There is no one right way to play golf.
Golfers find that putting is a unique part of the game, and there are many different ways to get it done.
Side saddle putting is one unique way that many golfers try to make putts.
There are some great benefits to side saddle putting, and it could potentially be a benefit to your golf game.
However, some golfers like to play by the rules, and some putting stances and putters are not considered legal in the rules of golf.
If you want to give side saddle putting a try, but first need to ensure that it is a legal way to putt, we have all the answers that you will need.
Keep reading to find out more about side saddle putting and whether or not it could be for you.
Is Side Saddle Putting Legal?
Side saddle putting is legal under the rules of golf.
The side saddle putting is different than the croquet style putting, even though they are often confused.
With side saddle putting, you are not doing anything that the USGA deems to be too easy or too unconventional.
In fact, some people find side saddle putting to be a bit harder to get used to than traditional putting.
If you think that side saddle putting could be a good fit for your game, let’s take a look at some of the things you need to know about this style.
What Is Side Saddle Putting?
Side saddle putting is when you have the ball placed next to you, and you are facing the hole while you play.
The side saddle requires a stroke that happens on the side of your body instead of in front of you.
If you think about the side saddle putting from a practical golf-related standpoint, it is really just a very open golf stance.
You will be so open that your body faces the target, and your arms swing down the side and towards the hole.
The side saddle putting stroke is very much a pendulum style stroke, and it will move back and forth on a straight line towards the target.
The side saddle putting stroke also requires a golfer to have a unique stroke that has one hand a bit further down than another.
Essentially, everything you know about your current putting stroke and the way you play will be quite different when you use a side saddle putting stroke.
As unconventional as side saddle putting looks, there are some reasons that golfers will use this method.
Benefits Of Side Saddle Putting
If you are considering changing to a side saddle type of putting stroke, it makes sense to understand how this could help your golf game.
There are several benefits to the side saddle, and of course, as with any other golf technique, there are also some negatives.
Let’s first take a look at all of the benefits of the side saddle putting stroke.
1. Consistent Motion
One of the most important features of any great putting stroke is to stay consistent.
Most golfers can learn how to hit a putt.
However, if you want to putt the ball consistently and be able to get it to roll towards the hole over and over again, consistency is key.
You must learn how to repeat the same putting stroke and hit the ball in the center of the clubhead.
A consistent motion of a back and forth putting stroke where the ball is hit the same way every time is essential for great putting.
With the way the side saddle putting sets up and puts you in front of your target, it is much easier to develop a consistent stroke.
In addition, you will be looking at the target as opposed to looking at the ball, and you will be less likely to make sudden movements with your putter at the last minute.
2. Focus On Target
One of the things that make golf so difficult is that we don’t look at the target when we are playing.
If you play basketball when you shoot, you will be looking at the target.
When you throw darts, you are looking at the target.
Even in baseball, when you toss a ball to someone, you don’t look at the ball; you look at the target.
Therefore, aiming, direction, and overall shot control in the game of golf become quite a bit more difficult.
The idea is that you need to focus on a target to be able to send a ball to that target.
With side saddle putting, you will be looking at the hole the entire time you are putting.
Focusing on the target instead of the ball helps your brain calculate exactly what it needs to do to get the ball rolling toward your target.
However, focusing on the target does take a bit of time to get used to.
Since golf is so centered on the ball, golfers have a tough time taking their eye off of it.
When you first start with side saddle putting, you will be worried about whether or not you will even be able to make contact with the golf ball.
You can trust us on this one: making contact with a golf ball is much easier than you may have thought initially.
3. More Natural
The golf side saddle putting stroke is actually more of a natural motion than the traditional golf putting stroke.
Of course, you may find this to be rather comical considering the side saddle putting looks much more unconventional than anything else.
However, the side saddle putting is very similar to what it looks like to roll a ball towards a target.
Rolling a golf ball towards a hole on a putting green is actually quite consistent.
If you can get good at it, you will find that you can roll your way around the putting green quite well.
The reason is that you are looking at your target, and you are keeping the motion quite simple.
The fact that the only thing that changes between the roll and the side saddle putting is that you simply put a putter in your hand makes it a great benefit.
If you can think of your side saddle putting stroke like a roll of a golf ball, then you can certainly get the ball heading towards your target and well on its way along the proper line.
Side saddle putting is a more natural movement for golfers, but it will take much more time to get used to if you are accustomed to a standard golf putting stroke.
