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Using the Big Muscles in Putting

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

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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"I think he's come very close to a golf swing model that appears to be ideal...It's a big muscle, motor-driven swing that's repeatable...You don't have to be a super athlete."

-Dr. Jeffrey Broker, Assoc. Prof. in Biomechanics at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Former Senior Biomechanist for U.S. Olympics Committee

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