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Putter Pushback is a memory-aid

to facilitate the takeaway.


To keep bad habits at bay, it is helpful to have certain memory prompts. With imagery, not specific to putting, you can avoid potential problems with your takeaway.

Starting the Takeaway

The best way to start the backstroke in putting is to eliminate any independent hand movement. This can be difficult from a stationary start.

A technique often used is Forward pressing with your hands. This is fine, but make sure you hold your newly created wrist angle on the way back.

A Drill

Marius Filmalter is his YouTube video Putt with Your Big Muscles stresses using your core muscles to generate the energy in your stroke.

The way to feel this is to hold your putter straight out in front, and then make strokes as though the ball is hip high. Next bend over into your address position and mimic the same feeling.

Wrist Rotation

How you play golf, and how you putt, are the results of patterns that you have developed in the past. A particularly unhelpful pattern is using your hands rather than your arms and shoulders to start the backward movement of your putting stroke.

My bad habit is rotating my wrists ever so slightly as I take my putter back.

In the full swing rotating your wrists at the start of your takeaway is also a recipe for inaccuracy as it puts your swing arc immediately under the plane formed at address.

This is another one of my bad habit that sees my shots head off right of the target.

Unhelpful Habits

Fighting ingrained patterns of movement is a constant battle not just for amateur golfers, but also for the professionals. Sports coaches and golf psychologists typically recommend large doses of repetition as a way of supplanting an old habit and replacing it with a new one.

Unfortunately the brain doesn't welcome change and stubbornly resists a new way to replace the old way.

Putter Pushback

So I have a problem with starting my putts on line. If I miss a makeable putt I usually miss it to the right as the putterface is fractionally open at impact. I hate making such a simple error and so have to use vivid imagery to get my putter moving correctly.

Wikipedia explains how 'pushback' is an airport procedure during which an aircraft is pushed backwards away from the gate by a pushback tractor. Since the pilot can't see to the rear, the steering is done by the tractor driver.

Using this imagery I imagine my putting triangle to be the aircraft and my arms and shoulders (the tractor) pushing the triangle back along the correct path.

Another image could be that of a tug pushing an ocean liner away from the dock. Whatever you choose as a mental picture, its purpose is to override a recurring bad habit.

Beating the Habit

It is true that you shouldn't think about your putting stroke when you are over the ball, but if what you do is incorrect, you will just replicate your fault.

Picking an image that is unrelated to golf works better for me than an equally bad habit of watching my hands to see that they don't rotate.

Putter Pushback engages the big muscles and eliminates the small muscles that are harmful rather than helpful.

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Image Source
1 = www.fearofflyinghelp.com

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