Club golfers are obsessed with striking putts with topspin. However, the true path to a pure roll lies more in removing backswing than applying topspin. And note it well: generating pure roll comes from your set-up and shaft angle – NOT through manipulating the stroke.
Key concept: Return shaft to address at impact
Promote an ascending blow, with the shaft leaning slightly forward.
The low point of the stroke is pretty much opposite your shirt buttons. So, to create a stroke with the putter’s head ascending, position the ball forward of your buttons; opposite your left chest is a good guide.
Clubshaft: Avoid this
Here’s a common error from golfers trying to create topspin. The hands drop behind the blade to give the feeling that you can hit up on the ball. But this only adds loft to the face, and therefore backspin to the strike. It also promotes impact off the lower edge of the blade, which will always hinder consistency.
Clubshaft: Correct position
Instead, let ball position take care of the ascending blow. Position your hands a little ahead of the blade to take loft off the face. It also helps you find the vertical centre of the blade.
Your sole thought through impact is to hold on to that slightly forward-leaning shaft angle created by the hands-ahead position at address. Remember that as soon as the clubhead overtakes the hands, you are adding loft and inconsistency to your strike.
On the rise
The putter is on the rise through the ball, but I repeat – that’s done through the ball position at set-up, not through any in-stroke manipulation. So even though the head is rising, the shaft angle retains its forward-leaning address angle even after imact.
To help you recreate that address shaft angle at impact, focus on the angle in the back of your right wrist. An angle is created at set-up through ball and shaft/grip position. Make sure you preserve that during the stroke. Hit putts one-handed to develop a resistance to the right wrist flapping forward through the ball (inset).