At just 5 “10” and 165 pounds, Kevin Kisner is an outlier in the PGA Tour era of brute force and explosive athleticism. However, he excelled, collecting over $ 20 million in career earnings, three PGA Tour wins (along with four more playoff losses) and a second place finish at the British Open 2018.
Much of its success has been due to its consistency with the greens. Since coming on tour in 2014, Kisner has finished 21st, 45th, 3rd, 30th, 12th and 20th in Strokes Gained: Putting. This constant performance, combined with the wonderful work that he and his longtime coach and Top 100 teacher John Tillery did from the tee to the green, made him a pillar of the PGA Tour.
It turns out that the secret of Kisner’s coherent mass is not singular. There are actually three secrets.
Kisner’s feet are shoulder-width apart and his position has good knee flexion. It’s intentional: Kisner is trying to prepare himself on the ground to give it the most stable base possible and minimize the shift in pressure (or weight). It is an important factor that is often overlooked by professionals and amateurs.
“If you were to put someone on a really delicate force plate, you would see the same things you would do in full,” says Tillery. “The pressure would try to move back and forth … without a stable base, it would affect the direction of the run.”
The official term is “joint centering”. It is a way to create stability within your body by making sure that the joints are aligned on each other. When they are not, different parts of the body will move in different directions and your stretch will move in strange ways along with it.
“Kisner works hard to stack the joints on each other,” says Tillery. “Hips, bust, head all stacked in a line.”
Once Kisner has given himself a wide and stable position and aligned his hips, torso and head in a straight line one above the other, he wants his hips, shoulders, feet and eyes to point in the same direction . He spends between five and 10 minutes at the start of each put session not hitting the put, but simply positioning himself on the ball with a mirror, making sure everything is aligned.
There is also a simple drill which he uses to ensure that everything is aligned: he takes his putter shaft, installs himself and then rests the putter shaft on his knees.
“When you do, it’s impossible for your shoulders and knees not to be aligned,” says Tillery.
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