A forward press is a swing technique many golfers use to initiate there stroke. Most commonly seen in chipping and putting, it’s a simple movement of the hands towards the target before a stroke starts. The question is, is this a good or bad habit?
A little history lesson…
For forty years, starting in the 1920’s, most professionals employed a wristy putting stroke, this style was effective because most putters of those days had lots of loft to get the ball airborne and rolling well. The quality of the greens in this era were also questionable, so players found this stroke more effective at keeping the ball on-line than the putting strokes used today.
Moving into the 50’s, putters continued to have more loft than nowadays, but the greens rolled truer, and were finely manicured. The extra loft on the putters started to cause problems, so players began to square the face up by applying a forward press. This encouraged a truer roll that was much more consistent.
So what is it used for now?
The putters of today have about 2-5 degrees (which is ideal for well manicured greens) loft on them to get the ball slightly airborne before hitting the ground running. This change made the original purpose of the forward press irrelevant, however, many professionals found they could take the putter away from the ball more on-line if they initiated their stroke with a slight forward press. Players then started to use this move as a trigger to start their putting stroke.
So if you like triggering your stroke with a forward press, by all means continue… but be aware of some of the downsides:
• Your forward press should be subtle. If you over-forward press, you can actually de-loft your putter enough so you impart top spin on the ball, this will cause the ball to jump and bounce off impact.
• Your forward press should be slow. If you initiate your putting stroke with a quick forward press, this quickness can continue throughout your stroke. A quick backswing will cause inconsistency at impact, and left unchecked can lead to deceleration and even the yips.
• Your forward press can close the face on your backswing, leading to putts that end up left of the hole.
What’s do you guys think? Do you use the forward press? If so, why? If not, why not? Reply below in the comments…