I covered Nelly Korda a good bit in 2021, and it was a quite a ride. From watching her wrestle with her swing at the U.S. Women’s Open, in San Francisco, to blitzing the field at KPMG Women’s PGA, in Atlanta, I had a front-row seat to some of the best golf of the year. It was the Summer of Nelly, and I was lucky to witness some of her achievements up close.
Still, my interaction with Korda was limited. The seven-time LPGA winner is one of few women pros who travels with an entourage, so getting one-on-one time with her is tough. Most of my chats with Korda happened in sterile press-conference settings, which aren’t as informative as the casual chats I’ve had with some other stars.
But this fall, I finally got that chance. And I wouldn’t just be talking with Nelly, I’d be getting a lesson from her — the No. 1 player in the world. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Part of Nelly’s stretch of dominance can be attributed to her switch to left-hand low putting this summer, so it was a no-brainer topic for our lesson. While putting has always been a strength of my game, my performance dipped a little this summer. And there’s no better way to get it back on track than picking the brain of the world’s best.
Watch the video above or read below for a few tips she gave me for left-hand low putting.
1. Interlock your fingers
As it happens, I’ve putted left-hand low for most of my golf career, and I’ve always left a space between my hands when I grip the club. I had no reason for that technique, it just felt right. But after one look at my stroke, Nelly suggested I interlock the pinky finger of my left hand with the pointer finger on my right hand.
“I would [interlock] because I feel like you can move a lot more [when you’re not interlocked],” she said. “I feel like when I interlock, I feel like it’s one part, in a sense. I’m one with the club.”
Interlocking my fingers yielded immediate results. Instead of several moving pieces that needed to synchronize to strike the putt solidly, interlocking helped me create one solid piece to swing back and through.
2. Forward press
“I like that you forward press,” Korda told me.
I’m not gonna lie, getting complimented on anything golf related from a World No. 1 is pretty freakin’ cool.
“A lot of people with the left-hand low, you start getting the shaft lean a little back,” she said. “What I’ve noticed is it’s really good to get that forward press like Jordan [Spieth] does.”
Left-hand low will level your shoulders, but it can also make golfers add loft to the putter unintentionally. Add a little forward press at address to keep from doing that.
3. Keep it low
It’s important not to lift the putterhead during the backstroke with left-hand low. The shoulders might be level, but the new feeling can throw off the backstroke for some people and cause them to lift on the way back.
“I think a lot of people start lifting their putter really high on the backstroke,” Korda said. “I would just try being a little more connected and lower to the ground.”