Using the Big Muscles in Putting

Learn how to properly use the big muscles in your putting stroke.

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Charles
I’m OK with the right shoulder glide, but the left shoulder pull or glide I tend to pull the putt. Any suggestions?
July 20, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. Make sure you don't rip open the lead shoulder. Sounds like you start pulling it open and then add some trail hand.
July 21, 2020
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Robert
Two things: 1. You could save a lot of confusion by using the terms front and back instead of left and right. 2. Where is the weight on your feet during the Putting Stroke...LH Bob
July 12, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Robert. The weight will be balanced 50/50-Center of the Ankle Joints. We are trying to use lead and trail for newer videos produced. Apologies for the confusion.
July 12, 2020
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Keith
Is the rocking more of a right shoulder up left down motion Vs a shoulder rotation. Especially as I have a short putter and bent over
March 28, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Keith. It is still similar to shoulder rotation. Take a look at this article and video in the blog. https://www.rotaryswing.com/golf-lessons-blog/putting-tip-how-to-rock-your-shoulders-for-a-pure-putting-stroke/
March 29, 2020
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Mohnishkumar
Hi. How do we start the putting ( blade or oblique ) . As we start from oblique and then blade start to move , in the long game and chipping.
February 29, 2020
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Mohnishkumar. Both will still be working like a full swing. However, players tend to have a better time focusing on solely the glide.
March 2, 2020
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Dennis
Some eye opening concepts from start to finish in this putting session. I love the greens reading and strategy sections with the compass analogy! What I need a bit of help on is the pull technique... I spent much of the winter season here focusing on a pendulum style stroke. It's technique being more of a shoulder rock. I've been a bit skeptical that it is a straight back and through motion. I've felt there is still some arc to the motion. Do you have any thoughts on switching from this style to the pull style? As I've been playing the past month I've had better distance control, but still get the random push/pull misses with the putter head. So the left hand low idea has my attention. But I'd really like your input on the differences, if any, between these styles. Or could I just use the left hand low grip to help minimize the pull and block putts?
May 27, 2018
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Chuck (Certified RST Instructor)
The left hand low doesn't impact the arc of the stroke - which there absolutely is. I don't advocate a "straight back and through" stroke because it requires you get your shoulders parallel to the ground. To do this you need to be very tall (ala Dave Pelz who advocates this stroke) and/or have a very short putter. It also requires you to round your thoracic spine. Take a proper setup that keeps your spine in neutral and the club will work on a slight arc.
May 28, 2018
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Ryan
How do you prevent the putter from wobbling in the backstroke? Why does it happen?
March 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Typically, it is an issue with lead shoulder push, or grip pressure. Stop trying to steer the face. If you sole movement back is pull with light grip pressure. No need for the wobble.
March 15, 2018
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Daniel
When I perform the movement without the putter with my arms across my chest I can do it ok. It does take me a second or two to transition from turning the right shoulder blade in on the backstroke to turning the left on the through stroke. But when I try and putt a ball I can't get the feeling of turning the left shoulder blade in at all. As a result all of my putts start off to the right. Anyone got any ideas how to solve this?
November 12, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Daniel. Try the 2 ball trick to take the focus off of whacking the ball. Watch the Perfect Practice Makes Perfect Video and do the 2 ball drill, but for your putting.
November 13, 2017
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Barry
Hello. I feel that I'm using my core muscles to do the shoulder movement as explained in above video, would that be right?
October 10, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Barry. Using your core or "in the box" muscles would be proper.
