Hole the putts that matter: The 2017 Open champion is well-known for his expertise on the greens – and here’s how he does it
When Jordan Spieth’s caddie Michael Greller was asked what made his boss such a good putter, he replied it might have something to do with the fact he spends up to 10 hours a day on the practice green. Such revelations might explain the wild long game Spieth occasionally exhibits – but it certainly accounts for his eerie ability with the flatstick.
On paper, the new Open champion’s putting stats look merely quite good – he is 37th in the PGA Tour’s Strokes Gained category and his 28 putts-per-round average put him tied 16th in Birkdale’s stats. But where Spieth excels is in his ability to make putts that matter, something he proved by being five under for his last five holes at Birkdale.
At almost 36 per cent, his birdie conversion rate is phenomenal. To putt well under pressure, you need reliable technique. Adopt these four attributes and improve your own performance under the gun.
Keep your lead hip rock solid
Watch Jordan putt and you can’t fail to notice how he maintains a very stable lower half. This is key, as it’s only through a rock-solid lower half that you can keep the heaviest part of your body – your head – still. Next time you play, focus on keeping your left or lead hip still both back and through. This will help you keep the putter on line during the stroke.
The lead hand and wrist have a direct link to your blade. However, the wrist is prone to break down under pressure, making it a notorious weak point in the stroke. Try the left-hand- low grip. Jordan is one of many players to benefit from a hold that helps keep the lead wrist in a firmer and more robust position. It can also help align the forearms better.
Create a belt-tilt
Note the angle of Jordan’s belt; tilted forward, buckle pointing downwards. This indicates Jordan is bending from his hips, confirmed by the look of extension through his upper body. This posture allows him to position his arms correctly. His upper arms are slightly resting against the side of his chest, his forearms on the same angle as the putter shaft.