Everywhere I go it seems a large number of golfers are curious about my unique way of putting called face on or Side Saddle. I have repeated the story many times as to why It was imperative that I change to this method. Back in the 90’s I had world class yips with the putter, tried everything and actually won the Stocker Cup putting with my eyes closed for 54 holes. But that was not the solution nor was it fun…like putting in the dark!
I tell people that I tried every possible alternative to putting regular, cross handed, left handed cross handed, long putter, altered grip of all sorts, etc….
But the reality was that none of these would work because my right hand was so active during the putt, that I had no chance, even with the help of a sports psychologist. I witnessed many phenomenal side saddle putters, Lou Alvarez, Steve Wolff, and Jack Koski to name a few. Jack Koski made a side saddle putter called the “So Easy” that I originally started using in 1997. I was at the point where I had no other options but to quit the game or try something new that would keep the horrible flinches away. The unfortunate consequence of switching to side saddle putting is that it’s NOT a quick fix, and it took at least a year to get the speed down on longer putts. It’s still difficult with putts over mounds and off the fringe of the green. But inside 5 feet…look out, you shouldn’t miss many of these putts ever, and that’s what I was looking for.
Since switching to Side Saddle I’ve won approx 70 amateur tournaments, have played in over 20 USGA events, and have been Northern California Player of the Year 4 times. This is not to brag, but to let you know that what Side Saddle putting did for me was allow me to compete and be very CONSISTENT with my putting, which is the goal in the game. I 100% attribute my wins in the Crump Cup at Pine Valley in 2000 & 2002 to my putter, on those slick and smooth greens I was able to make put after putt.
So what’s the key to Side Saddle putting- It’s quite simple, if you can hold the putter in your left hand and have it teeter at the top as your pendulum, then you can hit your putts with the speed and line you want almost every time. Much more difficult said then done, this took a commitment of many years to perfect, but with Jack Koski help and sticking with it, I have been able to anchor the top of the putter with mu thumb and index finger and just let it teeter back and forth keeping the top of the pendulum perfectly still. This is 100% the key to this type of putting.
I believe that Side Saddle putting is the best way to putt, and so does the short game guru Dave Pelz, he wrote in his short game book that if he were to start a new golfer putting he’d have them learn to putt side saddle. I 100% agree, the yips are no fun and almost all golfers get them at some point, with the side saddle technique you will NEVER GET THE YIPS.
The key is to get someone that knows how to teach the technique to work with you (very few people), and there are very few sidesaddle putters that are worth trying- I use a side saddle STX that was bought off Ebay, http://www.juanputt.com is a place to buy and get instruction and Jack Koski has a so easy putter (I can give you his contact info if interested) But don’t just suffer with the YIPS, do something about it…I finally did and everyone that I know who has committed 100% to the style has become a better than average putter.
More on this subject on a later post, I’ll have video of how to properly approach putting face on!