Forward Press When Putting

Frank, I have a question regarding forward pressing of the putter. I noticed several people using a forward press just before they stroke the ball. Most of the time they miss the hole on the right side. I say when they forward press they slightly open the face of the putter and lose their alignment. What do you say? I enjoy your site.
–Ray

Ray,
I am pleased that you are enjoying the site.

Some teachers have advocated the Forward Press, I am not sure why but believe that it may have something to do with de-lofting the putter. This is not a good idea unless you do it very consistently. I believe that the idea of de-lofting the putter is to get better roll on the ball.

Yes, there will be less backspin on a ball with less loft on the putter – but not very much. The distance of bouncing and skidding to eventual pure roll will be slightly less with a forward press. This, however, will also be inclined to launch the ball lower driving it into the edge of the depression – of different depths — in which it almost always settles.

In some instances, in the teaching of our elite golfers, we have recommended a slight forward press (very slight) as a “TRIGGER” only and for the purpose of making a smooth take away of the movement from a static start. This pressed position of the forearm and wrist relative to the putter should be maintained throughout the rest of the stroke.

This slight press (trigger) is a sacrificial movement — of less than an inch at the hands — without substantial consequence UNLESS the press is made by moving the hands away from the body as opposed to forward and along the line of the putt. If the hands move forward and away from the body this, will open the face and if this position is held throughout the stroke the face will be open at impact and the ball be launched to the right of the target.

Ray I urge you to read “The Fundamentals of Putting”, which we recently published to help golfers better understand how to putt well. For those golfers who are putting well we urge you to read the book so you will understand why, and be able to know what to do when your putting falters.

Hope this helps
Frank