Brad Faxon is renowned as one of the best putters in golf history. His fluid and natural putting stroke has made him a dominant player throughout his career, continually outplaying his competitors. This article will discuss Faxon’s approach to putting and provide expert tips for improving your own putting stroke, based a video by Rick Shiels featuring a putting lesson with Brad Faxon, as well as various online discussions and testimonials from golfers who have benefitted from Faxon’s advice. From developing a consistent tempo to visualizing the putt and focusing on alignment, these tips will help you become a more confident putter.
- Developing a Consistent Tempo
- Choosing the Right Putter Length
- The Importance of Grip and Stance
- Focusing on Alignment
- Visualizing the Putt
- Exaggerating Practice Swing and Reducing Hesitation
- Utilizing Audible Feedback
- Embracing a More Relaxed Approach
Developing a Consistent Tempo
One key takeaway from Brad Faxon’s putting tips is the importance of developing a consistent tempo. Many amateur golfers struggle with a slow takeaway, resulting in inconsistent jabbing and less control on their downswing. Faxon recommends a smoother, quicker takeaway to achieve a more stable putt. Professionals typically maintain a 2-1 ratio of backswing to downswing, which can be practiced by using a three-syllable phrase and assigning two syllables to the backswing and one to the downswing (e.g., “Tiger Woods”). Brad Faxon says, “The best putters in the world have very consistent timing, regardless of the length of the putt.” This highlights the significance of maintaining a steady tempo in achieving putting success.
Choosing the Right Putter Length
Another valuable tip from Brad Faxon is matching the putter length to your natural stance for optimum performance. In a video with Rick Shiels, Faxon measures the crease in Shiels’ wrist to the ground and matches that measurement to the putter length. This personalized approach ensures that the putter is comfortable and properly fit for each golfer, contributing to better putting performance.
The Importance of Grip and Stance
In an interview with Golf Channel Academy, Brad Faxon emphasizes the significance of grip and stance in putting. He explains that his grip is primarily finger-based, following the popular reversed overlap grip approach used by legends like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Nancy Lopez. Both thumbs are kept down the shaft while keeping the trigger finger just slightly down the grip. This provides control and feel while maintaining a relaxed grip.
When it comes to grip pressure, Faxon recommends keeping the arms and hands loose, allowing the golfer to “feel the club head swing.” Golfers can check for grip tension by ensuring their arms hang softly as if they were made of rope, following the example of Jim McLean. Additionally, lesser grip pressure allows the putter head to swing more freely, as evidenced by Brandt Snedeker’s putting approach.
For stance, Faxon suggests finding a position that is comfortable and works best for individual preferences. While some players may have square stances like Tiger Woods, Faxon’s stance is slightly open, attributing his success to right-eye dominance and an open view of the line. The key is to find a stance that suits your individual needs and visual preferences, ultimately allowing for optimal putting success.
Focusing on Alignment
Another crucial aspect of putting is alignment. Brad Faxon emphasizes the importance of lining up the ball in the correct direction and trusting your judgment. To build a strong alignment, simplify your putting routine by lining up the ball and setting up next to it. This will allow you to focus on the hole and your line before executing the perfect putt.
Visualizing the Putt
Visualization is a powerful tool used by many professional golfers, including Brad Faxon. He advises golfers to envision their putt, letting go of control and focusing on what they want to achieve. This mental approach allows your putting stroke to do the work, instead of relying on mechanical instructions. According to Faxon, fluidity, flow, and a continuous motion are essential for a successful putting stroke.
Exaggerating Practice Swing and Reducing Hesitation
Another important tip from Brad Faxon involves exaggerating your practice swing while looking at the hole and executing the shot without hesitation. This technique reduces nerves and increases confidence in your putting abilities. Many golfers have reported improved putting after adopting this approach and are eager to apply it on the golf course.
Utilizing Audible Feedback
Using a small target such as a dime can be incredibly helpful for improving putting accuracy. The audible sound produced when you hit the target provides valuable feedback, while the small size ensures that it doesn’t significantly alter the trajectory. Numerous golfers have found this tactic beneficial in honing their putting skills.
Embracing a More Relaxed Approach
Many amateur golfers become tense and robotic on the green, which can hinder their putting performance. Brad Faxon encourages golfers to adopt a more relaxed and loose routine, similar to his own. This approach allows for greater freedom and flexibility, leading to improved putting results.
As an example, the best putters tend to rely more on instinct, athleticism and feel. He says that one of the most overrated things he sees, especially with better golfers is club face alignment at address. Club face alignment at impact is critical, but many of the best putters, including Tiger Woods, didn’t have a perfectly aligned club face at setup. Some great putters use a forward press to start their putts and this tends to open or close the club face. That’s okay if it improves your rhythm and doesn’t affect your club face alignment at impact.
Wrap up: Trust Your Instincts and Simplify Your Routine
In conclusion, Brad Faxon’s putting tips emphasize the importance of developing a consistent tempo, proper alignment, visualization of the putt, a relaxed grip, and a comfortable stance. These crucial elements, combined with personalized putter length, can help golfers significantly improve their putting strokes and overall performance on the green. Trust your instincts, simplify your routine, and embrace a fluid, care-free approach to putting that will allow you to become a more confident and successful golfer.