Zach Johnson: Putting should be 'athletic'

Zach Johnson said that he needed to be more 'athletic' while putting during his win at the PGA Tour's 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.
Zach Johnson said that he needed to be more 'athletic' while putting during his win at the PGA Tour's 2014 Hyundai Tournament of Champions. ( Associated Press )

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

When Zach Johnson shot a 1-over 74 in Round 3 of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and nearly squandered his chance to win, he said his biggest problem that day was not being “athletic” over his putts.

It begged the question: How does one be “athletic” while putting?

Johnson conceded it might sound awkward. While it’s a difficult concept to put into words, it boils down to using feel over mechanics.

“Being athletic is not getting too bogged down with where your feet are or if your putter head is too set into the line,” Johnson said. “You can be too rigid, too analytical, too indecisive.”

All the mechanics, Johnson said, “are relevant when you’re working on your putting, but not as relevant when you’re competing.”

In Johnson’s mind, putting is 70 percent feel, 30 percent technique – and he adheres to the philosophy that “there’s more than one way to make putts.”

Read all of senior writer Jim McCabe's notes from pro golf this week right here.