Bobby Jones Bobby Jones instructs his son Ben Hogan Bobby Locke (Hooding) Horton Smith (Arching) (Arching close-up)
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"You can't expect to play better unless you learn the fundamentals."      Bobby Jones

Horton Smith

A Legend and Master of the Putter

Horton Smith was considered a master of putting. This opinion was shared by Bobby Jones and Walter Hagen. Born in 1908, Horton Smith turned professional in 1926 and won his first pro tournament, the Oklahoma Open, in 1928. His winning career spanned three decades and was highlighted by winning two Masters Championships including the inaugural. Horton Smith was elected to the "Hall of Fame" in 1958, and served as President and Honorary President of the P.G.A. His accomplishments place him among the top players to play the game of golf.

Horton Smith's Basic Concept

Keep the putter face square to the line and the putter blade low, back and through the hit.

Similarities Between The Dandy Putter and Horton Smith

  • 1) Forward ball position in stance.
  • 2) Palms of both hands facing each other and perpendicular to the target line.
  • 3) Shoulders square to the line with a high left shoulder at set-up. To achieve this, the right elbow is kept close to the body while the left elbow and arm is allowed to hang naturally from the shoulder.
  • 4) Arched Wrist condition.
  • 5) Hooding of the left wrist to create the ground hugging roll.

The "Arched Wrist" Secret

Arching your wrists is the secret to staying connected throughout the putting stroke. Figure 1 shows the proper placement of the Dandy into the left wrist. Note the definite downward curve of the left wrist. The Dandy automatically creates the arched wrist condition that Horton Smith believed in. Figure 2 shows both hands properly placed on the Dandy. Both wrists are arching in harmony.

Horton Smith Side View Putter extends 1 inch up the center of your left arched wrist. Right wrists are in the arched position.
"Arching" Secret Hand Positions Arched Wrists "Hooding" Secret

Horton Smith believed "arched wrists" positions your wrists so that you will tend to utilize only the back-and-forth hinging of the wrists. Arching also serves to connect your hands with your forearms and shoulders. This promotes a one-piece putting motion of the left-side (for right handed players).

To position the Dandy properly, arch your left wrist and position your hand one inch down from the butt end of the putter grip with the putter grip centered in your left hand.

"Hooding" Secret

The best putters in the game believe in "hooding" the putter. Golf Digest reported (January '96) that Ben Crenshaw and Loren Roberts "hood" their putters to produce the ground hugging roll. Long before them, Horton Smith "hooded" his putter to produce the perfect roll. According to Horton Smith, "hooding' is the term he gave to the necessary counterclockwise turn of his left wrist during the backswing of his putting stroke. This slight rotation was applied in order to keep the blade of his putter constantly perpendicular or square to the line of the putt. This also kept his putter blade low and level to the turf.

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