Y is Not the Letter of the Day
In a world where you have access to piles of instructional tips, articles, and videos, where do you turn? How do you know what's right?
The more I look at the "information" that is out there, it becomes more and more apparent that I need to share quality information for the world and start debunking the myths that are out there.
I recently ran across a post that outlined a supposed "checklist of things that everyone needed to do in their putting. I sighed and finally decided it was time to do something about this.
Stop the Madness!
I figured why not start with this common misnomer that creating a capital "Y-shape" with your entire arms and the putter is part of an effective setup. (Pun intended)
At first glance, this seems like a pretty good idea. It's a stable appearing structure and should be easy to replicate. But, as with most things in golf, it's never that simple.
When you take a closer look at the structure of the arms, you'll notice that there's more than just the three pieces of the capital Y providing some good putters the structure you see at their setup position.
You're probably reading at this point and wondering "Y not?" The answer is pretty simple, but evidence first and an explanation later. Check out this spectrum below. Notice the upper arm and forearms aren't aligned in any of these instances?
This is because the elbow joint separates the arm into two segments, leaving you with five pieces when you include the putter. That makes creating that three-piece capital Y awfully hard to do. Even worse, it makes this idea hard to offer as good advice.
Here's some food for thought for you about why the Y is not the way to approach your setup.
In order to create a perfect Y, the ball needs to be positioned in the exact center of the stance. Notice how all of these players have varying ball positions, but none of them are centered directly under the notice or between their feet. Perhaps that influences the launch of the golf ball and promotes a better roll...
We already know that we want the ball some amount in front of the center of our stance. But what happens if we try to keep that shaft perfectly vertical like the bottom of that Y? Maybe having that vertical shaft promotes adding loft during the stroke which can cause the ball to launch higher than it should. That leads to bounce, skid, and makes managing speed on longer putts much more challenging.
The second picture from the right in each row shows examples of players that use a Left Hand Low grip. If you use this grip style, making a Y is going to be particularly challenging. Fun fact, I don't recommend trying to fit into that model with a Y.
The Wrap Up