First, I would like to thank you sharing you wisdom and expertise with me at Hayfields CC on Jul 14th. It was an hour well spent and I have put in a good amount of time over the last several weeks practicing.
I feel that I am making definite progress in “timing” the stroke – especially for the mid range (10` - 20`) and longer putts. This has borne fruit on the course as I have been making a higher % of these putts than before and also many more putts that “have opportunity” to go in even if they do not. I am staying with the image of the “wrecking ball” just swinging freely into the back of the ball.
I practice about 3 hours per week on the practice green at our course and put in about an hour to and hour and a half 3 to 4 days per week on the carpet at home.
However, I am still struggling with the “short ones (2` - 4`)” on the course and experience from 2 to 4 “spasms” per round on these putts – these putts have absolutely no chance to go in once they leave the putter (I can sometimes “spasm” on a quick 8 to 10 footer). However, I can also get some short putts into the hole, but I do not feel that I make a “good stroke” on all of these either (occasionally, I do make a good stroke on a short one). This is taking rounds that should be par or better and ruining the opportunity for good scores. My comfort zone (on the course and under the gun) is probably not outside of 6” to 8” even on simple uphill straight putts.
While I can take the mid and long range stroke easily from putting green to the course, this does not happen with the stroke for short putts. Even with many of the ones that I make – it feels “jabby” and in many cases the putter stops at impact – absolutely no follow thru. I can make smooth strokes on the practice green on short putts but do not seem to be able to do so on the course.
The “spasm” can manifest itself in one of 2 ways – either a “hard push” (goes 2 to 3 feet past –sometimes more - on a 2 or 3 foot putt) or a “dying pull” (never has the speed to get to the hole – I have left 2 foots putts 6 to 8 inches short and well left of the hole).
I spend at least half of my 3 hours per week on the practice green on short putts (lots of breaking 2 to 5 footers and also a few straight ones) – I also practice the short ones at home on the carpet (carpet probably stimps at about 7 to 8). Normal speed at my course is 9 to 10 (sometimes maybe up to 11 for tournaments). We have plenty of slope on our greens and it is not unusual to have a 15 to 20 foot putt that will break 5 feet or more (if you get in the wrong place on the green).
I have read thru your book several times already (well done!) but would welcome any suggestions on how to better my short putting. On the course, my focus has been on putting “straight out” of where the putter is aiming and to let my “instinct” handle the distance – this is for all putts – works great on the mid to long putts.
I know this is meant for Geoff, but I thought maybe I could share
some insight, because I feel like your description is not only
eerily similar to my results, but your methods of improvement are
also eerily similar to the way that I proceed.
After reading your summation of your current status in putting,
I think that I may be able to add some helpful advice.
Here is what happens to me:
1)If I'm really pressing, I will get anxiety that instantly
clenches my torso and my breath shortens a touch.
Now, if I don't break the chain and just walk to the ball,
If I'm mindful and I clear the tension with a few deep breaths,
I'm able to walk over and start my process.
Any time you get into the "SHOULD" make range, anxiety follows.
Clear your head with deep breaths and then follow the
Once you follow the process of (Set-up, Aim, Target, Vizualization)
all you can do is hit a good putt.
There are no guarantees---
Ask Phil Mickelson what it is like to execute when you put the
weight of the world on particular shots??
Bruce...I observed you for quite sometime...presented a solution...still waiting for you to believe...When Geoff was working with you from inside 3 feet at Hayfields CC. you were aimed 2"-3" inches outside the cup then "steering" the clubface..not your Path... in order to lauch the ball straight...Then when we proposed the solution...started making a higher percentage of the short ones you relaxed and became instantly more confident...I understand why you'd be weary...for most solutions are temporary...and when a permanent solution comes around..it is difficult to discern whether or not is just "green smoke and a mirror" (Laser evaluation of your Aim)....I've done massive research that supports what I do...Even Geoff...supports what I'm doing in the field of putting research...There is no mystery here...you just need facts to rebuild that lost confidence in your ability...I've witnessed many putting careers salvaged...yours is next!!!