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Foto-Finish Impact

by Geoff Mangum

Geoff Mangum's PuttingZone™ Instruction

ZipTip: Stroke: Foto-Finish Impact

Visualizing the putterface as if remaining behind the ball during the backstroke helps guide the stroke path back to square impact for solid, flush putts.


Returning the putterface square for impact is one of the most important fundamentals in putting. This requires pivot management, which usually means a still head-neck area in the stroke, but there's a lot more to it as well. A little tip that helps is to be sure you take stock of the orientation of the putterface just before you pull the trigger so that you can successfully return it to square. Try taking a mental "snap shot" of the orientation. If you take a mental snap shot of the putterface behind the ball, you can "leave the snap shot behind on the ground" in place of the putterhead once the stroke begins on the backstroke's takeaway. Then you have a perfect template of the putterface orientation to assist your hand-eye coordination in making it happen. Once the putterhead return to impact, envision the real putterface assuming the position of the "snap shot" an instant before contact is made with the ball. If the putterface doesn't "snap" back into its original orientation, you goofed and the putt won't go where you intended for it to go without some very timely luck.

An alternative to this is to watch for an "after-image" of the putterhead right as the backstroke begins, and use this to guide the return stroke into square impact.

For more tips and information on putting, including a free 10,000+ database of putting lore and the Web's only newsletter on putting (also free), visit Geoff's website at, or email him directly at

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