PUTTING

David Leadbetter's secret to great putting

By Madeline MacClurg  

Whether it’s a 50-footer across the green or six feet to shoot a new personal best, imagine feeling comfortable and confident over every putt. Now, anyone can become a better putter with a new, simple approach from David Leadbetter. The key? Putting with your core.

To understand what putting with your core means, try this little exercise. Interlace your fingers, clasping your hands in front of you. Then, get into your putting posture, and place your hands over your belly button, your elbows bent outward at 45 degrees. Keeping your lower body quiet, engage your core muscles and use them to rock your arms and shoulders back and forth. This is exactly what the putting motion should feel like when you put a club in your hands.

As Leadbetter is known to say, “The dog wags the tail.” Meaning, if you lead with your core, the arms, shoulders and club will follow. The bigger muscles move the smaller muscles, not the other way around. Rocking your core will allow you to worry less about your stroke path and keep your arms and hands relaxed throughout the motion. Focus on using your core for a more consistent stroke and better touch on even the most nerve-wracking putts.

This technique is just one piece of instruction from “The David Leadbetter Essentials: Short Game,” a new series comprised of four extensive videos, six to 10 minutes each. Leadbetter focuses on simple keys for immediate improvement with the wedges and putter. Gain confidence in your pitching, simplify bunker shots, chip with more consistency, and develop better touch on the greens. Leadbetter’s clear explanations and easy-to-follow drills will teach you the most efficient ways to practice the little shots that have a huge impact on your scores.

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