Posted by: randyhaaggolf | December 19, 2016

GUIDE TO FACE ON – SIDE SADDLE -FRONT ON PUTTING

I’m sure many of you are getting tired of me writing just about Side Saddle putting, but since its the hot topic now, I will give you all I’ve got here. The other day I was interviewed by this golf publication called GolfLink, click on the link to read the article. These guys do a good job covering golf.

FRONT ON PUTTING ARTICLE

These were two takes on Sunday at the Olympic Club, notice all six putts were made, that is the norm putting this way.

 

Up next will be how to find a Side Saddle putter that will work for you. The choices are limited, but there are a few good ones out there.

Stay tuned!!


Responses

  1. Have you seen one of the Inazone 500-gram putter heads yet? I just got one and am excited to see how it compares to the others I have (STX and one I designed myself). The heavier head weight helps me keep a smooth stroke with less effort.

    Keep up the good work of spreading the word on face-forward putting.

    • Thanks Scott and Happy New Year!!
      Please spread the word about this blog and together we can make a difference to all those golfers trying to improve!!
      Let me know how you like this new putter, and let me know how I can get one!!
      Randy

  2. Randy – thanks for being such a wonderful resource for those looking to explore side-saddle putting. I’ve toyed around with it and just recently decided to take the full time plunge. I’ve been tweaking the setup and trying a couple different models. The Bobby Schaefer model looks interesting. I’ll definitely be giving it a try. My current preference is a Scotty Cameron Big Sur, but I have a Bobby Grace on the way to try as well.

    • I have been hearing a lot about the Bobby Grace, and need to get one to critique it. Please let me know what you think of it? I am considering expanding my blogging in 2017 if my audience grows, so please share the blog with your other golfers and if this goes viral, the I believe I can supply golfers with some of the best information on improving their games, bit mental, physical, technique wise and equipment wise!!
      All the best for the New Year, and stay tuned!!
      Randy Haag

      • I will absolutely do that. I’m a golf pro from NJ, and have been a believer in your style of putting (and therefore a fan of yours) since I watched your match with Derek Fathauer in the ’07 US Am. I’m actually friends with Al Small, and we’ve talked a good bit about Face-On putting, your unique style of it, etc. he says hi!

  3. Hi Randy,

    I have a query about putter loft. I have recently started face on putting using a ping B90. I find that when I get the shaft vertical the loft on the face makes me feel like I am going to push the ball to the left. How much loft does your putter have? Do you do anything specific to compensate for this?

    As a result I have been putting with the putter in a neutral position ( shaft 10 or so degrees off vertical) but this complicates the stroke a bit and I find my body/hip gets on the way on longer putts.

    Really enjoy the blog.

    Gregor

    • Hi Gregor,
      I am not sure what my loft is on my STX putter. I think you should have looked at to make sure that your putter does not have excess loft. Stay tuned for more on Side Saddle putting on the Blog, as I will be doing a review of all the available putters soon.
      All the best,
      Randy

  4. Hi Randy,
    I am enjoying your blog. I have taken an interest in side-saddle putting over the past few months, have researched it to death, messed around with multiple putters, and have now been practicing it for a little over a month. I plan to give it a go for the full season in 2017. I have a question for you regarding technique: what are the cons of gripping the putter similar to how Bryson D. is gripping it vs. how you grip it? I have played around with both, and it seems like your style delivers more energy to the ball, but his is more consistent given the left hand is not on the putter grip thus eliminating the key issue you have mentioned in some of your videos, that is, movement of the left hand. Have you tried his method? Hope your new year is off to a good start!
    Best regards,
    –Terry

    • Hi Terry,
      I have never tried Bryson’s technique yet, but will one day soon. I will hopefully be doing some video with Bryson in the coming months. Please spread the word about the blog, as I plan to have some good info on Side Saddle putting this year!!
      All the best,
      Randy

      • Randy…can you send me your opinion on the best side saddle putters…need help!!!!!ms

  5. Sidesaddle putting rocks! I’ve been putting sidesaddle and following your blog since your WSJ article back in 2012. I can’t even imagine putting any other way now.
    Peace,
    Eric

    • Eric,
      GREAT comment!!! Thank you, and I absolutely agree with you!!
      Hope you continue to read the blog, and spread the word!!
      Thanks
      Randy Haag

  6. Hi Randy, I have the STX long putter like yours that I recently cut down to 43 Inches. I think the curvature of the putter head allows a straight up and down pendulum motion by hitting the ball somewhat off center of the club face. Watching your video I believe you do this also. A friend just got a Jaunputt side saddle putter and it seems it is very difficult to accomplish the same. It seems you let it lie flat with the top hand more to the side and it is more of a pull and push or piston motion vs. a pendulum motion. I think you are familiar with the Jaunputt putter as I think I read a post where it was one of the side saddle putters you recommend. I would be interested in your take on the above and if you think one method is better or more consistent than the other. Thanks!

