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Rickie Fowler’s putting trick is something you didn’t even notice

December 4, 2019

Have you ever watched Rickie Fowler putt? I mean, really watched Rickie Fowler putt? If not, watch the video below, and look closely. It’s an ordinary birdie putt from Rickie that he ends up holing, but don’t focus on the putt itself. Rather, try to spot what Rickie does the moment before he swings the putterhead back.

Did you notice it?

Before every single one of Rickie Fowler’s putts, right before the moment he pulls the trigger, Fowler lifts the putterhead a fraction of an inch off the ground. He holds it there for a split second, then begins his stroke. Here’s a better look at it. Notice how the putter never touches the ground.

What are the benefits of doing this? There are a few.

One of the most obvious is that because you’ve never grounded the club, your stroke hasn’t actually begun which means that you’ll avoid any Dustin Johnson-style rulings in the event that the ball moves. Rickie himself, speaking with Golf Digest back in 2017, says he likes to lift the putter off the ground to avoid the putterhead “snagging” on any rogue pieces of grass.

But the most important reason is that by lifting the putter, as Rickie also later told Golf Digest, it prevents you from using the ground as a “balance point”. If you’re applying pressure to the ground via the putter, it’s going to make it all the more difficult when you need to suddenly reverse the pressure to actually move the putterhead back and begin your stroke. Nobody wants that kind of jerky, forced putting stroke. By lifting the putter, he’s releasing the tension, and increasing his chances of a nice, smooth putting stroke.

And there’s certainly some merit to it. On a purely anecdotal level, it’s something I tried this past season and I’ve really enjoyed it. It feels like it’s easier to start my putting stroke, and that my backstroke is smoother.

So if this sounds like you, give it a go. It’s so simple, and it may become a mainstay part of your routine.

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