The art of putting in golf has long been a subject of fascination, with players experimenting to find the most effective techniques. Among the intriguing discussions is the comparison between one-handed and two-handed putting styles.
While both have their proponents, a compelling case has been made for the superiority of one-handed putting. Advocates of this technique contend that its minimalistic approach and heightened sensitivity offer unique advantages, suggesting that it holds the potential to outshine the more conventional two-handed method.
From fostering a smoother stroke to enhancing alignment capabilities, exploring why one-handed putting might excel invites us to delve into the nuanced world of putting mechanics.
What is One and Two-Handed Putting in Golf?
One-handed putting involves using only the non-dominant hand to control the putter, while the dominant hand is placed lightly or removed from the grip. This method simplifies the stroke and can enhance feel and alignment.
Two-handed putting is the traditional approach, where both hands grip the putter. The dominant hand is lower on the grip, and the non-dominant hand is higher. This method provides stability and is commonly used by beginners.
One-Handed Putting Better Than Two Why?
One-handed putting, often referred to as “the claw,” has gained popularity in recent years as an alternative to traditional two-handed putting techniques.
While both methods have their merits and can be effective for different golfers, there are several reasons why some individuals argue that one-handed putting can be better than the two-handed approach.
Here are the reasons:
Simplicity and Consistency
One-handed putting simplifies the putting stroke by eliminating one hand from the equation. This reduction in moving parts can lead to a more consistent and repeatable stroke, as there are fewer variables to control.
With fewer variables, golfers may find it easier to develop muscle memory and groove a consistent stroke over time.
One-handed putting can promote a more relaxed and tension-free stroke. When using two hands, golfers might inadvertently grip the putter too tightly or introduce tension in the arms and shoulders.
One-handed putting encourages a looser grip and a smoother stroke, potentially leading to improved touch and feel on the greens.
Alignment and Visualization
The one-handed method can enhance a golfer’s ability to align the putter face and visualize the intended line of the putt.
By using the non-dominant hand to control the putter, the dominant hand can be free to guide the putter’s direction without influencing the face angle. This separation of responsibilities can aid in accurately aligning the putter’s face to the target.
Adjustment to Green Conditions
One-handed putting can be advantageous on inconsistent or fast-paced greens. The lighter grip and more delicate touch associated with the one-handed technique allow golfers to make subtle adjustments in speed and break.
This finesse can be particularly useful when dealing with undulating greens or varying grass conditions.
Putting is a highly individualized aspect of golf, and what works for one player might not work for another. Some golfers find that the one-handed approach suits their natural tendencies and preferences better.
It allows them to tap into their personal rhythm and flow on the greens, resulting in improved performance.
Golfers who struggle with the yips (involuntary jerks or twitches during the putting stroke) may find relief with the one-handed method.
The simplified mechanics and reduced tension associated with this technique can help mitigate the effects of the yips and restore confidence in the putting stroke.
Short Putts and Pressure Situations
The one-handed technique is often praised for its effectiveness on short putts, where control and touch are crucial.
Additionally, in pressure situations, the simplified motion of the one-handed stroke might prove to be more reliable, as there are fewer moving parts that can be influenced by nerves.
Enhanced Putter Face Awareness
The one-handed method can help golfers develop a heightened awareness of the putter face’s orientation throughout the putting stroke.
Since the dominant hand is less involved in controlling the face, golfers may become more attuned to small adjustments in the putter’s angle at impact, which can lead to better accuracy and more consistent ball roll.
Differences Between One and Two-Handed Putting
One-handed putting and two-handed putting are distinct techniques in golf with differing approaches to controlling the putter during the stroke.
Here are the differences between the two:
In this method, the golfer uses their non-dominant hand (left hand for right-handed golfers) to control the putter, while the dominant hand may be removed from the grip or placed in a supporting role.
Traditional putting involves gripping the putter with both hands, with the dominant hand (right hand for right-handed golfers) typically placed lower on the grip and the non-dominant hand (left hand for right-handed golfers) placed higher.
This technique simplifies the stroke by reducing the number of moving parts and potential sources of inconsistency.
The conventional method involves both hands in the stroke, potentially leading to a more complex motion.
Feel and Touch
Advocates of this method believe it enhances feel and touch due to the lighter grip and reduced tension, making it effective for controlling speed and distance, especially on short putts.
While touch is still important, the two-handed grip might introduce slightly more tension due to the involvement of both hands.
Alignment and Visualization
The separation of responsibilities between the hands can aid in better alignment and visualization of the intended putt line.
Proper alignment and visualization are also important here, but they might be influenced by the coordination between both hands.
With fewer moving parts, one-handed putting can offer more consistency in the putting stroke, especially for golfers prone to overcomplicating their motion.
