Dear Friends,

 

Dr. Putt wishes all his friends a Happy New Year and hopes that it brings all of you peace and happiness.

 

This newsletter for the new year of 2005 will focus on five topics that merit some thought at a time of year when we often assess things.

 

 

1) Putter Test and the EOB Alignment and Aiming device

2) Why we are never satisfied -- and why that is satisfying!

3) Listen to your body -- Dr. Putt didn't and is paying the price

4) Tribute to Moe Norman

5) Best advice to take from 04 to 05

 

 

1) Putter Test and the EOB Alignment and Aiming device

 

This past November Golf Magazine did a putter test in which a variety of players tried out twenty different putters. The methodology seemed pretty sound. Some putters were better for short putts and some for long putts. But because we have putts of all lengths, Dr. Putt feels the acid test was the average miss.

 

The Odyssey White Hot 2-Ball putter and the Ping G2i Anser tied for the least average miss distance. The Odyssey sells for $215 retail and the Anser for $130.

 

Interestingly, the EOB Aiming and Alignment Device was originally designed for the Anser series of putters to give it improved accuracy and visual feedback. The 2-Ball, which was developed after the EOB device, provides some of the same feedback, but without any cue for positioning the ball under

the eyes. See the comparison at:

 

http://www.drputt.com/deardrputt/Ody2BallPutter.php

 

Your best bet? If you already have an Anser series putter, keep using it with the EOB device. If you want the 2-ball, get an Anser instead and add the EOB device -- you save about $65!

 

 

 

2) Why we are never satisfied -- and why that is satisfying!

 

As Dr. Putt looks back over his own experiments in the golf swing during the past year, he is struck with two things.

 

First, although we all seek improvement, we are never satisfied even when we do improve. We seek perfection. Of course this is

impossible. Even those with the greatest talent and support rarely achieve perfection for more than a short while. But that is the quest of golf. Tiger's efforts to improve what seemed to be a nearly perfect swing is the latest example of this.

 

Second, we keep at it, thinking that only one or two little changes will lead to a magical swing that propels the ball like a dart to the target. Although it may seem so, golf is not a brass ring that is just out of reach, because we find some success just often enough to keep us going. Rather it is an almost endless series of rings, some of which we do manage to grasp. If we are wise enough, we will enjoy the reaching until we run out of rings.

 

 

3) Listen to your body -- Dr. Putt didn't and is paying the price

 

Our bodies tell us things, even when we are not listening. In October Dr. Putt experienced a physical and psychological crash. He lost 20 pounds and could barely make it to his classes. Even hitting balls on the range was more than he could manage. What he thought was a severe sinus infection turned out to be something called Grave's Disease. The warning signs had been there for nearly a year: tremors in the hands, loss in strength, depression, anxiety, and a notable loss in the intellectual thought

process, and some loss in verbal capabilities. After a difficult couple of months, Dr. Putt is on the mend, walking 18 holes again and playing basketball with students at the university.

 

Had Dr. Putt listened to the clear warning signs, he might have avoided the worst of these problems. But he did not. And he lost nearly three months of his life.

 

Here is the point. If you see real changes in your body, and many of these changes show up in your golf game, seek a medical screening. It could help your game. And it could even save your life.  

 

The upside for Dr. Putt is that surviving all this merited a reward. Dr. Putt just completed building his dream set of irons and a 400 cc fusion type driver, all with Fujikura shafts. He birdied his first hole and had a 74 in his first round with the new sticks. The irons are so easy to hit that they almost seem unfair. If you are interested, they are Golfsmith Snakeyes Viper irons.

 

 

4. Tribute to the late Moe Norman

 

Moe Norman passed away this fall after the last Dr. Putt Newsletter went out. He will be remembered for being one of the greatest ball strikers ever and for developing one of the most unique swings ever, which has been marketed as the Natural Golf swing.

 

While his swing remains controversial, all students of the game agree that we have lost one of the most colorful and unique figures in the rich history of the game. Dr. Putt has been employing the Natural Golf Swing off and on for the last several years and had concluded that it is an easier swing with which to play consistently. It is easier on the back and joints, and

holds up well under pressure. Critics would argue that one sacrifices distance with this approach, and that may well be true. But the tradeoff for consistency seems reasonable to Dr. Putt.

 

What can we all learn from Norman’s swing? There is more than one way to hit a golf ball. The ball reacts to speed and the angle and direction of approach along with the angle of the club face: open or closed. That is it. All else is purely cosmetic.

 

5) Best advice to take from 04 to 05

 

Dr. Putt has read a lot of things and tried many of them in the past year. Here are the best two.

 

Stay connected in your swing. What this means is that the arms and body turning around the spine should work together. The arms and shoulders should simply rotate around the spine on both the backswing and downswing. If you keep your back straight and rotate the torso around the spine, you will put much less strain on your back and get more power with less effort.

 

By the way, this also applies to other sports, like foul shooting in

basketball. The best shots connect the legs to the arms so that the legs and arms push the ball together toward the basket. When connected they reach the top at the same time.

 

Number two. Stay positive and confident. Dr. Putt got this one from Bob Rotella. When two equally talented people play each other and one is more confident than the other, the confident

one usually wins.

 

Easily said but much harder to do. So how do you get more confident? Think of some success you have had in life and then focus on your usual routine. If you focus on getting the process right, the results will usually take care of themselves.

 

 

 

Remember to check the “Dear Dr. Putt web site” for all your putting questions – a search feature allows you to look up almost any subject you like.

 

Go to http://www.drputt.com/deardrputt/deardrputt.php

 

 

 

For help with your putting game, visit Dr. Putt on the web at

 

http://www.drputt.com

 

 

Here is wishing you a warm winter and early spring.

 

Best regards,

Dr. Putt

 

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