steveau (Login steveau) Posted Mar 14, 2011 1:39 PM
First off, long-time lurker (6 years?), first-time poster. You do such a great job explaining things on the forum that I rarely have an unanswered question. Great site/program!
OK, here's the question(s). Is the conscious counting of the tempo of your stroke the end state or is it a means to an end? The reason I ask is because my touch (distance control) seems to be better when I don't consciously count my backstroke timing, but instead just let it happen and then only think about making the down stroke be a "no-hit" gravity drop. It feels like 1:1 timing to me.
For context, this has only been on the practice green, and I've been practicing this a lot this winter. Its been very interesting and fun. Who would have thought!
I'm not trying to consciously estimate how hard to hit the putt. I understand the problem with that. However, it feels like I'm able to take a long enough backswing and join in with gravity's timing on the down stroke by not counting. Part of me says I've taught myself the correct tempo/timing, and now I can just do it. (Boy, that sure didn't take very long.) That's why I'm wondering if the conscious counting is a learning means to get to a certain end state (not counting), or if it was always intended to be the desired end state (counting).
I got to this point because I don't believe I was very consistent/good at counting my tempo. I've tried only counting the backswing and then letting the down stroke do itself. I've also tried to count the backswing and then the down stroke, to both the bottom of the stroke and/or to end of follow through. I normally use a one potato...two potato for these strokes, but have tried other words that equated to the one-second backswing and another half second to the bottom.
Truthfully, I struggle with the little pause from the completion of the backstroke to the bottom, and don't think I do that part very consistently (when counting). I think this some times results in too short backswings and jerky transitions. Trying to count the bottom also made for some "gassed" strokes as I felt like I got behind in the timing and needed to speed up. (Maybe I'm answering my own question, and need to learn how to count properly?)
Right now, I'm not counting, but just letting the backstroke length/tempo happen and then consciously trying to let the putter fall through impact while keeping the neck steady. It reminds me of the way I think Crenshaw putts/putted in terms of tempo and overall smoothness (ie, a nice pendulum stroke with no jerks or hurried movements). "Just trying to be smooth through the putt like Crenshaw at Augusta."
I guess now that I look at all this background info, I could have just asked "is it possible to have good touch without counting?"
Hopefully, all this makes some sense. I look forward to hearing your thoughts/suggestions/admonishments (if necessary). Thanks.