While it might be slightly more complex, some golfers find consistency in using the two-handed method with practice.
Preference and Adaptation
It suits golfers who prefer a simplified stroke or those looking to counteract the effects of the yips. It’s also a viable option for individuals with physical limitations in one hand.
Conversely, the traditional two-handed method resonates with many, especially beginners, providing stability, control, and balanced mechanics.
This foundational approach nurtures confidence and familiarity on the greens, making it an ideal starting point for those embarking on their golf journey.
15 Tips to Improve Your Putting in Golf
Improving your putting in golf requires a comprehensive and dedicated approach that encompasses technical precision, consistent practice, and mental acuity.
To truly elevate your prowess on the greens, let’s delve deeper into the essential tips that can transform your putting game:
1. Solid Fundamentals
Begin with a solid setup. Ensure your feet are shoulder-width apart, and your weight is evenly distributed.
A balanced stance sets the stage for a smooth and accurate stroke. Experiment with grip pressure and hand placement to find the right balance between control and comfort.
2. Practice Routine
Consistency is key. Establish a regular practice routine that focuses on all aspects of putting, from short putts to lag putts.
Devote time to different distances and slopes to become adept at various situations you’ll encounter on the course.
3. Distance Control
Mastery of distance control is crucial for sinking putts from various lengths. Concentrate on developing a reliable backswing length for different distances. Practice with a variety of targets to refine your feel for distance.
4. Putter Selection
Choosing the right putter is essential. Experiment with different styles and weights to find one that complements your natural stroke.
A putter that feels comfortable in your hands and aligns well with your eyeline can greatly improve your consistency.
Before stepping up to the ball, visualize the entire putt in your mind. Picture the ball’s trajectory, the roll, and its eventual destination. This mental rehearsal can enhance your focus and confidence.
6. Reading Greens
Delve into the intricate art of reading greens. Study the undulations, subtle breaks, and grain direction. Walk around the putt from different angles to gain a comprehensive understanding of the putt’s path.
7. Smooth Stroke
Develop a rhythmic and pendulum-like stroke. Focus on a fluid motion, allowing the putter to swing back and through smoothly. This will help you maintain a consistent pace and impact position.
8. Eye on Impact
Maintain keen attention on the moment of impact. Ensure your putter face is square to your intended line. Any deviation can cause the ball to veer off-course.
9. Practice Drills
Engage in focused practice drills that target specific aspects of your putting game. Incorporate drills like the “Gate Drill” to enhance your accuracy and alignment skills.
10. Pressure Practice
Elevate your practice sessions by simulating pressure situations. Challenge yourself with putts that count for something, even if it’s just your personal pride. This will help you build resilience and perform well under pressure.
11 Pre-shot Routine
Cultivate a consistent pre-shot routine that helps you relax and focus before each putt. Incorporate visualizing the line, taking a couple of deep breaths, and stepping into your stance with confidence.
12. Stay Positive
Develop a growth mindset towards putting. Embrace missed putts as learning opportunities and celebrate successful ones. Positivity enhances your ability to stay calm and composed.
13. Green Reading Aids
Utilize tools like alignment sticks or laser guides to refine your ability to read greens accurately. These aids can provide valuable feedback on your alignment and stroke.
14. Record Progress
Maintain a detailed record of your practice sessions and rounds. Track your successes, note the challenges you faced, and highlight any patterns or trends that emerge.
15. Analyze Putts
After each round, take time to analyze your putts. Identify areas where you excelled and where improvement is needed. This reflection informs your practice priorities.
Is one-handed putting suitable for all skill levels?
One-handed putting can benefit golfers of various skill levels, but it might require some adjustment.
Can one-handed putting lead to consistency in longer putts?
While one-handed putting often emphasizes touch on short putts, its principles can translate to longer putts as well.
Is the “yips” alleviation unique to one-handed putting?
While one-handed putting can offer relief from the yips for some, it might not be a guaranteed solution.
Are there specific situations where two-handed putting excels?
Two-handed putting remains a solid choice for many golfers, especially those who prioritize stability.
Can combining both techniques be beneficial?
Some golfers opt for a hybrid approach, using one-handed putting for shorter putts and switching to two-handed for longer ones.
In the ever-evolving world of golf, the debate surrounding one-handed versus two-handed putting methods provides a glimpse into the intricate subtleties that can define success on the greens.
While the verdict on which technique reigns supreme remains subjective, the arguments in favor of one-handed putting’s superiority are undeniably compelling. Its ability to simplify the stroke, enhance touch, and refine alignment can lead to a more consistent and effective putting game.
As golfers continue to seek that elusive edge, the exploration of one-handed putting’s potential betterment over the traditional approach stands as a testament to the game’s constant pursuit of refinement and improvement.