Note to Readers: This newsletter was originally published in the months after 9-11-2001
Dr. Putt hopes that golf has provided a welcome and deserved distraction as you have tried to come to terms with the horrors of this fall. It took Dr. Putt almost a month to even venture back onto the course himself. On his first attempt, he walked off after three holes. Certainly all the intense emotions of the day made the game of golf seem trivial. But while we must never forget the loss, we owe it to the nation to go on with life--and that includes golf.
The late summer/early fall newsletter Dr. Putt had planned was put off till now. Business and your golf questions virtually stopped for awhile. Perhaps this was a good thing, as Dr. Putt was spending all his time working with his university students trying to understand the events emotionally and intellectually in his other life as a college professor. That life came first.
Nevertheless, in the months since the last newsletter, you have sent some interesting questions, some of which have been published on-line. Thanks for that.
In this Newsletter:
1) Newsletter Putting Tip
2) Reviews of Dave Pelz's "Putting Bible" and the "Double Connexion"
1) Newsletter Putting Tip
What should you be thinking as you execute the putting stroke? Ideally, nothing. You want your body to do what it has learned to do through countless repetitions. But of course, that is hard to do.
So next best is to think of the feeling you had as you made some successful putt in the past--see the ball falling in the hole.
But positive mental images can easily be replaced by negative ones. Therefore, use your conscious mind to simply go through a verbal routine to block out any distracting thoughts and help maintain tempo.
Dr. Putt says the following to himself after he lines up the putter with the ball and prepares to execute the stroke. "LOOK," as he looks at the hole, or better yet the blade of grass that the ball will roll over as the ball falls into the hole.
"FOCUS," as he focuses his sight and concentration on the spot of grass just behind the ball through which the center of the putter blade (and the EOB putting sphere) will soon pass.
"STROKE," as he executes the stroke in rhythm with the tempo that he is saying these words--replicating the same stroke taken in the practice swings.
"LISTEN," as he poses at the end of the stroke (which should be longer than the backswing), listening for the pleasant "plunk" of the ball in the hole, waiting as long a possible to look up.
If the ball should go past the hole, at which point ihe is most probably looking up, he tries to take note its path to see the break coming back--a most useful piece of information for the next putt.
If you have not visited "Dear Dr. Putt" recently, take a look at two recent reviews. A review of Dave Pelz's "Putting Bible" should help all of you who want to understand the ideal stroke path, how to read break, and how to find your best putting rhythm. Although Dr. Putt had mostly compliments for Pelz's path-breaking work, he had a few quibbles as well on matters such as the "yips."
Look this up on the "Dear Dr. Putt" link and then go to "Book Review: Dave Pelz's Putting Bible."
Unless you hit the ball as well on the course as on the range, you could use some work on the mental side of golf, and this certainly includes Dr. Putt! Carey Mumford has some quite sound ideas on how to take your game from the range to the course, reviewed by Dr. Putt!
Look this up on the 'Dear Dr. Putt" link and then go to "Book Review: How to Get Your Game from the Practice Tee to the Golf Course"