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(Beyond Impact)

Holding your Follow-Through helps to

prevent coming out of your putt too soon.


Golfers would improve their putting if they held their follow-through for at least two seconds. Hit and then hold will counteract the fault of turning to watch your ball prematurely.

There is a saying that no golfer has ever looked up from a shot and seen a good one. The same saying can be applied to putting.

Looking Up during Follow-Through

Els Hitting Past Chin

Ernie Els
Hitting Past Chin

When you are anxious to see the result of your putt and look up prematurely, there is a good chance you will be disappointed.

In the full swing you are told to hit past your chin. This advice holds good for putting. Butch Harmon suggests that you should putt with your left ear. By this he means that you should keep your head still and listen for your ball to drop.

Mel Sole of the Phil Ritson Mel Sole Golf School talks about Hitting and Holding to become a better putter. In an article for About.com he suggests that after impact you should hold your follow through for at least six seconds. This gives you time to check that you have not come out of your original address position.

Insurance Policy

Els Holding Head Steady

Ernie Els
Head Steady Post Impact

Six seconds may seem an eternity to wait before turning towards the hole. However, if you watch the tour professionals you will observe that they don't chase their putts with their eyes.

Nick Faldo on a short putt would have to ask his caddie if the ball went left or right of the hole if it missed.

Tom Patri, a top 100 Teachers in America, talks about a two-second insurance policy post impact for keeping your head still - a fundamental key in putting. Good advice, but largely ignored by the average golfer.

It is very tempting to follow your putt by turning to watch it on its way to the hole. This fault is a difficult habit to break and, if you are guilty of it, you will need to drill it out of your putting stroke.

Drills for Hit and Hold

There are two popular drills you can try:

  1. Place a small coin under your ball and then make sure that you can see the coin after putting your ball. A better way is to have a friend place the coin under the ball for you. In your follow through you have to call out if the coin was heads or tails.

  2. Putt without looking up and call out if your ball was left or right of the hole, long or short. The idea is that you should not have to rely only on visual feedback in order to sense what your putt did.

Maintaining a steady head throughout your putting stroke is something you will constantly have to work at.

Take a leaf out the blind or visually impaired golfers' book. Robbed of their vision they have to rely purely on feel, avoiding the habit of sighted golfers of looking up - the undoing of many a putting stroke.

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1 + 2 = The Complete Short Game by Ernie Els

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Related Topics

look up prematurely

blind or visually impaired golfers' book