Left Hand Low Putting in Golf

Jack Nicklaus said if he could go back and learn a different putting method, he’d start off with left hand low putting. That’s a big statement from a great player. So, let’s take an in-depth look at the left hand low putting method. In this video, I’ll show you how to putt left hand low and why it may be the answer for your putting struggles.

  • Primary Putting Hand Will Be Left Hand
  • Back of Left Hand Pointing Toward the Target
  • Corner of Grip in The Life Line of Palm for Both Hands
  • Focus of Pulling With Left
  • Want to Hinge Forward More From Hips For Straight Back and Straight Through Feeling
  • Want a Face Balanced Putter

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Kevin
I saw the comment below on left hand low and forward press and it doesn't appear in the video that Chuck is doing a forward press. I only mention this because I watched Jordan Spieth this weekend putting left hand low and he has a noticeable forward press....just wanted to confirm if that is recommend?
July 22, 2019
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. You don't need to add a big forward press like Jordan. Typically, if you are needing to add forward press your ball position is too far back. Take a look at the Putting Setup Video.
July 22, 2019
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Arnie
When I first tried left-hand-low I left my ball in the same position as when I was doing right-hand-low, and it seems like that resulted in a forward shaft press. To get rid of this forward press, I had to move the ball farther forward in my stance for left-hand-low. Is it necessarily true that when one switches from right-hand-low to left-hand-low they need to move the ball forward? Or perhaps was my ball position too far back to begin with when I was right-hand-low?
October 18, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Arnie. For Lead Hand Low you will need to move the ball further up. Typical conventional style the ball will be right in front of centerline.
October 18, 2018
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Tyler (Certified RST Instructor)
What are yalls thoughts on grip size? and how that affects how you grip the club
March 15, 2018
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Tyler. Usually the larger the grip it will deaden the wrist motion. Using a slightly larger grip to keep the hands less involved for Lead Hand Low is fine. However, you might lose some feedback when striking the putt.
March 15, 2018
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Keith
This putting series was so timely! I was worried that I was developing the 'yips', but having watched the videos I holed almost everything in practice today. I found that the two most important things for me were: to test that my eyes were over the ball, using a mirror, and to hold the putter with weak grips, which locks the elbows. Then it really is just a case of pulling back with the right shoulder and pulling through with the left. Thank you RST!
August 29, 2017
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Keith. Love hearing the excitement. Keep rolling the rock well!
August 29, 2017
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Matthew
I have never seen the following discussed. What about if a right hand dominant person putts left handed, but with the right hand low? It seems like you now have your dominant hand pulling the putter and will have better distance control as well as direction control. What do think?
July 18, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
I have played around with this personally and one thing I struggled with was seeing the lines properly and could never get comfortable. The technique shown here is perfect for the the right hand dominant person and you wont have to go through the discomfort of training the eyes like I did haha
July 19, 2016
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Les
A couple questions on left hand low since I use it. 1.- it looks like chuck has a split grip? What type of grip do you recommended because doesn't Jordan spieth a double overlap? 2.- what about eye alignment. And posture for that matter. I know you want to be more bent over but what about weight in the feet. It's still over the ankles correct. 3.- lastly about forearm alignment. My left arm lines up with the shaft well but my right arm is under the shaft. Any suggestions? Thanks
July 9, 2016
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Chris (Certified RST Instructor)
Hey Les, Chuck describes the grip being placed in the life lines to help eliminate any sort of wrist movements. Of course you can play around with the grip to see what works best for you. The eyes should be over the ball and posture wise, you will find at 4:30 in the video he talks about how you want the shoulders to be more rounded. The grip as taught in this video will dictate the forearm alignments.
July 13, 2016
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Ryan
Quick question for understanding. In the backstroke will the right hand bring the putter back or will it be done by the left hand/arm in the backstroke and the throughstroke? Is the right hand/arm supposed to do anything?
April 30, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Ryan. You are still rocking the shoulders "pulling the trail shoulder back and lead shoulder through" to create rotation or your putting stroke. The trail hand and arm will be relatively passive. Trail arm/hand relaxed, but still pulling with trail shoulder. Lead arm/hand/shoulder coming down.
April 30, 2016
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Pim
Hi , i just switched my putting technique from righthand low and dominant to still right hand low but my left hand is almost on the same height as my right hand! So it is like both hands are tangled in each other with the putter in between. And now i am using left hand low tecnique more with the shoulder rock and left arm dominant. I just started to practise it this way and it feels Pretty good. Is it ok to continue practice and putting like this? Or do you think my left hand must be under my right to put with left hand low putting technique? Thanks in advance
