Pushing vs. Pulling in Putting

Understanding the difference of pushing vs. pulling in putting will change the way you think about the entire golf swing!

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Brian
Hello, I'm new to the site and to golf. It's been three years now and I've explored other instructional sites but am so happy to have found Rotary Swing. I hear a recurring theme, pull not push and that the majority of golfers are right side dominant. Half way through my first year I switched to golfing left. It felt more natural. Why, in light of the noted observations, are there so few of us. Any thoughts?
October 14, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Brian. Welcome. Glad you are enjoying the site so far. It's all about power. Switching sides for an already established player is tough to recreate speed. You can get them hitting it straight in no time. But, altering a kinematic sequence they have ingrained since birth to generate force is very tough.
October 14, 2019
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Walter
I use a 50” putter. Does anybody use left hand low (pull) with one of those?
March 15, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Walter. You can use that. Some players on tour have the longer version putter and use lead hand low.
March 15, 2019
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David
What do you suggest is the best way to practice pulling back and pulling through? I’m a righty. Pulling back is easier to feel. Engaging the left shoulder to pull is slightly more difficult. Is it a matter of thousands of repetitions?
November 2, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Reps is the key. If you are speaking particularly about putting. Take a look at the blog post below. https://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-lessons-blog/putting-tip-how-to-rock-your-shoulders-for-a-pure-putting-stroke/
November 2, 2018
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David
Cool video. And that was before Chuck adopted left hand low. I’ve been left hand low for over 15 years. I need help with the feeling of the left shoulder pulling-pulling back with the right is a bit better than the pulling of the left.
November 3, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello David. Start with making a stroke with your arms across your chest. It will feel similar to the Shoulder Blade Glide Video, but on both sides of the stroke. The shoulder blade moving towards the spine. It is hard to give you the exact feel you should have because of it's subjective nature. Nevertheless, ditching the putter to gain some awareness of the shoulder movement will help.
November 3, 2018
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Anders
Just want to make a simple explanation of the golf swing. One step to the trail side, (shifting your weight) step back to your lead side- release the golf club and the momentum of the club makes your body follow through . When you start shifting back to the lead side, (your body is the truck and the club is the trailer, ) so the club will start following your body movements and create momentum just like the trailer follows the truck, makes sense?
May 1, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Anders. Sounds good to me. Gotta love Physics.
May 1, 2018
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Mark
Hey what a great way to get me to practice putting! It seems I can either take a smaller backswing and really pull forwards with my left hand or take a bigger backswing and both hands can provide more equal force (without deceleration of course). What do you reckon is best? Thanks.
August 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mark. Most players that struggle with putting will tend to use lead hand low and shorter stroke with good pull through. Players with good balance in their putting will tend to have more of a matched stroke with a conventional grip.
August 15, 2017
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les
Most eye opening explaination of the golf swing/putting stroke i ever heard. Awesome information!!!
January 1, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Les. Thanks for the positive post. Glad you liked the presentation.
January 2, 2017

All right, guys, listen up, because if you're like everybody else that's seen this golf instruction video, this is going to completely change the way you think not only about your putting, but about the entire golf swing, in general. That's how important this is. I know it seems like I have a toy truck here, but this is really the most important golf training aid that I have in my arsenal because it helps really illustrate, it helps you understand why you're struggling with your golf swing and how to really change the whole concept of the way you think about the swing because what most golfers do is the opposite of what I'm going to show you.

                If you've ever pulled a trailer, tried to back a trailer up into the driveway, you know exactly how finicky these things can be. If you're trying to back it up, if I push from the front of this, you'll notice that the trailer and the truck wants to jackknife right away, but as soon as I pull it straight, notice how the trailer falls in a straight line. Now as soon as I start backing it up, it wants to rotate really quickly and I'm not doing anything to cause it to do that. That's just the nature of how this works, but when I pull it, notice how the trailer, even though it's at a 45-degree angle here, as soon as I pull it, it instantly aligns itself with the truck. How weird is that?

                Now why when I push the truck does the trailer jackknife like this? If I take the trailer and move from the trailer side, watch what happens to the truck. It just follows along, but if I push from the trailer, all of a sudden, the trailer jackknifes. What's different here? The difference is the force of movement. What I mean by that is, what's causing this stuff to move? In this case, I am the force of movement, and it's where I'm applying my force that causes this trailer to do two completely different things, depending on where I am moving the object from. Your golf swing abides by these same laws of physics. All movement is a push or a pull. When you think about it, everything that you're doing in life can be boiled back down to a push or a pull.

                In a rotational movement, like a golf swing, this is still true, because we have two different pushing and pulling forces. The pulling force in a golf swing is what we call centripetal force, and the result of that, which is a pushing motion moving out away from the force of movement, is called centrifugal force. When it comes back to our putting stroke, what we have to understand is that what most golfers do is they try and push the putter head through the hitting area and they do the exact same thing in their golf swing, which is what rotary swing's completely built around is this concept of pushing versus pulling.

                When you take your right side, your dominant side, which most all golfers are right-handed playing from the left side of the golf ball, that they use their right side because it's the most coordinated hand in their body. They don't want to use the left side. It's not trained very well. It's not coordinated very well. They use the right side, but this right side is a pushing force because it's behind the object you're trying to move, just like if I'm the trailer and I'm moving the truck from the trailer, it wants to jackknife because the force of movement is behind the object that I'm moving versus if I am in front of the object that I'm moving, if I pull, it stays straight.

                In the golf swing, what do you have that you can pull or push with? It's pretty simple. I can only pull with the lead side, or in most people's cases, right-handed golfers, I can only pull with the left side of the body and I can only push with the right side of the body during the down swing at impact when it really matters. What you're really doing in your golf swing and in your putting stroke, if you're using your right side in a conventional putting stroke to move the putter, you are doing the equivalent of trying to push this trailer down the highway. Not going to work out real well.

                As soon as you start backing up, it wants to jackknife because the two centers of gravity of these two objects have to be perfectly in line in order for them to travel in a straight line. As soon as the center of gravity gets moved to one side or the other from the other center of gravity, they want to rotate around themselves. In this case, we have a pivot point, which is the trailer hitch, and it wants to rotate around this trailer hitch because the two centers of gravity aren't aligned. When I pull it, by the nature of pulling, these two centers of gravity align themselves automatically. That's just part of the nature of it. In the golf swing and in the putting stroke, guess what you need to be doing.

                In this next video, I'm going to show you how you actually start ingraining this movement and learn how to move your body in this pulling motion to get rid of this jackknife in your golf swing so that you can start having a much more consistent stroke in your putting stroke and in your golf swing. 

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