The past two days, I had the opportunity to observe two local golf professionals with AMAZING talent….one during a playing lesson, the other during tournament play. Both tendencies/faults were common…both were easy fixes. Let’s look:
-Observations from Day #1: Karen’s putts were not rolling well, a little bit of a hop or two at the start of the putt. Filming her stroke showed she was taking the putter back too high, forcing a descending blow into the ball at impact. We had to change that…and the fix was pretty simple:
THE FIX: We placed 3 dimes approx. 4” behind the ball. We also placed two tees 2” in front of the ball. Karen’s challenge…to knock out the dimes on the backswing, while completely missing the two tees on the follow-thru (see below). By doing this, her putter stayed lower on the backswing, with a little bit of rise on the forward stroke. The result: ball rolled and tracked the line much, much better. She left the putting green PSYCHED!
-Observations from Day #2: During tournament play, Charles tended to push his putts. I noticed on more than one occasion that his head was moving BACKWARDS, on the forward stroke, more than 2”
THE FIX: After the round, we headed to the practice putting green. I had Charles stand with his back to the sun so he could see his shadow directly in front of him. I placed a golf ball just outside the shadow of his left ear, as well as his right ear (see below). While Charles hit a putt, I videotaped his shadow in relation to the two balls. Sure enough, he saw his shadow (head), moving away from the target on the forward stroke. A habit he had, somehow, picked up, but could NOT fee! I then asked Charles to make five (5) putting strokes, without a ball, keeping his shadow dead still, in between the two golf balls. Then I had him hit one (1) putt, with a ball, and videotaped his shadow. Two things happened…his shadow did NOT move, and the ball ripped right into the middle of the cup! We stayed on this routine (5 rehearsals, then 1 putt), for about 15-minutes. Charles’ putts started rolling better and more consistently on the intended line….he left the putting green quite happy!
Here are some things we learned: -Neither player knew, or could feel, what their particular tendency was. It took an objective observer to help both of them realize what was happening during their putting strokes.
-Solutions were quite simple…no over-thinking…allowing both players to trust their own instincts and athletic ability.
-Helping each player design a proper setup, practice station & routine allowed for immediate…and positive…results!
The past two days were quite informative…and fun! Always enjoy helping others play better!