Denny McCarthy has established himself as one of the top putters in the world since joining the PGA TOUR in 2018, ranking first in Strokes Gained: Putting in both 2019 and 2020.
McCarthy will compete in the Wells Fargo Championship this week at TPC Potomac at Avenel, which is only 14 miles from his hometown of Takoma Park, Maryland. GolfWRX.com met up with the 29-year-old while he was prepping for the event to learn more about his putter, his greens attitude, how he prepares, and why amateur players struggle with putting.
Below are five significant takeaways from McCarthy’s putting chat with one of the best putters in the game.
- SEARCH FOR YOUR “FOREVER” PUTTER
McCarthy presently uses a Scotty Cameron GoLo N7 mallet putter with a black finish, a white alignment line, a bespoke long neck, and a deep-milled face for a soft feel and subdued sound on the PGA Tour.
While he doesn’t always use the same putter from week to week, he does keep to the same putter head style. McCarthy began using a GoLo mallet model while attending the University of Virginia, and he hasn’t looked back.
McCarthy told GolfWRX.com, “I have 10 different versions of this GoLo head, basically,” “The one thing I do keep very consistent is the black mallet style with the white line and the milled face. Then I might change the neck, or the weighting of it, depending on how fast the greens are, but I like to keep the head and how it looks the same.”
“I used a blade putter for a little bit as a kid, and then I used an old Odyssey Rossie mallet for a little awhile. Then in college I used a white (TaylorMade) Spider for a bit, then landed on the GoLo… it was very trial-and-error. I putted well with a mallet, with the Odyssey and the Spider, and then really liked the GoLo and everything about it. That was kind of like, ‘this is going to be my putter forever’… it’s just, to me, it’s the appearance of it. The way it sits on the ground.”
Experimenting with different putters can be a fun and educational experience, but once you find a head design that works for your stroke and desires, it’s better to stick with it.
- THROUGH THE GATE
McCarthy told GolfWRX, “I kind of stole it from (Tiger Woods),”
McCarthy, like Woods, uses a two-tee “gate” putting practice to square the face and make center contact.
The drill is simple to assemble. On a straight putt, place a golf ball about 5 feet from the hole. Place a golf tee directly outside the toe and heel parts of the putter head as you approach the ball with your putter. Then, when hitting putts, attempt to maintain the putter head within the “gate” of the tee upon impact.
It’s a simple approach to improve your golf swing and produce consistent focused impact.
- GETTING ALIGNED
McCarthy admitted that, despite having one of the strongest putting strokes in the game, his stroke can become “wipey” if his alignment is incorrect. According to GolfWRX, his stance opens up at address, resulting in an outside-to-in stroke that leaves the face overly open at impact. This results in a short, right-handed miss.
McCarthy just places an alignment stick parallel to his goal along his feet line to battle the problem. This allows him to concentrate on keeping his stance square so that his putting stroke can flow naturally.
- EMPOWER YOUR INNER ARTIST
Putting, according to McCarthy, should be considered more of an art than a science.
McCarthy selects a target between his golf ball and the hole, such as a little fault in the green or a different-colored patch of grass, as part of his method. Then, without taking a practice stroke, he lines up his golf ball to the intermediate target and allows his inner artist take control.
McCarthy advised, “Treat it more as an art form than a science,”
McCarthy uses a black marker to draw a line on his golf ball to ensure that he is aligned with his intended target. He then aligns that line with his target and hits putts so that it rolls end over end.
McCarthy uses a slightly different way of putting than most others. He tilts the line toward his goal instead of aligning the ball with the complete line visible. He claims that he does this because he doesn’t want the line to be his primary concentration during the stroke.
Remember, he considers putting to be an art form. Over-concerned about the line might limit your stroke and make it less reactive.
- TRY TO MAKE IT
Of course, not everyone has the same level of confidence as one of the finest putters on the planet, but a small mental shift can go a long way.
McCarthy told GolfWRX, “I’m stepping into every putt like trying to give it a chance to go in, I’m stepping into them trying to make them. I’m not trying to wish them up near the hole. If I’m getting a putter in my hands on the green putting for birdie, to me it’s like any putt is a good look to me.
“Have fun with it as opposed to like, ‘Oh shoot, I haven’t putted well today. I’ve missed a bunch from this length.’ No, …go up there and pick a spot and get up and be confident and just hit a good putt. It’s more about the process than the result … to me. I’s about the process of going through what you’re seeing and hitting good putts. Once you hit the putt there’s nothing you can do after that, it’s out of my control. If I do everything well that I can control, I’ll be in good hands.”
Original article posted on PGAtour.com