Over the years I have spent a lot of time working on my putting and, as a result, I have some definite ideas on the subject based on what works best for me.
I use the same grip as for the other shots. I advocate a very wide stance. It sets up a firmer foundation. With a narrow stance, there's a tendency to sway off the ball.
The less you break your wrists, the less margin there is for error. I try to hit the putt rather than stroke it. I play the ball just slightly forward of center—an inch or two forward.
As the illustrations below show, I stand with my left elbow well out and riding very high. My right elbow is kept close in to my right side; in that position it helpfully restricts me from taking the putter back too far. I start my stroke by pushing the left elbow back. This key movement of the elbow I can best describe by saying that the elbow moves the way it would if some imaginary hand were pushing it back.
I use this method because I feel that I can take the elbow (and the putter head) back on a very straight line from the ball. On the forward part of the putting stroke, I try to return the putter head to the same position it had at address.
from MARLENE BAUER HAGGE Defray Beach, Fla.
NEXT WEEK: BUCK LUCE ON SIMPLIFYING THE TRAP SHOT