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Know what your hands are up to
Jack Nicklaus
April 11, 1966
There are two schools of thought on putting. One calls for you to break your wrists. The other requires you to keep your wrists firm and move the arms instead. But regardless of which you follow, you should know the role that each hand plays in the putting stroke. Like most touring pros, I am a wrist putter. The back of my left hand points toward the hole at address. I let my right hand do the work of taking the club back. My left hand is essentially acting only as a guide. The hands work the same way on the forward stroke, the right hand doing the hitting and the left hand keeping the club head on line. If the left hand were to stop guiding at impact, the ball would veer right or left. An arm putter—and until fairly recently I was one—must use his hands differently. In this style the left hand does more of the work. As before, it does all of the guiding, but it also takes the putter back. The right hand is emphasized only during the striking of the ball. It really makes little difference whether you become a wrist putter or an arm putter. But try to master one or the other and stick with it. Do not switch back and forth from round to round.
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April 11, 1966

Know What Your Hands Are Up To

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There are two schools of thought on putting. One calls for you to break your wrists. The other requires you to keep your wrists firm and move the arms instead. But regardless of which you follow, you should know the role that each hand plays in the putting stroke. Like most touring pros, I am a wrist putter. The back of my left hand points toward the hole at address. I let my right hand do the work of taking the club back. My left hand is essentially acting only as a guide. The hands work the same way on the forward stroke, the right hand doing the hitting and the left hand keeping the club head on line. If the left hand were to stop guiding at impact, the ball would veer right or left. An arm putter—and until fairly recently I was one—must use his hands differently. In this style the left hand does more of the work. As before, it does all of the guiding, but it also takes the putter back. The right hand is emphasized only during the striking of the ball. It really makes little difference whether you become a wrist putter or an arm putter. But try to master one or the other and stick with it. Do not switch back and forth from round to round.

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