4. Eliminates Hand And Wrist Action
Another great benefit of the side saddle putting stroke is that it eliminates hand and wrist action.
One of the most important things that golfers need to remember about their putting stroke is that hand and wrist action can make putting much more difficult.
Although you may make a few putts initially by adding in your hands and wrists, this is not a consistent way to putt.
Hand and wrist action makes it so that golfers have a hard time staying consistent.
If you want to get really good at putting, you must use the larger muscles in your body.
Your shoulders should work as a pendulum and move back and forth towards the target on a good line.
If your shoulders can do that, then they will deliver the club head to the ball at a much more consistent rate.
When you are side saddle putting, the chance of you using your wrists is very slim.
The reason behind this is that your hands will be separated on the club grip, and they can’t really bend or break if you are going to make solid contact with the ball.
Golfers will learn what a true pendulum stroke looks and feels like when they switch to side saddle putting.
There is a reason a scientific and calculated player like Bryson DeChambeau used the side saddle putting.
When it comes down to the consistency and the stats, this is a great putting stroke for golfers to consider incorporating into their game.
Negatives Of Side Saddle Putting
We know that Bryson DeChambeau is a professional golfer who does quite well with the side saddle putting concept, but why is he one of the only players who use it?
Is there something about side saddle putting that could be considered a negative?
As we mentioned, there is no one right way to do anything in the game of golf.
With all the time we spend studying and learning this game, it is no wonder there are dozens of different ways to putt and to stand when putting.
Side saddle putting is an excellent option for many golfers, but it is not perfect.
Let’s look at some of the negatives of side saddle putting.
1. Change From Routine
Any time that you change your golf routine or your putting stroke, expect there to be a pretty significant learning curve.
Golfers can’t expect to make an instant change in their game and see the results right away.
It takes time to learn how to become a great side saddle putter, and that learning process is likely going to be quite a bit more difficult than you would think.
A change in a golf routine brings a lot of frustration, and many people will quit before they have mastered the new way of putting.
If you are new to the side saddle putting stroke, you must stick with it for a bit to see if it could be a real solution for your game.
Changing your golf routine is hard, but it could be worth it.
2. Must Use The Right Putter
With side saddle putting, it really does help to use a golf putter that is center shafted and more of a mallet design.
This is not to say that you must use this type of putter, but it could be the better fit.
The side saddle putting requires golfers to be able to make a pendulum stroke that is quite consistent on the side of their body.
To do this with a traditional smaller blade-style putter can be a bit difficult.
Many golfers that don’t have a mallet style putter will give up on side saddle putting before they give it much of a chance.
Having to buy new equipment to accommodate a new style of putting is something that many golfers will pass on.
We can certainly understand that this is a negative aspect of side saddle putting, but it is certainly worth trying with your putter at first to see if it could be a fit.
3. Tough For Beginners Worried About Contact
As a beginner golfer, you are going to be very hung up on the idea of making contact with the golf ball.
This is not something limited to just you.
All new golfers worry about making contact with the ball.
The idea of missing a putt is something that many newer golfers can’t get over.
As golfers, we have become so set on the fact that looking at the golf ball is the only way to make contact.
In reality, most players could easily make contact with a putt, chip, or even a full swing shot with their eyes completely closed.
Golf is a strange game in which we look at the ball and try to get it to go towards our target.
If you can get a little less hung up on staring at the golf ball, the chance of the ball heading toward your target will be much greater.
Is Side Saddle Putting Worth It?
The great thing about new putting strokes is that you can simply try a few on the practice green.
Switching putting strokes is a change, but having to switch golf swings is an entirely different undertaking.
Side saddle putting will only take you a second to try, and you may find that it is a good fit for your game.
We highly recommend giving side saddle putting a chance if you find that your current putting stroke is inconsistent.
Truly, the greatest benefit of side saddle putting is that it will keep the ball rolling more towards the target in a much more consistent way.
Side saddle putting is well worth the time you will invest, but it can be difficult to make the initial change.
Don’t be discouraged by the way that it feels at first, but try to stick with it and see if it could be a match for your game.
Hopefully, you now feel a bit more confident in your ability to try side saddle putting.
This is a legal way to putt, and therefore, you should not be discouraged or worried about your ability to use this type of putting stroke on the golf course.
Side saddle putting is undoubtedly unique, but it has proven to work quite well for some golfers.
Bryson DeChambeau plays a very different game than other players, but he has learned how to perfect quite a bit about his own game and what works for him.
Trying out the side saddle putting could lead to some great results in your golf game.