Bryson DeChambeau is considering a move to the side-saddle putting style, according to Tim Rosaforte of Golf Channel and Golf World. The 2015 U.S. Amateur winner and new PGA Tour member thinks that the move to the unconventional putting setup could be a game-changer, just as, for him at least, a move to single-length irons was.
"He thinks this is going to be a game-changer the way the same, one-length golf clubs are, or he feels like will be ultimately after he's continued to be successful with them," Rosaforte said on Golf Channel's "Morning Drive."
DeChambeau kicked off his career as a PGA Tour member at the Safeway Open, missing the cut while using a conventional putting stroke.
Going side-saddle could mean a style that emulates what Sam Snead used successfully late in his career, well into the 1960s. Snead had originally gone to a croquet style of putting, with the putter and ball placed between his legs and pointing toward the target. That style was ultimately banned by the USGA, forcing Snead to move both of his feet to the side of the ball and putter head. The idea is that side-saddle more emulates how a player would choose to bowl a golf ball into the hole if they could use that as their technique on the green. Instead of rolling with ball in hand, the side-saddle putting technique has the golfer use a longer putter to create a back-and-through, pendulum-style stroke that goes straight through to the target line.
In terms of setup, the player sets up the putter to face the target, then stands to their normal side of the ball. However, the body is facing the target while the lower hand has a light grip with the palm facing toward the target. The top hand grips the putter like a broom to create leverage and a floating anchor point for the stroke. The feet are closer together, with the back slightly hunched over to get the body closer to the hole. Then back and through.