There are many styles of putting in common use which are of unquestioned merit, each style suiting certain players admirably. For those golfers who are not good putters, however, I would like to recommend a stroke which has often been referred to as the pendulum stroke, since the clubhead moves in an arc resembling the swing of a pendulum and the weight of the clubhead produces the momentum of the stroke. In this method, the control resides in the last three fingers of the left hand. The left hand starts the club back and leads it through the stroke. The key to keeping the clubhead on a straight line as it comes through is the left elbow. It must go out straight toward the hole or, on a rolling green, straight toward the desired line of play. When it does, it prevents the right hand from taking over and pushing the ball, or the left hand from breaking in and pulling the ball off the line.
Whenever a beginner comes to me, I start him on the putting green with this stroke. Here he gets the feel of the clubhead and learns to take the club back and forward low along the ground. To help him keep the clubface square to the line of play, I place a club or a rod parallel to the line of play. Before I let him putt a ball, I have him practice bringing the putter back and forth along the emphasized desired line.
Of course, with this or any other putting stroke, the head must remain absolutely still through impact. If it moves, it will destroy your stroke and your accuracy.
LEW MYERS, Ledgemont Country Club, Seekonk, Mass.
incorrect: arc too steep
correct: arc low along the ground
practicing with ruler to develop the correct path for clubhead
NEXT WEEK : Al Mengert on hand position on the backswing