October 10, 2017
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Barry
Cheers.
October 10, 2017
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Ted
Have been working at left hand low for a few week now. When first started had immediate positive effect. Ball alway on line. Especially helpful on longer putts vs claw I had been using for two years (somewhat successfully) to counter hopeless yips. However, I've been having trouble with speed on short putts, especially on fast greens. (hitting too hard, then afraid of hitting too hard, then starting to decell, then actually getting yippy again. Had put a huge grip on my putter (Flatso), have gone back to smaller grip and it feels better. But question has to do with how to manage smaller putts with the big muscles. Thoughts on mental disciplines here appreciated.
February 17, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ted. You have to make the putt. I always felt/thought if I'm not committed to making the putt it would tend to lead to a decelerated guided stroke. Same thing in the golf swing. You have confidence that you can make it and conviction. One shot at a time. The stroke or swing you need only now in the moment to get the job done. For shorter putts, you need to practice. I would always practice shorter putts and make a certain amount in a row to trust I've done it a million times and being on the course isn't any different.
February 17, 2017
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Mary
Last week I used this new putting secret but forgot about my shoulders, I was rocking them back and forwards I putted the worst ever. I reviewed the videos again and used the big muscles, my putting was awesome today! Using the big muscles takes some getting used to after years of rocking but I and others could see the difference in my putting. Really happy, love your website best instruction ever!!
February 15, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Thanks Mary for the positive post of our site and your new found good putting!
February 16, 2017
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Don
This is a great video and very consistent with all of your fundamental teaching that up to this point have all worked well for me with full swing and short game. Left hand low putting now, even though still feeling somewhat awkward, has markedly improved my direction on most putts but I struggle with consistency. I tried left hand low with slightly more weight Lt and left shoulder/scapula moving the putter back and through. I know this sounds like heresy, but I am much more consistent. I wonder if using the left side only for single point of rotation is really better for putting.
December 3, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. I am not sure how your two questions got lost in the mix considering I clear the forum everyday and both are not on my board. I truly apologize for the error and time. It does sound a little like heresy. The issue is the lead can't create shoulder rotation, but you are using it like a true pendulum. I can't recommend that being the ideal method. However, I can say making putts is making putts. If you putt well and consistently with that method. I'm not going to tell you to miss putts on my account of biomechanics. Nor, will I say its the ideal method you should use. Sounds like you are caught in the experimental phase.
February 16, 2017
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Don
I am really looking for some answers here guys. I would appreciate some kind of response. Do we know if Jordan Spieth and other pro left hand low putters control their backswing with the left shoulder or a right sided scapular glide? I would think precision is so critical that switching control from right to left side in putting could decrease consistency. It seems to me that it works well with full swing and wedges but wonder if this theory might break down for putting. Thank you.
January 26, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Don. As I said above, I truly apologize about the error in not receiving your post. I am not sure about Speith or other pros. The knowledge base would be the trail shoulder has to create shoulder rotation. One cannot push from the lead to force the trail back. Basically, all you would be doing is lead shoulder protraction and retraction. Which could be inconsistent in the long run.
February 16, 2017
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Ryan
What do you do for speed control?
November 18, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. Practice is the best way. You can play games on the putting greens or setup up drills to work on various lengths.
November 20, 2016

