Whether are playing at club championships or a game with friends, we’ve all felt nervous over that 3-foot putt but what causes shaking hands? What impact does it have on your game? Is there gear out there designed to help?
I will provide you with exercises and techniques, share my experiences as a coach and recommend some gear specifically designed to combat shaky hands.
What Causes Shaky Hands?
There are several causes for shaky hands, but the most common is essential tremor It can run in the family but is generally associated with aging.
When performing an activity such as reaching for a glass or, in our case, putting.
Parkinson’s Disease tremors are another cause of shaky hands; however, they are typically present at rest compared to essential tremors.
Shaky hands can also intensify with the overuse of alcohol and caffeine.
Exercises And Techniques To Overcome Shaky Hands
Having worked with professional athletes for nearly 20 years, one subject not touched upon enough is “goal orientation,” affecting performance.
The first primary type of goal orientation is the “task involved.” The goal here is to show improvement; success is realized when improvement is achieved.
The second type is “ego orientation.” This means players experience pressure due to whether they believe they can demonstrate competency while playing.
Players with “ego orientation” are caught up in winning; all that pressure leads to panic and inability to focus.
The Putting Stroke
The best putters in the world grip the putter lightly; I always teach my players to imagine holding a baby bird in your hand; that’s the amount of pressure you want on the grip.
Next, make sure you are in an excellent athletic position with your hands hanging just below your shoulders, feet, and pelvis parallel to the target line.
Remember, the putting stroke is a pendulum action like the gong on a grandfather clock. There should be little to no movement in the hands or wrists; this is vital, as under pressure, smaller muscles get twitchy, and that’s precisely what we don’t want, shaky hands.
Start the putting stroke with a rocking action; the emphasis here should be on using the shoulders to rock, not the hands and wrists; imagine a line from both shoulders down to your grip; it should resemble a perfect pyramid, pyramids are solid, this is what we want with our stroke.
Take the putter back, with a controlled rhythm, accelerate through, and make contact. Your follow through should be fifty percent further than your takeback. Accelerating through mitigates your hands shaking. Again, think about riding a bike; the slower you pedal, the harder it is to keep balance but the faster you pedal, the easier to keep a straight line.
I have seen pre-shot routines change players’ games.
A pre-shot routine is a set of actions that you religiously execute before every stroke or shot. It’s designed to keep you “task-focused.”
The great thing about a pre-shot routine is you can take it to any course you play, anywhere, anytime.
Here is a brief snapshot of a pre-shot routine –
- Choosing your target
- Selecting your target line
- Making sure your set up is correct
- Give yourself a quick reminder, forget about making the putt, focus on building a good stroke, and leave the rest up to the golfing gods.
Like with any technique, the more you practice, the better it gets. In my experience, it usually takes anywhere between 4-8 weeks to be ingrained in your muscle memory.
The three techniques I have mentioned above, goal orientation, solid putting stroke, and pre-shot routine, are crucial. Like the chain on a bike, if one link breaks, you can not ride it.
Couple this with consistent practice and transform your putting stroke from shaking hands to smooth, rhythmical, and repeatable.
Related read: The Mental Game of Golf
My Gear Recommendations
Below, I have selected three putters that in my opinion, will help to alleviate your shaky hands in the putting stroke.
The S7K Standing Putter for Men and Women
- Stroke Balance Construction
- Free Standing Address
- Strike Dot
The S7 Putter allows you to align your grip perfectly every time. Considering that more than eighty percent of putts are missed due to the wrong alignment, this is a great feature.
The putter has remarkable balance and can stand on its own; a well-balanced putter will help stop your hands from shaking. With a built-in Impact Position and Strike Dot, the putter gives confidence on each stroke and is Tournament Legal
The TaylorMade Spider X Copper/White Small Slant Putter
- Increased stability
- Redesigned Weight Ports
- Heavy Steel Frame
- Quality Pedigree from Taylormade
The Spider X Copper is a steel-framed 320-gram putter with integrated carbon composite, which moves the majority of the weight to the perimeter.
The heavier head is ideal for those looking to stop a shaking right or left hand. The True Path Alignment System provides the perfect line and helps stability.
The weight of this Putter and the pedigree of Taylormade make it ideal for those struggling with shaky hands.
The Pinemeadow Golf Site 4 Putter
- Perfect Balance
- Lower Center Of Gravity
The Pinemeadow putter blends the perfect balance and a lower center of gravity for improved stability and balance in the putter head.
This putter has a good heavy weight to it and subsequently does great job helping you to align your putts with the help of its “Site Plate” and offset hosel features.
They have reasonably priced this putter, and it is a good option for those not looking to spend big dollars
The Brush T Pack of 3 Oversized Tees
- Less Resistance
- Consistent Height
- USGA Permitted
The Brush T Pack bristles allow you to hit the ball with less friction off the tee.
The large bristles allow players with shaky hands to place the ball on the tee with confidence every time. The tees offer consistent setup height and are made of long-lasting, durable plastic.
The Senior Golf Tees with Large Head Size
- Large Head
- Durable Plastic
- Designed by a senior golfer for senior golfers
The Senior Golf Tees make it the perfect tee for those players suffering from shaky hands. It can be embarrassing to spend 1-2 minutes trying to place the ball on the tee, and these tees help alleviate that problem.
Champkey Big Cup Plus 3-1/4″ Golf Tees
- Oversized Head
- Friction Reducing
- 100% money-back guarantee
The Champkey has an oversized head, which helps players tee up with confidence and reduces friction and sidespin. This will also allow you to tilt the ball by as much as twenty percent towards your target and its unique two-step design provides you with a high degree of stability.
Standing over your putts with shaky hands is a real problem many players face.
Ultimately, techniques like the goal orientation, the pre-shot routine or the putting stroke are all well designed to help players with shaky hands.
One key takeaway to remember, learning to become “task-focused” is an absolute imperative. Focus on the task, not the result.
I’m confident that if you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be on your way to a smooth, repetitive putting stroke without the shaking hands.
Related read: Best Golf Rangefinder For Shaky Hands