    • Hi Michael,
      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. The best pendulum will swing best from a vertical position, and with the STX you can most easily get the putter vertical while keeping the stability. Remember the key is always to keep that left hand from moving and just teeter the right back and forth. More on Side Saddle coming soon!!
      All the best,
      Randy

      • Interesting. I’ve been putting sidesaddle for 5 yrs now. Literally practicing with thousands of putts in my cellar on an indoor green. SS putting took from me 40 putts a round to 30! I’ll never go back to conventional putting!! And what I’ve discovered for myself is that I’m actually able to best achieve a stable and smooth straight back straight through stroke with my 46″ putter (I’m 6’0″) with the shaft at its natural 80 degree lie angle (not perfectly vertical). I find this especially to be beneficial for longer lag putts (the stroke just feels more stable to me). I know in having some extended conversations with Juan EIizondo (maker of the sidesaddle Juan Putter) he agrees and does the same. I don’t say this because I think this is the way everyone should sidesaddle putt – but only to point out that we shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking there’s only ONE way to sidesaddle putt. Randy’s left hand (top grip), and the left hand not moving, are the only non negotiables for this style IMHO. So don’t be afraid to experiment with what may work best for you (type of low hand grip, putter length, head weight, shaft vertical or not, stance with feet parallel, or one foot forward of the other etc etc). Peace, BigE

      • It is my understanding that it is illegal to use a putter with the shaft vertical even if the shaft is 80* at rest. A putter must be used with the head in normal position which is how the degree of lie is measured. If you manipulate the shaft to vertical, it is a violation.

        From USGA Equipment rules.
        “If the overall design of a putter is such that the player can achieve a “vertical-pendulum” style stroke (i.e., putt effectively with the shaft in a vertical or near-vertical position), it would be ruled contrary to Appendix II, 1d, even if the shaft angle does satisfy the 10-degree Rule when the putter is in its “normal address position.” The shaft angle on such a putter could be required to be increased to as much as 25 degrees. In assessing whether a putter can be used effectively in a “vertical-pendulum” style manner, the combination of the following features should be considered:

        length of shaft
        position of shaft attachment to head
        angle of shaft in toe-to-heel plane and front-to-back plane
        shape and weight distribution of head
        curvature and shape of sole
        intent of the design
        Even though each of these putter features, when considered separately, could conform to the Rules, the combination of the features might lead to a decision that the putter does not conform.”

        This very issue is discussed here: http://www.face-on-putting.com/2014/04/01/faq-about-the-face-on-putting/

      • Great comment John,

        Like most rules in golf, there is some interpretation involved. There are many ways to hold the putter, and its impossible for them to run out and make measurements while you are competing. But yes, the putter sitting flat should have 20 degrees of angle, and the intent is to keep that at a min of 10%.
        But we are talking about splitting hairs. I’ve now played in 7 professional majors, and no-one has come out and looked at my putter. I think there is a lot of over-reaction to this vs. anchoring the putter. But the design needs to have the proper angle to begin with.

    • If I recall correctly, Bryson had one of his side saddle putter disqualified under the rules even though it conformed with the 10* rule. He never even got it to the course!

  7. Hi Randy and Other Viewers–

    Here’s the link to the You Tube video I referred to in my post immediately above as regards putter loft. I hope the link works. The title of the video is
    “Is Your Putter Loft Causing You To Miss Putts” so if the link below doesn’t work, search in You Tube with this title.

    • Thanks Jeff for this information, very interesting!!
      Randy

      • Hi Randy–It seems my first post regarding SS putters sent right before the post with the link doesn’t appear anymore? Was it pulled?

        Jeff

      • Hey Randy–

        I think we all would be interested in your comments about side saddle putter loft.

