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Herrington's left hand low putting grip


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#1 MarkCPA

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 08:26 PM

Has anyone ever heard or read Paddy Herrington discussing his left hand low putting grip?   His left hand is turned so far under the grip that his thumb is nearly at a 9:00 position on the grip.    I've never noticed this before today even though Herrington has been using left hand low as long as I've seen him playing.    Being a left hand low guy myself, I'm curious what Herrington's reasoning for this is.     I've never seen anyone else putt with their left hand so weak before like he's doing.

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#2 mikeygolf

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Posted 17 August 2009 - 12:11 AM

I remember seeing an article, don't remember where, that claimed that turning the hands under like that with either a normal or left hand low grip helped keep the wrists out of the stroke. I believe that it was an article that was addressing the dreaded yips. I tried it but had no distance control with it, so did not stick with it long.

#3 latigo3

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 08:34 PM

If I were you folks, I wouldn’t bother to read this.) I missed the Herrington article, but Mick’s report seems to explain it perfectly. In turning his left hand underneath the grip (not his forearm) Herrington is helping to meld or lock his wrist to its forearm.  And of course the main purpose for the lead hand low (I think) is to deactivate the fingers, hands and wrists. Especially the trailing hand. Right-handed, I will sometime turn my low right hand more underneath the shaft in order to avoid that disastrous jab at the ball with the right hand. But then I don’t want any control emanating from the fingers or wrists. ** __________ Nervy fingers and floppy wrists are a curse upon all play upon and around the greens. Which is particularly true with anyone desirous of learning the modern putting technique where control of the stroke is confined to a SYNCHRONIZED, teeter-tottering motion of the shoulders and arms. *  (And in consistent plane with the intended line.) Sax [*] Here are some helpful putting words from Tiger about NOT ALLOWING THE ARMS TO OUT RACE THE SHOULDERS. “The main source of movement is in the shoulders and arms. They act together; I don’t want my arms running way from my shoulders at any time. . ..”  (“How I Play Golf” - page 36) __________ I’ve pretty much always been an arms and shoulder putter, but that notion of Tiger’s - keep the shoulders and arms in pace with one another - has done wonders to an already pretty fair stroke. [**] For what little it’s worth, other than boredom: What I do is to neutralize the nervy fingers by placing the putter up in the palms of both hands (in the life lines – never in the base of the fingers) so that the grip pressure is mainly with the pads of the thumbs and in the heels of both hands. (This will undoubtedly lose some of you more venturesome readers, but) Then for distance and direction, I key on and trigger the stroke entirely with the saddle muscles in my right shoulder. (Very difficult to even intentionally create tension in those large muscles.) I want the tip of that shoulder to execute a shallow arc up the track of a Ferris-Wheel-like-plane and down on that same track. It takes some practice to learn to isolate the fingers and wrists and to build confidence in the shoulders moving the arms, but having learned it, I never go near a putting green and never take a practice stroke on the golf course. And people often mutter “how does he do that?”. “He doesn’t take any time.” “He just stands up to it and rolls it to the cup.” And typically with some that struggle with their jab-and-hope method (“I was putting real good last week” - “That’s strange. I played with you last week”.) . . . .   They never ask HOW. More nonsense: Have you ever notice that the biggest concern of most of the folks that play at this game is reducing the number of strokes it takes to get from the tee to the cup? And if they shot a 59 on the front and a 47 on the back, they played much better. (I’ve heard it a thousand times.) I play now and then with a good bunch of people that are wealthy retired ranchers and onion farmers. Those that are even aware of its presence, think the driving range is for overflow parking.   And another recent playing acquaintance tells me that he only goes to the range when he has been playing bad. Duh? “What’s bad, Doug? We lost 50 bucks yesterday in this four ball match and we’re buried today!”
    

#4 GolfTragic

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:24 AM

All right I’ll bite, what’s a saddle muscle?  I get the message with the motion you describe but I sense there might be a bit of red wine in that narrative. ;) At one stage I considered myself a reasonable putter and use the methods you describe.  However, of late I have been ruining many a good round with three putting several greens.  Many of these are long putts coming up a long way short.  I mentioned this to the head coach at the club.  After observing my stroke for a while on the practice green he suggested the problem was tension.  He advised me to relax my elbows (bend them slightly out along the target line) and loosen my grip to ease the tension.  Then just rock back and forward as usual. At first it seemed my hands and arms were out of control with ‘floppy’ wrists.  Then as I got used to the ‘looseness’ of it all, I felt I couldn’t miss from 6-10 feet.  Even moving around the hole to create various breaks still had 7or 8 out of ten putts going in or really close.   After an hour or so, I was looking forward to my next round to give the ‘boys’ a putting lesson.   On the course I couldn’t get close to the hole and was equally long and short.  I had forty putts last weekend and one hole was a chip in!  I thought I was very relaxed...obviously not! So the question is; is the advice sound and tension is killing my putting and I should stick with it?   If so, is there a ‘tonic’ for performance anxiety? Jim
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#5 latigo3

