Golf News



It was a sight to behold at the ISPS Handa World Invitational last month as five-time Ladies European Tour (LET) winner Marianne Skarpnord, a right-handed player, was spotted on the greens with a left-handed putter.

Struggling with the yips and falling out of form as a result, the Norwegian turned to the unprecedented change as a drastic effort to revive her game.

“We’re all crazy out here, so I thought trying something new wouldn’t hurt,” admits Skarpnord, whose only top-10 finish this season came in her first event at the Lalla Meryem Cup.

“I’ve been struggling massively with my putting this year. I had the massive yips. A week before ISPS I decided I was going to do something that was so uncomfortable, I was no longer worried about missing putts anymore. So I changed to a left-handed putter and it felt horrible. Absolutely horrible.”

With the left-handed flatstick feeling unsurprisingly alien, the 37-year-old missed the cut in Northern Ireland following rounds of 78 and 80.

But now, after turning to a new left-handed model and getting more used to the dramatic change, Skarpnord admits her putting is “getting better” with the rest of her game also reaping the rewards as a result.

“Now I’m getting a bit more used to it,” she explains after opening with a 70 (-2) at the Big Green Egg Open one week on from a T40 finish at the KPMG Women’s Irish Open. “I struggled with distance and aiming to begin with, that is so hard. I have to keep aiming with the line all the time and just trusting it.

“I wasn’t actually hitting the ball great today, but my new putter saved me a couple of times. My speed was much better so it’s getting there. It’s strange, it’s weird, but it’s getting better.

“The thing is, now that I know I can actually hit the hole from two-feet, it gives me confidence in the rest of my game. When you miss short putts over a long period of time, even if you flush it from tee to green, it’s going to affect your whole game after a while.

“So now that I know I can stand over a putt and feel comfortable, it makes my whole game more comfortable and I can actually believe in it and trust it. I’m not stressing when I’m out there, I just go out and play and hope I’m going to make some birdies.”

Skarpnord was last victorious on the LET in 2021 at the Aramco Team Series London – Individual event. Currently 97th in this season’s Race to Costa del Sol standings, the Norwegian now hopes she can…


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