        My sense is most players who try SS putting will be using a putter head with normal loft which will give them a directional bias to the right. Getting a 79 degree lie angle putter cut to about 43 or inches is easy to find. Then getting a head with 1 degree or less loft is what makes the putter uniquely a side saddle putter.

        Your thoughts?

        Regards,

        Jeff

      • I have long putters with normal loft, but I simply forward press them a tad to take the loft out. Works very well, for me.

  8. Randy,

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the better (best?) side-saddle putter options. Any idea when you will post your analysis and opinions?

    Also, it would be helpful to know who sells, and how to buy, the putters you recommend. I do not know where to find the STX you use, as well as some of the other options mentioned above.

    Thanks for your great advice.
    Scott

    • Thanks Scott,
      I am waiting for a few more side saddle putters to come in to give everyone a complete review. Stay tuned for that!!
      All the best,
      Randy

  9. Randy…I played Olympic Club with one of my best friends…Kevin Miller…great experience…looking to try this new technique…thanks..ms

    • Hi Mike,
      Soon I will have a blog post on all the various side saddle putters and a review of them. Thanks for coming to check out the blog, and stay tuned!!
      Best,
      Randy

  10. Randy, I have been trying this off and on in tourney’s for a year after leaving the long putter behind. I have been using a cut down version of the original Cameron Futura long putter and recently was given a Bobby Grace Face It. A couple of questions, is there an optimum length for the putter (I’m 6’2″) and any suggestions for the “rights” on longer putts.

    Thanks,

    John

    • Hi John,
      I am 6’0″ and use a 43″ length putter, so perhaps 45″would be good for you. Stay tuned for review of all the side saddle putters on the market.
      best,
      Randy

      • Regarding side saddle putters, after assuring maximum legal lie angle of 79 degrees and finding a length that fits your posture (42-46″), what else Randy is important in your opinion? I firmly believe minimal putter face loft is key because a vertical stroke using a normal lofted face will push the ball to the right. That is a proven fact so people trying to find a SS putter need to find a putter face with either zero or at most 1 degree of loft. Just cutting an old broom putter or belly putter will leave you with a face loft that is improper for SS technique.
        All the best. –Jeff

  11. Hi Jeff,
    You are spot on with your comments, thank you! Loft certainly can be a major issue with these putters, and the more loft, the further right the putt will go. The putter also needs to be well balanced, with good weight distribution, or the putter will not swing back and through properly. Many ways to hold these putters, which makes teaching technique a challenge as well. Stay tuned, a lot more coming with my review of side saddle putters that I have found on the market.
    Best,
    Randy

    • Thanks Randy. We all look forward to your SS putter reviews. As you can see there is a shortage of detail info on SS putters and a thirst for info. I’ve spoken to teachers who recommend the shaft be vertical for the strike and some who recommend soleing the putter and holding the putter at its natural lie angle during the stroke. The former suggests low/zero face loft and the latter technique allows the face to have normal 3-4 degree loft. I’ve also seen some suggest a certain distance toe to heel length of the face if going vertical with the stroke.
      Lots of moving parts😄
      Jeff

  12. Thanks Jeff,
    You are correct, with all the different putters out there, and ways to hold them, it changes all the lie/loft dynamics. I have tilted my putter vertical as well as keeping the angle the same coming off the putter. It’s really personal preference, and I would probably say the vertical method is more reliable.

    Just waiting to get the last few ss putters in before my review
    Please share, and stay tuned
    Randy

  13. Hi Randy, I am a recent convert to side saddle putting and have trouble when I hold the club exactly like you on long uphill putts. I am almost always short. Any advice would be appreciated
    .

    • Hi Tom,
      The slow uphill and uphill breaking putts are the most challenging. I actually use a shorter pop stroke to generate enough energy to get the putt to the hole. Try this and let me know how its working

  14. Randy – Quick question. I just bought a Cameron Big Sur 2 adjustable shaft putter on Ebay. It works very well with a 79* lie angle and can be tilted to almost vertical. My question is this: at the time this putter came out, it was not legal for tournament play, but that was 5 years ago before the mass introduction of adjustable drivers. Do you know if the former fitting putter that I bought would now be legal? Thanks

    • BTW, I know that the shaft cannot be adjusted during play – same as other adjustable clubs.

    • I am not sure, always check with the USGA about the legality of equipment. My guess is its not legal though.
      Good luck
      Randy


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