the forward press in putting is it a fit for your stroke

Table of Contents


  • The forward press is a technique used in putting that involves a slight forward motion of the putter before the stroke.
  • It has a long history in golf, with many successful golfers using it to improve their putting accuracy and consistency.
  • The mechanics of the forward press include proper execution, body positioning, and timing.
  • The forward press can enhance your putting game by promoting a smooth stroke and better alignment.
  • However, it may not suit every player and has potential drawbacks such as inconsistency in timing.
  • Implementing the forward press requires practice drills and correcting common mistakes.
  • The choice of putter can impact the effectiveness of the forward press technique.
  • Professional golfers have endorsed the forward press, with testimonials and case studies demonstrating its improvement in putting performance.


When it comes to the art of putting, every golfer searches for that one technique that will give them the edge they need to sink more putts. One technique that has garnered a lot of attention in recent years is the forward press. But is it really a fit for your stroke? As a retired professional golfer with decades of experience in the sport, I can tell you that the forward press can be a game-changer if used correctly. In this article, we will delve into the ins and outs of the forward press in putting, examining its benefits, drawbacks, and who it is best suited for. Whether you're a beginner trying to improve your short game or a seasoned pro looking to refine your skills, this is a must-read for anyone looking to take their putting to the next level. So grab your putter and let's get started on this journey to master the art of the forward press!

Understanding the Forward Press Technique

In mastering any sport, understanding the techniques and the science behind them is crucial. One such technique in golf that has had a considerable impact on the sport is the Forward Press. By delving deeper into its definition, history, and successful users, we can get a better grasp of the effectiveness of the forward press and why it's a significant part of golfers' arsenals.

Definition of the Forward Press

The Forward Press is a pre-shot movement in golf, where the golfer slightly pushes the handle of the club towards the target just before taking a swing. This slight forward movement creates a 'press' which enables the golfer to initiate the swing on a positive note. A step-by-step explanation of this technique can be found here.

History of the Forward Press

The Forward Press is not a new phenomenon in golf. It has been part of the game since the olden times and was adopted and popularized by golf greats such as Jack Nicklaus. Although it was primarily a putting technique, its effectiveness saw its application extend to other swings as well over time. However, you will find its rich history detailed on this golf history blog.

Successful Golfers Who Utilize the Forward Press

The Forward Press has been a weapon of choice for some of the greatest golfers in history. Golfers like Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Bryson DeChambeau swear by the efficiency of the Forward Press. Mickelson, in particular, has always been a staunch user of this technique as can be seen in his many victories. A compilation of their best shots using the Forward Press can be found on the PGA Tour's official website.

The Mechanics of the Forward Press

When discussing the fundamentals of golf, understanding the mechanics of the forward press technique is imperative. This section will delve deep into the distinct footwork, body positioning, and timing needed to flawlessly execute the forward press, enhancing your golfing skills and performance on the green.

How to Execute the Forward Press

The execution of the forward press is quite straightforward but requires practice to perfect. It begins by setting the club behind the ball at address. Before initiating the backswing, a slight forward motion or 'press' is induced toward the target. This involves moving the hands slightly forward, with the shaft leaning into the target line, which induces a slight forward flex of the lead knee.

Some resources that provide visual guidance on executing the forward press are Golf Channel Academy's Forward Press video tutorial and Mark Crossfield's instructional YouTube video.

The Role of Body Positioning in the Forward Press

Perfecting the body positioning in the forward press is essential for executing the shot accurately. Body positioning includes proper alignment of the feet, knees, hips, and shoulders. The player's hands must be slightly ahead of the clubface at address, leaning the shaft forward. The weight of the body should tilt slightly towards the lead foot.

The difference in performance between having a correct body positioning versus inadequate positioning is immense. Golfweek's article provides a comprehensive guide to proper body positioning during swinging, enhancing your understanding and improvement of the technique.

Importance of Timing in the Forward Press

Timing is a crucial aspect of the forward press technique. The transition from the forward press into the backswing needs to be seamless. It should create a fluid motion, launching the swing's rhythm and tempo correctly. The forward press acts as a swing trigger, thus its timing impacts swing consistency and the shot's overall trajectory.

Practice is crucial in perfecting the timing of the forward press as it requires seamless coordination of hands and body movement. Reliable resources such as The Left Rough’s guide will help you better understand the timing and coordination required for an efficient forward press.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the Forward Press

When utilized correctly, the forward press can enhance your golfing skills in more ways than one. However, this technique is not without its flaws, and understanding its potential outcomes can help you decide whether it's a good fit for your game.

