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Question on Putting:

I'm new to golf and I just took a putting lesson. The instructor taught me the jack Nicklaus technique. My buddy said that only worked for Jack. Should I spend time trying to make this work?
--Mike B. from Taylors, SC

Hi Mike,

I'm really surprised to hear that someone is still teaching that method. I haven't heard of anyone teaching it for a long time. It worked for Jack and could very well work for you. The short game and putting especially are very personal and individual. There is no one way to do things. There are however ways to do things that end up with better percentages for the masses.

In our DVD Putting Perfection, both Jay Delsing and myself give our opinions on the basics such as set up, ball position, etc.. My stance and Jay agreed is to start with everything neutral and square and then you won't have to make a bunch of compensations to get back to square by impact.

I believe Jack's method that you were probably taught is a big different as Jack had his eyes over the target line, but well behind the ball. He also stood open and with his right side tucked low. I'm not 100% sure, but I think he also tended to have more weight on his right foot because of this. It's much more simple than that in my eyes. Whenever I have a student with a set up that is not square or neutral it seems like it is more of a struggle. Take weight for instance. If you start with your weight too much on your front foot you de-loft the face. As a result, most people get wristy or handsy trying to subconsciously add loft back onto the face.

My recommendation is that you set up square to the target line with your feet and shoulders and have your weight evenly distributed. Your ball position should be just forward of center. You will be in a solid neutral position that will then work for an arc or straight path.


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