Now your eyes have been opened to this push versus pull concept and it doesn't just apply to your putting, it applies to everything that you do with the golf swing if you want to work with the laws of physics of course, which I know you do. Let's talk about now how we can implement this in our putting to get rid of the yips, to get rid of the ball bouncing all over the place and not starting online, all of these things that you've struggled with, you're going to start understanding how easy it is to repeat these movements when you start moving from the right place in your body.

                That's what not just what Rotary Swing is all about, but what we're going to talk about in putting in general. What the yips really are is simply a flinch typically of the right hand, the trailing hand, in the putting stroke. Most people are right handed. We've talked about he push versus pull concept and you're starting to understand okay, well there's only certain things I can pull with as I understand the stroke, so when you start using this right hand to try and hit the ball or start it online or slap at it, that's when things start going way off and it's these little flinchy, fast twitch muscle fibers you have in your right forearm, in your right side of your body that make putting really, really hard when you're trying to use these to control the stroke.

                You need to be really precise in putting, but more importantly you need to be incredibly consistent, even if you tend to set up a little bit open or a little bit closed or tend to start the ball offline in one direction or the other, as long as you do it every time you can get away with it. You can set up open and block the ball down the line, just do it every single time. The key to doing the same stroke every single time is making it as simple as humanly possible.

                Anybody can make a machine really complicated. Your goal is to make this machine, your body that's a machine that's using this putter head as simple as humanly possible. You need to reduce the moving parts as much as possible. So how do we do that with a putting stroke and abiding by these laws of pushing versus pulling? Well, it's pretty simple. You have two things that you're going to focus on on your putting stroke from this point forward. No more what you're doing with your hands or your forearms or any of that stuff.

                You're going to focus on your shoulder blades. What are your shoulder blades? Well, these two boney things back here in your back. You can see me moving them back and forth here. They glide across your back. You can see now I'm going to move my right shoulder blade in. You can see these muscles starting to activate and starting to move into my shoulder blade or to my spine here. Then I can do the same with the left side. Guess what they do? They can pull and pull during the putting stroke.

                You can pull your right shoulder blade back and you can pull your left shoulder blade through. What is that going to look like in a putting stroke? Well, let's do it standing up first. We're going to get in our posture but just with our arms across of chest. I want you to try and pull your right should blade back and feel that right shoulder blade moving. To feel this, I want you to feel right in here. I'll get in my putting posture and you can feel right in here, you'll feel your back muscles engage. These are your lat muscles and your lower trap. They're going to pull that right shoulder blade back and then we're going to pull that left shoulder blade through.

                What is this going to look like in our putting stroke? It's going to look like you're rocking your shoulders, which you've heard a million times, but the problem is when people start rocking their shoulders they start doing this stuff, and that's going to throw the putter and your spine all over the place. You want your spine to be pretty much fixed in space relatively because it gives you a fixed reference point. If your spine's not moving all over the place and it's staying constant, then it's really easy for this putter to work more on a pendulum, which again, we're trying to build a really simple machine here.

                The putting stroke should be really simple, and the simplest way to do it would be to have a fixed point and just have it swing back and forth. Then the putter is always going to swing back on the same plane and path. Well, we can't really swing a putter like this, but we can get close by trying to replicate this movement with our body by keeping our spine at fixed and rocking our shoulders back and forth. As I move my right shoulder blade back and I move my left shoulder blade back, all of a sudden the putter's going to start doing the same thing.

                More importantly I'm moving very little. As you can feel as you start doing this at first, you're like, "Oh, I'm trying to feel this shoulder blade thing. It doesn't really feel like I'm moving very far." You're not. That's the whole point. If you move very little from the center, because we're making kind of a circle here, very, very small semicircle in the radius of our stroke, as the radius increases the putter head's going to move further and further the less you move, or the more you move in the center.

                Our center movement is only going to be like this. You can only move your shoulder blade about that far into your spine. It's going to hit your spine, it's going to stop. On the other side it's going to do the same thing, but how far is the putter going to move as I do that? Well, just by moving full right shoulder blade back and full left shoulder blade back I've moved the putter head five feet. That's enough to hit a putt 100 feet if you hit it hard.

                You are going to move very, very little, but the putter is going to move a long ways. That's the definition of efficiency. Not only that, but because you're just focusing on moving your shoulder blades back and through you don't have to worry about what your hands and your forearm and what the putting path and plane and all that stuff, it's taken care of by your setup angles, which we're going to talk about, and your movement of your body. Your arms, just passive clamps on the clubs. Holding the club lightly, they don't have to do anything. They're just going to be guided by what your shoulder blades do.

                If you struggled with anything to do with getting the ball to start online, with getting the yips and slapping it with your right hands, the next video I'm going to show you exactly what Jack was talking about when he said if he could change one thing in his putting stroke, I'm going to show you exactly what that one thing is and you're going to learn how to use it in your own stroke and never struggle with the yips and never struggle with getting the ball to consistently start online again. 

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