February 22, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Pim. I think you are okay with the current grip. The key with left hand low is to take the right hand out of the equation. As long as the right hand is playing nicely you should be fine.
February 22, 2016
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Charles
I had putting yips a few months ago, and was so frustrated that I could not even make a three footer on the course. I thought it was a metal issue based on the research from http://www.puttingyips.com, until I found and studied the left low putting grip. Ironically, the current world No. 1 Jordan (man) and Lydia (woman) are left hand low putting players. I no longer have putting yips anymore after the change. I believe in a technical solution to a problem now, before blaming metal. I have one question, however, on the balance of left hand and right hand in the putting stroke. I can control how much the right hand is involved in the stroke, since I practice left hand only putting as well. Is it more or less 80% vs 20%, or individual dependent? Is there any technique to find such a balance?
January 6, 2016
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Charles. The lead hand will primarily be the dominant force. I don't have an exact percentage for you, but the trail hand will be less involved. Practicing lead hand only putting as you already do is a good way to determine how much force or pressure it should be exerting when adding the trail hand back to the club.
January 6, 2016
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Marc
Nice video. I am surprised though to see that Chuck does not have any forward lean of the shaft, which would allows the shaft to be more in line with the left arm. Too much lean with the grip pushed against the left forearm in the set up is probably not good as it does not allow the release of the club head as the grip blocks against the forearm in the through swing but some forward lean is a good thing I think as it allows a smoother action with some forward spin. What would be your take on this?
November 1, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Marc. Essentially though some players might add the lean and start hitting down on the ball. Pushing it more into the ground a getting more of a hop to start the roll. You can see a little of the pitfalls with the lean in a conventional stroke setup in the Perfect Putting Stance and Setup Video.
November 2, 2015
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Loran
Is this a new technique? Better than the original putting grip? Recommended for right-handed dominant golfers?
June 5, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Loan. This technique has been around for awhile. This is good for players that have a hard time controlling the wrist flip.
June 5, 2015
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Kevin
In this video Chuck looks a lot like Billy Horschel's left hand low grip, but when you watch Jordan Speith's left hand low, His hands look pretty close together and his ball position is relatively centered. Horschel more to the 2 inch's off the inside of his left foot. Is Speith's grip truly a left hand low, or just a variation?
April 13, 2015
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
Hello Kevin. Jordan's putting grip is left hand low with a slight variation.
April 14, 2015
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Rodolfo
I guess that left hand low is a trend this days. I tried several methods before sticking with left hand low and it does take the feel "of the right hand" out of the putting. I struggled with distance at first but was easier to learn that than to dominate right hand track. You give up distance feel but gain line control. I guess in the earlier days of the game with slower greens left hand low was not a way to put. I still struggled (and don't like) on very slow green. I would encourage anyone new to the game to put this way.
November 7, 2014
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R.J. (Certified RST Instructor)
Someone who is new to the game would be better served to learn how to control speed and learn how to read a green properly. Misreads and poor speed, along with not using the loft of the putter correctly, are the main reasons why we miss putts more often than controlling the path that the putter is moving in. It is all important though.
November 7, 2014
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pat
using left hand low for long putts makes it difficult for me to control distance with the "pulling motion" of my left hand. Does it make sense for long putts to keep left hand low but let the right hand become dominant? Or would it be better to switch back to right hand low for long putts?
September 30, 2014
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Craig (Certified RST Instructor)
You don't want to let the right dominate. It just takes practice and sometimes the limitation of left hand low. Tough to gage longer putts. Experiment around a little. Maybe right hand low for all putts with a more efficient pulling stroke might work for you again.
September 30, 2014

One of the most interesting things I've ever heard Jack Nicklaus say that ... He said that if he could ever go back and learn how to putt differently, he would have started out putting left hand low. A lot of golfers, putting has become more art than science for a lot of people. One of the things that he was saying is that there are fundamentals there when it comes to pushing versus pulling in the putting stroke. Of course, pushing versus pulling is a big part of what Rotary Swing Tour is all about, and the same can apply to putting. Even though we're not talking about nearly the same amount of muscle movement and load and power and those types of things, the same fundamental forces are at work here.

