On the last day of the South African Open Dick Mayer was standing on the putting green now as a spectator, but his my putter in hand (he had failed to qualify) waiting for Bobby Locke to come to the putting green knowing that he always practiced his putting just before he was due to tee off.
Soon, he appeared and greeted me in a very gracious manner. He started putting and I asked him,
"Bobby, how do you roll the ball that way"?
(He was hooking every putt toward the hole).
He then started holing every putt.
After which, he said as he put his arm around my shoulders,
"Laddie, you've put me on!
I haven't been thinking about "Rolling" the ball lately,
from now on I'll putt better!”
He then had me take a putting stance.
Next, he had me position the ball off the toe of my left foot.
"This ball position allows the ball to be struck slightly on the "upswing", he said.
He then had me place my right foot approximately four inches from my left foot and withdrawn another four inches from the line of putt, explaining,
"This closed stance position makes it easier to take the putter
back on the inside."
He then took his hands and placed my hands on my putter making me use my regular driving overlapping grip, but with both thumbs running straight down and squarely on top of the shaft saying,
"Grip it lightly, Laddie,
the ART of putting lies in the tips of your fingers.
You must grip it loosely to acquire a "delicate touch".
I then asked, Why do you use the regular overlapping grip rather than the "reverse" overlapping putting grip used by almost all other golfers?
He explained saying, "You hit all your playing shots with a "regular" overlapping grip and you develop your best "feels" with this grip. When I get to the green and try reversing my grip to putt I feel uncomfortable and this uncomfortable feeling carries through to my regular playing and has a very bad effect on all my shots.
Therefore, I grip every club the same, changing only my thumb
position as I previously explained.”
"Laddie, when you get back to America,
get yourself a "flat-lie" putter like mine".
He went on to explain that... a "flat-lie" putter will make you stand back from the ball to such an extent that it automatically make you take the putter back on the "inside" the instant you start the putter back from the ball. Like a door opening and closing, the putter scribes the same inside arch over the ground each and every time you take it back, provided you are standing far enough away from the ball and the line of putt to establish a pivot or hinge point."
He then had me address the ball at the toe of the blade explaining "With the ball positioned at the toe of the putter, it is easier to take the putter back on the "inside" of the line of putt and helps to swing it back to the ball on an outward path to impart top spin at impact with the "sweetspot" of the blade".
He then took hold of the top of my left hand and rotated my top three fingers counterclockwise, thus, taking the putter head back from the ball in a "hooded" position.
He then clamped his hand around my left wrist and said,
"Now swing the putter a few degrees to the outside and through the ball and do not flex that "Left Wrist" (flexing the left wrist turns the putter blade to the left sending the ball off line to the left) as he squeezed my left wrist harder, thus locking the wrist and making it impossible to flex, as he guided my hands through the stroke to the outside with the blade still hooded and perfectly square to the hole.
Naturally, the putt went right into the hole. He then cautioned me to be sure to hold the shoulders absolutely level on the forward stroke making sure the left shoulder did NOT rise!
"Laddie", if the left shoulder is allowed to rise on the forward stroke then the hands will "open", and you will lose the "Hood", thus, sending the ball off line to the right"!
He went on to explain that he had obtained his "Hooding" technique from his idol, Walter Hagen, personally, in 1937, and mainly attributed this "Hooding" action to his exceptional putting success.
Further, he explained that most putts are missed because the putterer does not start the ball on the right line or at the right speed by allowing FAR too much break and simply aiming outside the hole or does not take his putterhead back far enough, thereby not building up sufficient potential energy in the putter head to get the ball to the hole.
Sensing this lack of necessary energy, the putterer then either shoves the putter into the ball with his arms with an uncontrollable force in an effort to make up for this "sensed" lack of necessary energy necessary for the putt at hand, and thus, pushes the ball to the right, or he slaps at the ball with his hands, which in turn causes the left wrist to flex causing the putter face to close, and sending the ball to the left.
With an adequate length backswing, enough energy is accumulated into the putter head to allow for a smooth unaltered forward stroke...SHOW LESS
"How's That" for detail to make a difference in your Stroke!