How the Forward Press Can Improve Your Putting Game

In essence, the forward press is a pre-shot routine in which the golfer pushes the handle of the putter forward to create a slight forward lean in the shaft. This technique has been proven to benefit players by boosting consistency and control. Implementing a forward press can create a firm left wrist position at impact, which can lead to a steady and solid putt. Many golfers also report an improved sense of timing and rhythm during their putting stroke. If you're interested in learning more about this method, the American Golf Association provides insightful material on this topic.

Potential Drawbacks of the Forward Press

While the forward press technique has its advantages, certain concerns may arise. One of the major issues can be inconsistency; if not implemented with precision, this putting method can lead to having too much loft or de-loft at impact, which can deviate your ball from its intended path. Moreover, the forward press can sometimes encourage an early release of the putter, causing the ball to go off its course. Renowned golf coach David Leadbetter notes these pitfalls in his analyses of different putting techniques.

Comparing the Forward Press to Other Putting Techniques

The forward press isn't the only putting technique out there. For instance, methods such as the reverse overlap grip, the left-hand low, or the claw grip are alternatives that some golfers may find more suitable. Each method has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, it's essential to experiment with different techniques and figure out which one works best for you. A comparative analysis published by Golf Digest provides a fair understanding of these various techniques.

Is the Forward Press Right for You?

As a golfer, understanding and mastering different techniques can improve your game. However, it's essential to recognize that each golfer has unique skills and style, and certain techniques may not be suitable for everyone. With this in mind, let's explore if the forward press could potentially complement or enhance your golf style.

Player Styles Suited to the Forward Press

The forward press is an effective technique for golfers who aim to add consistency to their stroke, tend to decelerate through their putts or battle with timing issues. Interestingly, this technique has proven beneficial for golfers who typically use a traditional pendulum stroke. Notably, golfers who appreciate a rhythmic and fluid swing have found success by incorporating the forward press into their swing routine.

For instance, golf legend Jack Nicklaus was a notorious forward presser, leveraging this technique throughout his incredible career.

Why the Forward Press Might Not Suit Everyone

However, not all styles and skill sets will necessarily benefit from the forward press. For example, golfers who already have an aggressive or forward-leaning stroke may risk over exaggerating their motion, which could lead to inconsistency and accuracy issues. Further, if a golfer has a pronounced wrist hinge, implementing a forward press might exacerbate this, again leading to potential control and consistency problems.

Moreover, the main challenge for many golfers is to maintain consistency whilst using the forward press. Several golf experts, including the renowned instructor Dave Pelz, believe the technique adds unnecessary motion to the stroke. Hence, it can create another variable that might negatively affect your performance under pressure.

However, like all golf techniques, the forward press might require practice and fine-tuning to adapt it to your unique style effectively. It's important to consult with a golf coach or expert before drastically changing your routine or trying new techniques.

Implementing the Forward Press in Your Game

Enhancing your golf game with the forward press technique requires practice, patience, and the ability to correct mistakes. his section provides effective practice guidelines, drills, and strategies for addressing and correcting common errors connected with the forward press.

Practice Drills for the Forward Press

Investing time in practice drills is crucial for mastering the forward press. A beneficial drill involves standing with your feet shoulder-wide apart, hands gripping the club in the conventional manner. The objective is to press the club forward to create an angle of about ten degrees between the club's shaft and the ground, then swing. Repeat this process until the movement feels smooth and natural. This video tutorial provides more insight into the execution of this drill.

Correcting Common Mistakes with the Forward Press

Regular practice helps you identify and correct common mistakes. One common error in implementing the forward press technique is improper timing, leading to inaccurate shots. To rectify this, focus on developing a rhythmic pendulum movement that starts with the forward press. Another common problem is overdoing the forward press to the point that it affects proper body alignment and posture, thereby disrupting the smooth execution of the stroke. Golf Digest provides more comprehensive insights into correcting these mistakes. It's essential to self-assess, understand, and adjust your technique as you continue to learn and develop your forward press stroke.


In conclusion, the forward press might be a game-changing technique to enhance your golf skills if properly understood and applied. Its history, well-mastered by notable golfers, affirms its strong foundation in the sport. Getting the mechanics right involves mastering the execution, body positioning, and impeccable timing – mastery that can be achieved through practice and dedication. As advantageous as the forward press is in improving your putting game, cautious consideration of its potential drawbacks is vital, as it may not suit everyone. With the right drills, mindset, and equipment – particularly the putter – you can maneuver around common mistakes and capitalize on the benefits of this technique. Professional views and success stories of using the forward press provide essential insights into the technique’s effectiveness. Therefore, the adoption of the forward press is a personal choice; if it suits your stroke, it might just be the missing link to up your golfing prowess. As you step into trying the forward press, keep in mind that practice makes perfect, and every great golfer was once a beginner. Be sure to check back for more content on how to refine your 'forward press' technique and other golfing strategies.

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