It’s All About the Roll!

Posted on: April 3rd, 2011 by Jeff Ritter No Comments

For years I had spent countless hours trying to perfect the components of my putting stroke. Like most people I focused on developing a “no wrist” action, shoulder driven movement that swung the face and path square to the target line. The problem was the more concern I created for “positioning,” the more rigid my stroke became and the worse the ball rolled off of the face. In essence I looked great, but performed horribly!

The key tip that helped me to find my way again was being reminded that putting is “all about the roll”. Great putters roll the ball well, creating a solid strike that makes the ball hug the turf to the cup. This is a product of softening up and actually allowing the head to swing more freely adding more effortless energy to the hit.

To find your roll again practice some strokes where you swing with your right hand only (right-handed golfer). The key to this exercise is to be as casual and “non-rigid” as possible. As the putter swings away from the ball allow your wrist and elbow to flex and fold, loading the head with energy. Swing through allowing the head to “release” energy into the hit. You’ll find in many cases the more “sloppy” and casual you feel, the better the ball will come off the face. Once you find your roll again, tighten up your effort to add a bit of control. In the end, your new stroke should feel as if it still embodies the elements of flow that your right hand only drill demonstrated.


  • Practice right hand only strokes
  • Allow your joints to flex and flow
  • Load the head with energy
  • Release into the hit

Jeff Ritter teaches at the Raven Golf Club – Phoenix. In 2010 he was named by Golf Digest as one of the Best Young Teachers in America. For more information visit

Story originally seen in AZ Golf Central Magazine

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