Putting is often called the most psychological part of golf. Standing over a 4-foot putt can bring out nerves and doubts that turn a tap-in into a miss. To overcome putting woes, some players have turned to an unorthodox style called the “pop putting” stroke. This unique motion is growing in popularity thanks to its simplicity and effectiveness under pressure.
What is Pop Putting?
Pop putting, sometimes called blast putting, is a pendulum-like putting stroke that involves an abbreviated, accelerated motion with very little follow through. The stroke itself is initiated by the shoulders, keeping the hands and arms passive throughout. This allows the putter to release up the target line with a “popping” motion through impact.
The compact, energetic stroke is typically much shorter than a conventional stroke. Backswings are minimal, often just 6-12 inches. From this set-up position, the shoulders fire aggressively through the ball, driven by the legs and core rotation. The hands stay quiet, eliminating the urge to guide or manipulate the putter head. The stroke follows a narrow, repeatable pattern that negates issues like wrist breakdowns or jerky motions. For players struggling with consistency, the pop stroke provides a simplified, rhythmic motion.
Benefits of Pop Putting
- Accuracy: The minimized motions and precise path increase control over distance and direction.
- Consistency: With the hands minimized, pop putting allows for repetitive impact and release.
- Solid contact: The stroke’s pivot point encourages clean impact on the sweet spot.
- Better pace: Shoulder motion sets the putter speed rather than hands for improved distance control.
- Less manipulation: Reduced wrist action decreases the chance of pushing or pulling putts.
- Mental simplicity: The basic motion keeps the stroke and setup thought-free.
- Improved alignment: Shoulder aim seems to enhance ability to start putts on line.
- Versatility: The stroke works well from short to long range putts.
How To Execute a Pop Put Stroke
- Set up with hands in front of the ball, keeping the putter face square.
- Grip lightly in the fingers to reduce hand action during the stroke.
- Position the ball closer to the heel, with weight favoring the front foot.
- Keep eyes and shoulders aligned just inside the target line.
- Make a short, compact backswing of just 6-12 inches.
- Initiate the downswing by rotating the shoulders and core towards the hole.
- Allow the putter to release naturally through impact, keeping wrists passive.
- Contact the ball then continue motion towards the intended target spot.
- Follow through for 1-2 feet after contact to release momentum.
Fine Tuning Pop Putting Technique
- Find the ideal ball position and grip to maximize a pendulum motion.
- Focus on engraining a smooth, compact back and through stroke rhythm.
- Control distance by modifying the length of the backswing rather than stroke force.
- Develop solid pace feel on putts of varying length using alignment sticks.
- Groove a reliable routine of preparation and alignment before each putt.
- Work on weight shift and core turning to build momentum through the ball.
- Utilize video and putting mirrors to monitor your motions and consistency.
- Continue practicing pop drills to build muscle memory and trust in the stroke.
The pop putting method may seem unusual compared to a standard stroke. But its simplified acceleration can be the antidote for uncertainty and handling pressure. With discipline and repetition, pop putting can help golfers of all levels achieve more consistency on the greens. The instant speed generated by this energetic stroke eliminates hesitation and gets the ball rolling smoothly towards the target. For frustrated putters, the pop stroke may provide that secret sauce to transform lagging performance into sinking more putts.