                The best way I can explain this to golfers is when I talk about if you've ever walked to the cart, a push cart or a pull cart, where you lay your clubs on it and drag your bag behind you, if you push it down the fairway, what happens? Inevitably, it will make a zig zaggity line down the track. Unless you push it directly behind the center of gravity and keep the force of movement, which is you, in line with the center of gravity the entire time, it will zig zag. Now what happens when you pull it? Of course, when you pull it, it forms a perfectly straight line, because it's always moving towards the force of movement. Of course, that's a fundamental aspect of RST.

                In putting, while I personally don't putt left hand low, I have putted with it, and I like it, because it still follows along with those same fundamentals. The thing I don't like about putting left hand low is that it takes a lot of feel out of the right wrist. I know a lot of golfers struggle with getting a little yippy with the right wrist and they don't like putting like that. If you don't, left hand low is a great alternative, because fundamentally what you're saying when you're putting left hand low is I want a very simple pulling stroke, and I want to take the right hand completely out of it. When you have those aspects and that's how you think about putting, then left hand low is a great option.

                Let's look at some fundamental changes that have to be made for you to putt left hand low successfully. As I mentioned, you're wanting to take the right hand out of it. When you're taking your grip, your primary focus needs to be the left hand. What we're going to do is we're going to use basically the same putting grip that I teach with the right hand low, but you're going to put the left hand in a lower position, but you're still going to have what is effectively a very weak left hand grip and a very weak ... Effectively very strong opposing right hand grip. That's to keep the wrist ... I'm exaggerating here, but the wrists in this position, where they can't really fight against each other. When your wrists are in this position, they have a lot of range of motion.

                It's very easy to get wristy and handsy with your putting stroke, and that's where most people struggle. When we put our left hand in this weaker position, the corner of the grip will run right through the lifeline and the thumb will sit just to the side. You'll see that my wrist is in this position. It's in a position where it's kind of locked in there, and it can't move. Again, if you're putting left hand low, you don't want wrist in your stroke. You're saying I want to take that out, and I want to use more of a shoulder rocking and pulling motion than anything else. We're going to put the wrists in that position.

                With my wrist in this position, I then bring the right hand on in the same position, where now this piece of the grip is in my right lifeline. Now my thumb sits to the right side of the stroke, and now my wrists are in a position where they can't move against each other a whole heck of a lot. There's still going to be some freedom of motion there, but not nearly as much as if you bring your thumbs down the grip. Feel that for yourself and feel how much moment that gives your hands, and then put your wrists in this position, and see how much it limits it. You can see it here just on video. It takes a lot of the movement out.

                Holding the grip like this then puts it in a position where our shoulders are going to be the dominant force. Let's see what that's going to look like. With my hands here, all I'm going to do is rock my right shoulder back and my left shoulder back. On the through stroke, I'm going to focus more on this motion, the pulling with the left side. I don't want to feel a lot of pushing motion with the right. That's going to make it very hard and going to take the whole point of putting left hand low out of the picture.

                Left hand low, shoulders rock. Now, this is really important from a set up perspective is that we want to get our shoulders in a steeper position. Let me show you what that's going to look like here. With my left hand low stroke, if I stood up really tall, what's going to happen is that I'm going to have a more around kind of stroke. With left hand low, you're going to envisualize more of a straight back and straight through stroke.

                It doesn't happen. It does work on an arc, but that's going to be more of your thought, and because of that, you want a face balanced putter. You don't want a putter when you hold it up like this that the toe drops to a 35, 45, or even 80 degree angle. That's more of a golfer that's going to stand more upright and have a putting stroke that's going to flow and release the toe. You don't want that. You're going to go more shoulders.  What you want to do is get yourself in a position where you're a little bit more rounded with your shoulders and rock them straight back and straight through. Now you can see that my putting stroke is very quiet and relatively very square. It's working on a little arc, but not much.

                Those are the main fundamentals that you want to get with putting stroke with left hand low. Steeper shoulders, so you're going to round a little bit more in your upper back, the thoracic, and as you get more rounded, that's going to allow your shoulders to rock more this way instead of rotate more this way. Do that, and your putting stroke ... If you struggle with getting a little handsy with it, your putting stroke will improve, and you'll feel a lot more consistent. Again, the hardest part is just getting comfortable with the distance, because you're taking these really sensitive muscles out of your hands and wrists out of the picture. With practice, you'll get comfortable with it, and you can become a great putter again.

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