Tiger’s putting tip to Sean O’Hair

If nothing else, I am obsessive about hating “methods” of playing golf. A “method” by my definition is something that was invented by a golf guru that golfers of all shape, size and skill level are supposed to implement, because that is the “right way” to do it.

Well, it’s the right way to sell books and DVD’s but no way is the right way for everyone. Actually, some ways aren’t the right way for anyone.

Which brings me to square to square putting. I have campaigned against this ever since I was exposed to it and it gave me the yips from 30 feet. I have campaigned against it since the inception of this blog.

Now the greatest clutch putter of all time has made my point for me. Tiger Woods gave a tip to Sean O’Hair. The putter, by O’Hair’s own admission, is wha has kept him from winning more in his young, but already successful career.

The tip Tiger gave to O’Hair: They key to good putting is releasing the putter. In order to release the putter properly you have to open it a little on the back stroke.

So much for the Square to Square putting “method”

The greatest putter of all time, IMO, Ben Crenshaw open and closed the putter face quite a bit.

People will counter with Jim Furyk using square to square, but that with left hand low and he learned to do it that way. I can’t think of a single great putter, or even good putter who have been able to master square to square.

The body doesn’t work that way naturally and the hours of exact practice it takes to master it are too numerous to even count. What usually ends up happening to square to square converts is they shove puts and are forced to aim left and shove the ball on line.

That does not put a good roll on the ball.

Edited: Since I had a couple of readers yell at me about square to square, I will clarify what I meant. I said it was fine if you learned to putt that way like Jim Furyk did. My criticism with square to square is I have never seen anyone switch to it and putt well long term. I never change anything that works, as long as you learned to do it that way and it is natural. This article is about Pelz converting people to square to square because it is the “right way.”

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4 Comments

  1. ChrisNH

    Monte-
    Does your recommendation change for long versus short putts? I feel like the square-to-square putting method (or at least, having that swing thought) is good for short putts, but not so much for longer putts.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Two points. First, on short putts the length of stroke shouldn’t be long enough for this to become an issue. Two…do you really want to have to different putting strokes/thoughts for different length putts?

      Reply
  2. Jordan

    I find this concept of open to closed putting to be fascinating as it truly does resemble a miniature golf swing. I am yet another victim of the square to square methodology. Once question for you if you don’t mind Monte.

    How would you describe the method of opening the putters club face on the back swing? My intuition tells me that it will be similar to the full swing in that we relax our hands and grip enough to allow the weight of the club head to open itself on the back swing. And once again similar to the full swing we allow the natural forces of the club head to square itself through impact?

    All of this of course requiring the soft relaxed feeling in the hands and wrists so as to not ‘snatch’ the club in transition or down swing. Would you say that there is a tiny wrist set in the open to closed putting stroke?

    Thanks so much for your time. Absolutely fantastic blog btw. Very well done.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      I think you have a really good grasp of what will happen naturally.

      Reply

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