Phil Mickelson is doing something strange at the 2020 Memorial Tournament. It’s not wearing his aviator sunglasses, or drinking his unique coffee blend, or even using a paper clip to keep his hat on his head.
Phil Mickelson is pausing his putting stroke at the peak of the backstroke, grounding the putter, then completing his stroke with the through-stoke to get the ball going to the hole.
— Geoff Shackelford (@GeoffShac) July 16, 2020
Everything about that is odd. We’ve been told forever as golfers that our putting stroke should be the smoothest swing we make. It should have clear tempo and a cadence to it to help make more putts. Mickelson is blowing all that up by taking the putter back, getting it closer to the ground or grounding it, and then finishing the stroke.
The point seems to be one of two things: trying to reset the stroke to make a good, aggressive through-stroke instead of losing pace through impact, or he’s trying to get the putter lower so he can make impact and get the ball rolling more quickly instead of the awkward spin that usually causes the ball to skid in the first several feet of a putt.
Mickelson has tried plenty of things over the years to improve his putting, including the circle drill as a pre-putt routine, going to a claw grip, changing grips depending on the situation and probably other things we haven’t even noticed.
So, for Phil to be trying something new — well, that’s not new.