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I think you've hit the nail on the head. This is more a trust issue.Dear Bob,
Reading back over all the above strikes me (and you as well, I imagine) as all fine and good, but I'm sure you're asking what ELSE can you do other than schedule some time with Christian Marquardt. So let me take this interim stab at your problem.
The precise timing of your stroke flinch in the overall stroke seems to be a very discrete moment in the stroke just prior to impact. This suggests that your flinch is related to anticipation of impact of the putter with the ball. The brain is probably a little too focused on what will happen to the ball once impact occurs, and this is something of a "hit" consciousness. This is the typical consciousness of golfers in general, so it is not unique to you. But in your case, this "hit" consciousness may be linked with some emotion-like concerns about what will actually happen once contact takes place. The relationship in the brain between these sorts of lurking emotional impulses and movement are not well understood or straight-forward. My educated guess is that in your case this "presence of concern" and doubt, which is really the "absence of a NON-presence of concern" -- the desired state of mind -- if you follow me) triggers a movement flinch in the neurology of your movement brain. It's like a small fumble.
If this line of thought is accurate, what you want is a lack of concern for the putter impacting the ball. You actually get that by PREFERRING and DESIRING a "hitless" stroke because you believe in your soul that a "hitless" stroke will send the ball rolling where you are aimed, and there is no concern for that. In my mind, I have no fear or concern about impact with the ball. I have a technique where I focus upon the FORM and TIMING of the stroke so that I KNOW what the impact with the ball will result in -- a straight, smooth roll with solid online-impact.
I find that almost all golfers don't really understand what about the stroke motion itself rolls the ball straight consistently. This is managing the putterface thru the impact zone so that the putter sweetspot moves square thru the center of the ball straight online as defined by the initial aim of the putterface from about 3-4 inches before impact to at least 5-6 inches past impact, however you can get this done. I just work on the form of the stroke in a simple motion pattern so that I go away from the bottom of the stroke arc in the middle of my stance and then return to this bottom with the putter coming down naturally and then transitioning to an upward pendulum motion right at the bottom and then continuing squarely down the line for at least 6 inches (and preferably farther, if you are able).
With this FORM and TIMING, what happens to the ball is KNOWN clearly -- it rolls smoothly straight where I had aimed the putter face to start with. This allows me to ignore the ball entirely, once I have a consistency in ball position slightly forward of the stroke's bottom. I watch the grass blade at the bottom of my stroke and "putt that," not the ball. I don't think about impacting the ball. Instead, I think that so long as I make the FORM and TIMING of the stroke correctly, the straight roll of the ball simply results as it should. There is nothing I want to know about impact that is not already inherent in the form and timing. I CERTAINLY don't want to concern myself with trying anything cute during impact to get the ball to roll somewhere other than straight off the putterface or straight out of my setup -- where the heck would that go?!
So my advice to you is to practice the FORM and TIMING of a stroke that will roll the ball straight, without a ball! During this process, try to rid yourself of lingering concerns about "managing" impact to "make" the ball roll to a target somewhere off to the side. Instead, view the situation as a loaded gun bolted down to a shooting table -- just pull the trigger with the stroke and forget the bullet! It will go where the rifle is aimed.
Ultimately, you want to think and feel "nothing" about impacting the ball -- once the putt is planned, the putter aimed, and the body set for the stroke, "put a quarter in and get the same old great stroke out" -- whatever happens to the ball and regardless of whether the ball finds the hole. None of that helps, and only hurts.
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Dear David,do other than schedule some time with Christian Marquardt?? Is this possible? where can one do this if they wanted to?
Dear Bob,I think you've hit the nail on the head. This is more a trust issue.
Thanks for your help.