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Feel versus Technical Putting

April 1 2001 at 4:25 PM
JakeB  (Login JakeB)
from IP address

Any comments on the non-technical merits of putting such as putting by instinct only or while looking at the hole during the stroke?

Sometimes it seems that the less hard I try to make a putt, particularly a long one, the better my chances are that it is going in. This is doubly true during a competitive round for me.

Any constructive thoughts on this?

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Geoff Mangum
(Login puttmagic)

Feel vs. Technical Putting

April 10 2001, 7:28 PM 

Dear JakeB,

Golfers frequently discuss putting in terms of "feel" and "mechanics," but to me this is something of a false dichotomy. What I am after is the mechanics of feel and instinct, if you will. By this I mean the physical and mental technique that frees you up to allow the best application of instincts and feel in putting. So, in this sense, there is no conflict between learning and applying what most golfers call mechanics with putting by feel or instinct. I believe that my techniques promote putting by feel and instinct as a matter of consistent habit.

How is this possible? It is because the technique is not so much a set of mechanical rules and required positions as it is a study of the processes of instinct and feel and procedures in putting that work with and enhance these processes. The focus ends up being on "targeting" in any given putt, but that's because the technique of the stroke has been essentially eliminated from conscious concern. And the "targeting" that is the main focus is just the procedures one ordinarily employs when putting by "feel" or "instinct," except made explicit and therefore consistent.

To bring it down to brass tacks, putting is not just science, and not just art -- it's craft, an effective combination of the two. What you experience as feel on long putts is something I would teach you about in terms of how it works in the body, so you can use your feel to best advantage on every occasion.

So, by all means putt by feel and instinct everytime, but recognize that this is not necessarily in conflict with mechanics and technical putting. The best putting combines the two without conflict. If you would like to discuss the "mechanics of instinct" in more depth, please feel free to send me an email and we'll get started!


Geoff Mangum
The PuttingZone

The Future of Putting Now - elite instruction, comprehensive resources.

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