I didn’t get much golf in 2018 but I want to play much more in 2019 so I’ve been practicing my putting at home in between sessions at the computer.
At the beginning, I was convinced that there were some flaws in my set up, especially in terms of the ball being too far forward in my stance. I also found an issue with my putter face alignment. Yes, even I can be pulled down that technical road despite everything I know!
Well, whilst I was comforted by these discoveries I didn’t feel that I was either striking the ball as I wanted to nor rolling the ball smoothly, something I had always seen when playing with great putters. Generally speaking, all the pros I’ve played with who excelled at the short game had superb rhythm. South African, Bobby Locke, was undoubtedly the greatest player I ever played with and possibly the best putter the world has ever seen. Throughout his game, but especially in anything around or on the green, his swing just flowed like silk. It was so relaxed and effortless.
So, when thinking back to those past experiences and remembering those swings, in the last few weeks I have only thought about holding the putter with the lightest grip and swinging the putter with the very smoothest rhythm. Once the strike improved and the ball stated rolling off the face instead of jumping and bobbling I decided to see what would happen if I put the ball in different places in my stance. I know that I shouldn’t be surprised but I was. As long as I continued with my light grip and smooth swing it didn’t make any difference.
I am excited about trying this out on the course and will let you know how it goes but, in the meantime, can I ask you to so the same and let me have your feedback. I am sure that we have been so indoctrinated to believe that good technique (starting with a perfect set up, perfect grip, perfect posture etc.) is essential that we naturally fear or are anxious that we can’t putt well if we start off from an incorrect position. Of course, fear and anxiety cause tension and I think you already know what I think about that as I said in my book that tension is the golfers main enemy.
Let’s get together and see if we can make 2019 the best year we’ve ever had on the greens!