaining a square position. As for the grip, the customary grip today is the reverse overlap—the left forefinger over the right middle finger and little finger.

In my approach to putting, the fingers of the right hand are the source of power, the left hand is the guide. The wrist of the left hand acts as the hinge of the putting stroke. At address, the back of the left hand is right on the objective, and if the hinge functions properly, the back of the left hand stays right on the objective throughout the stroke.

A long putt requires a long stroke and the gift of touch, for the shoulders and arms have to be fairly active. In putting from 12 feet in, however, only the hands work. That's all that's needed and that's fine: the more restricted the action, the less margin for error. On a short putt we're looking for a mechanical base, and restricting the action to the hands alone promotes this.

DICK MAYER, Irvine Coast GC, Corona Del Mar, Calif.



the back stroke


at impact