My Secrets of Putting by Billy Casper 2/20/1961
In the February 1961 issue of Sports Illustrated, Billy Casper’s “My Secrets of Putting” was featured. The article is a great read, and if you are a golfer who struggles with the flat stick, I think you could learn a thing or two from him.
Casper covers the basic fundamentals of how to putt and provides his take on how a good putting can be achieved. There are a variety of factors involved, some that are very basic details such as the grip, how far apart to stand, how far to bend at the hips etc. If you read closely, you’ll pick up on some interesting points.
A low handicap or professional golfer likely knows about and uses the reverse overlap grip – which Casper mentions at the beginning of the article. While I use this grip when I putt, I never really thought about why I do it. Two important things I picked up on with the putting grip was: That the V between the right thumb and the pointer finger be pointed toward the right shoulder, and the V of the left thumb and pointer finger be pointed at the left ear. This helps to keep either hand from being dominate during the putting stroke making for a consistant and square stroke.
Another valuable tip that I picked up on was about making the stroke. I have always putted well when I have stayed very still throughout the stroke, and have always tried to think about just moving my arms and nothing else. Casper says just that when he says “during the stroke your head should remain absolutely still, your body should remain absolutely still and your arms should move only when absolutely necessary.” What I found interesting was that “that the secret of sound putting stroke is in the wrists” – that just by moving the wrists and nothing else, you can achieve the lowest degree of body movement throughout the stroke. This could be a great thing to think about while practicing and will help you gain more consistency.
The article goes into a great amount of detail, and also uses pictures to help visualize what it is he’s talking about exactly which helps a great deal. If you’re looking for a good offseason read, and happen to have your putter in your living room already (I know I do), I suggest reading this and taking some notes!