The clever (and legal!) trick Will Zalatoris uses on every single putt

Will Zalatoris wants his putting stroke to be driven by his left side. And he uses a legal rule to help him do it.

Darren Riehl

TULSA, Okla. — Will Zalatoris is one of those golfers with a clear strength, and a clear weakness.

The strength of his game is his ball striking. He leads the tour in SG: Approach and ranks second from tee-to-green. His weakness is what happens when he’s actually on those greens. He ranks 185th in SG: Putting, and under pressure, his stroke will tend to break down on short putts. But it’s getting better, at least this week. He’s top five in the field putting this week, and with a chance of winning the 2022 PGA Championship.

Yes, don’t worry, this is legal.

Darren Riehl

You have to look closely, but if you do, you’ll notice something rather interesting that seems to be helping him. Before each putt Zalatoris will tuck the left side of his shirt under his left armpit, then step into the ball and take his setup.

Zalatoris uses his shirt to keep his left side connected

Darren Riehl

Before you ask: Yes, it’s legal. You’re allowed to use your shirt like this, as long as your shirt isn’t a training aid designed for this. And as for what it helps with, Zalatoris says it helps keep his left arm connected to his torso as he makes his stroke. He compliments this with an arm lock putter and a hold where his trail hand is barely touching the grip. It all helps him — like Webb Simpson — create a stroke that’s very driven by his left side.

It’s not a catch-all solution. Sadly, those don’t exist in golf. But it does give Zalatoris something he can work with. Once he gets his setup locked in, he can stop thinking about it and transition to the thought for his putting.

“Don’t get out of my posture until the ball goes in the hole,” he says.

Luke Kerr-Dineen

Golf.com Contributor

Luke Kerr-Dineen is the Game Improvement Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com. In his role he oversees the brand’s game improvement content spanning instruction, equipment, health and fitness, across all of GOLF’s multimedia platforms.

An alumni of the International Junior Golf Academy and the University of South Carolina–Beaufort golf team, where he helped them to No. 1 in the national NAIA rankings, Luke moved to New York in 2012 to pursue his Masters degree in Journalism from Columbia University. His work has also appeared in USA Today, Golf Digest, Newsweek and The Daily Beast.