Hello Frank !
I am a long time reader of your writings....and look forward to the email each week (as a Frankly Friend).
Here is my question / comment on putting alignment. It seems that most instructors want us to align ourselves 'square' to the intended target line.... especially in putting. I can see where this does help many times in swings other than putting strokes.
However, knowing that putting is such an individualistic part of golf....I find (personally) that standing just a bit 'open' to the target line aids me in getting a better look - and in putting a better stroke on the ball....(similar to that of Fuzzy Zoeller).
Could you elaborate on 'why' this putting style can help some putters? Maybe this can be of help to some who are 'struggling' on the greens.
Thanks for all you do !
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I strongly suggest that when putting, your body be aligned so that the movement of your shoulders is in line with the rest of your lower body (i.e. square). This will result in greater consistency than rotating your shoulders in a different plane than your stance. Your shoulders and upper body want to rotate in a natural plane back and forth with the muscles being flexed symmetrically through the full stroke.
If you are moving your shoulders on an inside-out path (relative to your stance) the core muscles are not flexing symmetrically throughout the stroke and this adds to another variable leading to potential consistency problems. There may also be the tendency to use your wrists in the stroke to compensate.
I think that a significant change such as you have made – open stance – may make a difference but only because it will mask other problems you may have. The problem is that it will introduce another source of error, all of which we try to minimize or eliminate.
We need to find out what the real problem is and fix it, because a Band-Aid will not allow you to reach your true potential.
Thanks for your input and I hope my explanation has helped.
Frank Thomas, inventor of the graphite shaft, is founder of Frankly Golf. Thomas is chief technical advisor to GolfChannel.com. He served as technical director of the USGA for 26 years and directed the development of the GHIN system and introduced the Stimpmeter. To email a question for possible use in an upcoming Let's Be Frank column, please email firstname.lastname@example.org