Try Putting From The Opposite Side

Do you ever feel that your practice routine is getting a bit stale. You use the same drills (which work most of the time) in the same fashion to hone your putting skills. Personally, I try to mix up my drills, but I do have my default putting drills that really helps build my confidence on the short grass. Regardless of how well I think my practice sessions are going, I have to admit that from time to time I need to shake up my routine. When I do, I sometimes putt left handed! Why you may ask; well, that is a good question!

My favourite putting drill!

I consider myself a better than average putter. There is always room for improvement, but that is a discussion for another day. My preshot routine is fixed, my process is fixed, and my finish is fixed. However, like all golfers, I sometimes hit a streak of poor putting where I am fighting my stroke. I think through my process on the practice area and I still struggle. I learned many years back that there is a cure for my putting woes or at least the start of a process that helps me mentally ensure I following all of my steps of my putting stroke. This simple process is to putt left handed.

By switching the side in which I putt, it forces me to sharpen my mental focus to ensure that I have everything in the proper order and set up. If you have never tried to putt from the opposite side, give it a try. You will quickly find that it is uncomfortable, but your focus is greater because this uncomfortable feeling.

I remember many years back when my putting was not as sharp as I needed it to be for competition. For some reason I was pulling the ball 2 out of 3 putts. Instead of adjusting my line (this band aid fix would only cause me greater distress down the line), I switched sides and putted from the left. I worked through the entire process and found that my ball would creep up in my stance an inch or so during my pulled putts. However, I still did not have the cause of why this problem was occurring. Working through all the steps from the left side, I found that I was leaving out my visual cue for the position of my ball in my stance. I had, for some reason, left it out of my routine.

I quickly fixed this challenge and played well in the tournament. Interestingly, I did not pick up my routine oversight when putting right handed. It was only when I putted left handed that I realized my folly and fixed the issue. I am not suggesting that putting from the opposite side will produce miracles for your game, but it will ensure that you have an understanding of what your putting processes are by forcing you to focus. On a side note, I have never putted left handed during a round. I only use switching which side I putt on as a practice tool.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

6 thoughts on “Try Putting From The Opposite Side

  1. last golf of the year was at Highview 1st week of Nov. I had left my putter in the house and showed up without one. I tried all 3 of my opponent’s RH putters with horrible results and finished the round using a LH bladed sand wedge. Everything from the right was bad, alignment, aim, grip, speed, posture….
    it was an expensive lesson to check my bag before leaving home.
    BMc

    Liked by 1 person

    • BMc

      I am actually surprised that you struggled that much putting right handed. Your stroke is so smooth and consistent, but alas, that is golf. I have played with a wedge with a putter and sucked at it….haha. Regardless, it was fun to try.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

  2. Interesting way to switch up your putting practice. While in AUS, one of my weekly playing partners asked me to use my LH putter as his day was not going well. He made the first putt and therefore, kept hitting left that day. He practiced for weeks as I gave him my old putter. He now hits irons and woods from the RH side and Putts left handed! During our time together I did not see much change to his handicap, however he felt his mental preparations while putting was much better.

    I tried putting from the right side and I might as well reach for a sledge hammer vice my putter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kirk,

      I have watched a few people putt opposite of their hitting. Really whatever gives you confidence is what matters. The lower handicap is likely not rooted in the putting for your friend. As far as your putting, I have watched you play and your putting stroke is a good one. Switching to a sledge hammer would not help your game 😉 You have good technique, you just need to play more.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

  3. Making the same putt over and over has it’s uses, but if that’s all we’re doing we’re not practicing well I fully agree. There are quite a few things I do to practice my putting. Like knowing that one area of my carpet will give me a little right to left bias and another will provide left to right forcing me to practice aiming accordingly. And understanding that practice on the carpet isn’t the same as practice on the greens so I make time for that too. And one thing I do isn’t so normal. I often put two balls down and putt both balls to the hole with one swing. I do that to help me train to get the right amount of closure consistently. My putter has massive toe hang and I will get a big difference in speed coming off the face between a slightly outside center hit and one that is slightly inside center.

    When I can get both balls traveling towards the hole at the same speed, I’ve done something very, very useful to me. So I put time in practicing that. It helps a ton to be able to regulate the speed I’m going to get.

    And from the numbers I just looked at last night and reported to you in yesterdays post, I know I need to put more time in at the 3-6 foot range now. A range I’ve felt comfortable at, but haven’t performed well at with the first 6 rounds of stats in so far.

    Started that last night. No waiting for me. lol I hit only about 30 putts and split it pretty evenly between my normal 9 foot range and somewhere around 4 or 5. Firm and committed drops those shots most often but that brings big trouble if you miss so we usually or rather I should say I usually have wimped and taken the safer route which means I have to get break and speed perfect.

    The practice certainly didn’t hurt my game today. My final shot of the round today was a 10 footer with about 3 balls worth of break that hit the pin dead center. I figure it would have run by a good 3 feet had I missed at the speed I hit it. But of course this was skins and you go for it or die trying. I could likely have taken the skin with a birdie. No one had a sure putt in. But they were all just a little closer than me. And by making it, I forced them to go for it and I don’t think they were really expecting it. lol Got under their skin.

    On my home course which is 5 of the 6 rounds recorded now, I’m going to make more putts than average. That’s why those numbers I gave yesterday look so good. That and I’m playing skins and going for it and the fact that I’ve played these greens over 800 times in less than 3 years gives me advantage too. I can get fooled by things like scuffs and badly repaired divots being in my line, but not by the greens. Not anymore. Today I didn’t manage to go low. My iron shots were a bit off and my wedges were frankly terrible for me at least. I was getting on, but leaving far too long a putt today even knowing them as well as I do. I’m no robot. I’m missing more than I make outside 20 feet. But that eagle finish put me to 3 under and extended my lead by one. Can’t complain. 75 degrees this evening. Perfect.

    Oh, and it looks like I’ve got a new golf buddy. A couple that lives down here part of the year just got in tonight. We’d met as he left last year. And he hurried over to ask about playing. lol I of course told him he was always welcome. I found it funny and so like me that he stopped unloading his things to come ask about playing golf. lol His condo is only 4 doors down from mine. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I like you two ball practice putting drill. It helps keep the putter face square on impact and gives immediate feedback. That is always a good thing. As for as the rest of your article, you sound like a kid in a candy store and your new playing partner is the same. Keep having fun and sharing your experiences as I am under snow now.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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