One Hand in Charge

Don't just leave the putter face down there to fend for itself. I want you to put your right hand in charge.  Picture your right hand as the equivalent of your putter face. Get used to the notion that, if your right hand is pointed toward your intended target, the ball will go in.Another option: Left hand low. Some players prefer to make their left hand the lower hand on the putter, putting that hand in charge of the stroke.  Either way, your putting stroke will have more authority and your putts will fall with greater frequency.My book "Golf's Red Zone Challenge" has come out as a second edition with added tips and some updated pictures. Go to to order the book.



Biomechanically, the rear hand has a problem that the lead hand does not: the rear hand cannot get towards the target across the chest without the upper arm conflicting with the side of the chest, and this turns the elbow and forearm into a "pull" action, sweeping the face closed and the path offline to the inside. The lead arm and hand lack this problem entirely. In addition, once the lead armpit begins to open as the putting stroke sweeps towards and then beyond the lead foot in the thru-stroke, the rear hand cannot keep up with the putter handle and will instinctively clutch and pull the stroke off line to maintain a hold on the handle.

Both of these natural biomechanical problems with the rear hand are exacerbated in right-handed golfers by the nature of the brain: the left hemisphere of the brain operates the right hand, but the left hemisphere is overcrowded with language and thought and analysis, whereas the right hemisphere operates the left hand and is the side for ambient sounds, and space awareness, and melodic musicality, and the body-in-space. In addition, the visual world to the left of wherever the eyeballs are aimed feeds to the right hemisphere, and the visual world to the right feeds to the left hemisphere. This is awkward for the right hand, as NOTHING to the right of the ball at address matters, and all the good visual experience is fed into the right side of the brain. Altogether, the right hand is "dominant" the way an ignorant bully dominates a chorus -- yeah, sort of. The left hand actually knows the space better than the right, and aims and moves better as well.

The bottom line is that golfers using the rear, dominant hand very often end up like Mark O'Meara, bandaiding the yips with a claw grip to eliminate the influence of the "pull-bully". It is especially ironic to watch O'Meara coaching Tiger to "release" the putter with a right-hand-only drill, as this is the blind beckoning the sighted to come on down "blind alley". Both Billy Casper and Harvey Penick have preached the left hand for putting.