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 10:53 PM

Okay. Will you settle for the “trapezius” muscles? * Anyhow it’s the muscles found in the “saddle” between the tip of the shoulders and the neck. And those that have them so developed as to appear to have neither saddle nor neck we call Sir! [*] “A broad, flat, triangular muscle placed immediately beneath the skin and fascia (first layer) and covering the upper and back part of the neck and shoulders.   And articulates with the spinous processes of the 7th cervical and those of all the dorsal vertebrae, etc.” (“Grays Anatomy” pages 310-313)

    

#6 GolfTragic

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Posted 30 August 2009 - 11:37 PM

I'd guessed as much from the visual it evoked.  However, I appreciate the elucidation. BTW, my putting was a bit better on the weekend, thanks for asking.  I think it was a combination of slightly improved tempo due to the wind dropping below 30 km and a new Odyssey Black Series 3 putter.  I find retail (golf) therapy improves almost anything...for a while! ;) Seriously.  Is it preferable to have everything so relaxed that it all feels ‘loose’ or should I have a little firmness in the wrists and relax only the forearms?  It may only be the ‘newness’ of it, but I still feel like I’m not in control of the putter head. Although the putting seems to be improving.   If I put my right index finger down the shaft it feels a little more in control.  I stopped doing this a few years ago because I thought it was adding to tension in my forearms.  Any suggestions for controlling tension in the hands and arms?
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#7 latigo3

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 05:43 PM

GT: I don’t know to whom your question is directed, but I’ll try to explain the physical sensations I experience in putting. For me it’s all centered in the upper back and shoulder muscles. Those are the muscles that are going to rock or teeter-totter the shoulders and arms on the desired vertical plane. (Putting being the only golf motion that can be executed on a vertical pendulum-like plane.) All I want from the extremities of arms and hands is to stabilize the putter so that all three are allowed to function in sync with the shoulders. (As I mentioned earlier - the advantage in relying on those big muscles is that they are not as susceptible to tension as are the smaller nervy muscles that control the extremities.) _____________________ There are two excellent drills to learn this technique of unifying arms with shoulders. I encourage you to work with them on your living room carpet or a putting green. (1) The first comes from David Leadbetter where he has the pupil hold two (soft) empty water bottles between the upper arms and the chest. (2) The second drill employs a flat yardstick as the prop. It has much the same purpose as DL’s, but has the added advantage in the yardstick serving as a visual monitor of both alignment and putter head plane The yardstick is placed centered against the sternum – ground parallel - and lightly held in place by the upper arms. As the shoulders rock the end of that yardstick is going to point precisely in the direction the putter head is facing. As you can appreciate, and will definitely do so with some practice, the props serve to connect the arms to the motion of the shoulders.  The goal is to learn to energize the putting stroke without using the hands with everything moving together as a single unit! Watch Tiger putt. Arguably the best putter ever. You’ll see no independent use of his hands from start to finish.  Because, as he wrote: “The main source of moment is in the shoulders and arms.” And although I don’t consciously use my arms – principally because I’ve learned to judge the force of the stroke with the more reliable right shoulder muscles – I think it is okay to use both arms and shoulders AS LONG AS “THE ARMS AREN’T RUNNING  AWAY FROM THE SHOUDLERS”! (TW)
    

#8 GolfTragic

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 08:30 PM

Sorry Sax...I should have directed my question correctly. I’ll try some practice at home before the weekend and move my focus from hands/arms to shoulders/back.  In fact I have a new granddaughter that I rock to sleep practicing my back swing where I must hold her very lightly in my arms while (gently of course) rotating my shoulders.  With a minor adjustment I can use the same technique to simulate this putting action. (I'll follow up with putter and ball when she dozes off) In case you’re wondering, I’m not kidding.  She loves it and I get to do what I love best. ..tragically. I don’t know what I’ll do when she starts putting on the kilos but I plan to put a club in her hands as soon as she can make a fist! ;D
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