by Jeff Skinner
As Tiger Woods was being interviewed after his win at The WGC Cadillac Championship he said he wanted to thank Steve Stricker for his putting tip. Stricker had spent some time with Tiger on Wednesday tweaking Tiger’s putting and sure enough it worked. Woods used 100 putts at The Cadillac, the fewest in any four round tournaments in his career.
Woods knew who to go to for putting advice as Stricker has the reputation as one of the best putters on the PGA Tour. In 2011 he finished second in Strokes Gained Putting and this season he leads the tour. As good as Woods was with his putter at The Cadillac, Stricker was better. He finished first in strokes gained putting and his pal and student placed second.
Golf Digest profiled Stricker’s putting stroke last year and while most of his stroke is fairly conventional he does have a few strange features to his routine.
Like many good putters, his is a left hand dominant stroke with his left side controlling the stroke. His left hand grips the club in the palm, not the fingers and is firmer than the right. Here’s the strange part: he waggles his putter. He bounces the putter on the turf behind the ball to relive tension in his arms. He cups his left wrist and maintains that position through the stroke. He says the cupped wrist sets the shaft in his preferred vertical position. He likes to feel that the putter swings in a pendulum stroke moved by his left shoulder, arm and hand all working together.
However Stricker does it, it works. His stroke looks as smooth as anyone’s out there and now, just like Tiger, you have the secret too.