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Instruction

Ross Metherell: Putting grip pressure

HAVING too much pressure in your thumbs when putting can lead to all sorts of problems with your stroke.

PUTTING is such an important part of the game that if we get it right it can really help to lower our scores.

One of the most common problems I encounter when I teach is people who have the wrong grip pressure with the putter. Unfortunately, most don't realise it.

What happens for a lot of people is that the pressure they apply to the grip with their thumbs is too much and this interferes with making a good stropke.

While we are trying to swing the putter freely down the target line, the thumbs are pushing the club inwards, towards our body.

It means the forces are opposing each other and the putter can't possibly swing freely along the line.

I have a very simple drill to help with this problem and as soon as you do it you will know if you are one of those golfers whose grip pressure is causing you to miss a lot of putts, especially from short range.

Take your normal putting set up and grip. It doesn't matter whether you grip left hand low or normal, this drill works with either.

Now, take your thumbs completely off the club and stroke some putts. If you're one whose pressure is too tight you'll be instantly amazed at how different this feels.

If your pressure is good it will still feel different and act as a great reminder to keep your touch light.

When it's time to actually putt on course put the thumbs back on the grip but remember that feeling of putting with them off the club completely.

This is a great drill which you can even incorporate into your practcise strokes on the course if you like.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Ross -Metherill

Ross Metherell is a former player on the Australasian and European tours and has won a number of titles including two Western Australian Opens, two Nedlands Masters and three Western Australia PGA Championships.

He represented Australia in the 1979 World Cup and in more recent years has played on the European Seniors Tour with numerous victories.

Ross has also had an outstanding career as an elite instructor and is one of the most sought-after coaches in Australia.

He has coached at Australian Institute of Sport and Golf Australia elite training camps for many years and was the West Australian State Coach from 1984 to 1999, where he worked with a number of top players including Craig Parry, Wayne Smith, Roger McKay, Chris Gray, Kim Felton, Brett Rumford, Stephen Leaney, Greg Chalmers and Jarrod Moseley.

Ross is a AAA-rated PGA member and has won a number of awards including the West Australian Government's Coach of the Year and an Australian Sports Medal in 2000.

You can book lessons with Ross at Collier Park Golf Course in Perth either by phoning the Pro Shop on (08) 9450 6488 or by email collierparkgolf@iinet.net.au

Ross Metherell