Joined: July 29th, 2002, 5:29 am

July 29th, 2002, 5:29 am #1

Ok, got a few questions for you all.

Putting for me has been something ive never concentrated because as long as i can remember ive always been an ok putter not brilliant but maybe only two 3putts a round and so consequently the need to learn to strike the ball well was more important at the time. If you wanted to ask me any question on the full swing i could answer anything litterally but when it comes to putting lets just say i dont have a scooby on what i do right/wrong.

The thing that has been bothering me since i started is that at address do you ground the putter or simply make it light, at moment i take it off the ground a little so it thins the ball a little and not bounce off the face or hits the ground. Is this wrong?

Also when doing long putts is there a system i can use for measuring putts more consistantly via length of backstroke as i always seem to take it back and through at the same speed and this is how i try to guess long putts anyway.

Now for another...lol..ive heard you should take it back square to square instead of inside to inside, is this just a feeling to stop taking it too inside or is it truely what it says square to square.

Ok now for a little bit about how i stroke and results. I try to keep the wrists light but not breaking and stand tall like i was hitting a wedge with pretty straight arms. I rarely make a 6ft putt but 4ft i will make 50% and 3ft about perhaps 90% but i seem to have a good knack for long putts distance but i just wish i wasnt always feeling like im guessing how far im sending it and even tho yields good results i really dont feel comfortable esp on different conditions of wet grass...etc I push and pull putts occasionally too. So basically what do you believe the key elements of a good stroke should be - a summary of points, not essay - what kind of putter for whatever type of stroke i have.

Joined: June 25th, 2000, 12:38 pm

July 31st, 2002, 4:30 pm #2

Dear Matthew,

Keep the putter sole just touching the tops of the grass blades and not down on the dirt. This requires you keep the height of the pivot the same throughout the stroke.

The path CAN BE straight back and straight thru but only on short strokes. Once the stroke goes back past about 8 to 10 inches, it will inevitably come inside a bit. On the thrustroke, the same is true, but you really need to make an effort to keep the putterface moving square thru the ball and beyond 5 or 6 inches before letting the path curl bacjk inside and around. I always teach that the lead elbow has to continue down the toe line parallel to the putt's startline, but after 8 inches or so it doesn't matter. If you use a "dead hands"style of putting, don't worry about the path and just make sure your contact with the ball is flush.

Your distance control sounds instinctive, and that's what I teach as the way it should be. So don't worry about the feeling of uncertainty you have. Keep doing what you are doing. The reason you have uncertainty is because the wrong part of your brain is grabbing for control like a drunk in the front passenger seat. The part that really controls the instincts for distance control does not participate in the little quiet conversation that is always going on in your head. It just knows what to do and does it. When you toss a small ball into a wastepaper basket, what "talk" goes on inside your head? None. The talking part feels weird because it is spoiled and used to running the show, but you have to ignore it. When you start to understand the true quietness of your instincts, you'll leave them alone and stop bothering them at work with the yammerings of the wrong parts of your brain.

Hope this helps.


Geoff Mangum
Putting Theorist and Instructor
The PuttingZone

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