|The Symple Putting stroke uses a hinge method. (Mike Bailey/WorldGolf.com)|
If you suffer from the occasional yip, tend to pull your putts, have trouble keeping the clubface square at impact or just plain struggle with the putter, you've no doubt considered alternative methods.
Alternatives, of course, would include the long putter, belly putter, claw grip and any number of other gimmicks that might help steady the nerves or help you find a pendulum stroke.
Well, here's another idea. Simple Golf, of the Symple Power Swing technique, has introduced the Symple Putting method.
Ironically, Symple Putting does not utilize the principles of the Symple Swing. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite. The Symple Swing primarily employs the body's core muscles; Symple Putting is a wristy stroke that involves very little arm motion.
"This is a hinge method," said Mike O'Leary, director of instruction for Simple Golf LLC. "It's much like a grandfather clock."
For an idea of how Symple Putting works, just imagine the putter as the pendulum on a clock. Your hands are essentially the fulcrum on which the putter swings, and your left thigh (if you're right-handed) anchors your hands.
In fact, you set up by placing the club in your left hand, which is at around mid-thigh, then closing the grip with the right hand. You execute the stroke by swinging back and through with the left hand in constant contact with the left thigh. The idea is that by anchoring the putter handle on the left leg, the clubface must return to the same spot it was at address, therefore eliminating pulls, pushes and opened and closed clubfaces.
Distance control is accomplished by varying backswing length with the left wrist. If you're thinking long putts could be a problem, you'll be surprised how far you can hit with this method. For really long putts, however, you must speed up the tempo in addition to lengthening the backstroke.
Not surprisingly, Simple Golf has a specially-designed putter for this method called the Scoring Machine. This mallet has a flatter lie angle, designed to accommodate a putter that's anchored at mid thigh.
Finding the right length is crucial for executing this putting method correctly, and the folks at Simple Golf determine that based on your height and build.
Simple Golf isn't just marketing this method (and its putters) to players who use the Symple Swing, but to anyone looking to improve putting regardless of their full-swing action.
If you think about it, Symple Putting is probably most like using a belly putter, but instead of anchoring the club in the abdomen, it's anchored on the thigh with ball position off the front foot. Plenty of good players use belly putters or long putters, so this might appeal to them as well.
At least one Champions Tour player has tried the method, said Simple Golf founder and President Joe Davidson, but because it's not a paid endorsement, Simple Golf can't release his name. Simple Golf also features former LPGA player Jan Stephenson and ex-NFL player Jack Youngblood in its videos.
Speaking of videos, the putter comes with video instruction, a head cover and online and telephone support.
June 2, 2009
Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in the Houston area. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 20 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @Accidentlgolfer.