We get this question all the time. Jim Grundberg, CEO of the SeeMore Putter Company, and Ted Gallina, Director of Instruction of the SeeMore Putter Institute, explain below.
“I like to have my hands ahead of the ball. Can I still use a SeeMore?"
Our answer to them is of course! But we will still need to give some history on the forward press and how many factors have now come into play in golf which make the big forward press a thing of the past. Because many golfers believe they need a forward press for the wrong reasons.
First, the benefits of a more neutral position in the putting stroke. This is the huge trend on tour. Pros are getting away from a big forward press of the hands. They are coming toward neutral. "Hiding the Red Dot" is huge benefit that helps the golfer get into neutral. A word that is used over and over again during the explanation is CONSISTENCY.
A SeeMore putter can improve anyone's putting stroke. This is accomplished by having the same consistent set-up and the same consistent ball position and the same consistent putter loft. Which of course leads to the same consistent stroke.
There are a number of golfers who have grown up with a forward press and believe they need to have their hands slightly forward. One of the big reasons that led to the forward press is now no longer an issue. Many popular putters in the 70’s and 80’s were created in an era where more loft was needed because of greens that were slow and bumpy. It was the only way to get the ball up and rolling from a surface that was not smooth.
As agronomy has improved, and greens got faster, and metal spikes disappeared, and greens got smoother, the high loft putters are no longer effective. Golfers still owned putters with 5 to 7 degrees of loft, so a forward press was the only way to get the ball rolling on the new faster greens, effectively reducing loft from 5 to 7 degrees, down to 2 to 3 degrees. But a high lofted putter with a forward press to get the ball rolling well is a double negative with a lot of variables that can go wrong. A more neutral position with a lower loft (and SeeMore putters all have 2 to 3 degrees loft by design) is a much easier way to putt great!
There are other reasons why some instructors believe a forward press is a good thing, but most of those reasons still create too many variables for great putting, when there is a better way.
So back to the golfer who uses some form of forward press and really does not wish to change that right now. SeeMore offers offset models featuring a plumber neck hosel and RST2 (The DB4 and Si4 series), and the offset gooseneck bend straight in whistle shaft series, in addition to its core line of straight shaft putters. Each of these offset models allow the golfer the feel of having the hands forward, but while still allowing a vertical shaft and a more consistent neutral position than a true forward leaning forward press (which is not a great thing as we all know.)
Some of the better golfers at club or golf course have a forward press but how many times have you heard them walk into the golf shop and say, "I could have shot 66 out there today if I would have just made some putts." Their #1 problem is the consistency of their putting.
You can give most of these players a piece of wood and they are going to find a way to make the ball get into the hole. However, they will not be able to do it on a consistent basis. Because they do not have a reminder, or a reference point, as RST offers. Their hands are always forward but never the same.
This is why these golfers go through so many putters. They believe it is the putter’s fault. They are hot with one putter then cold with another ... hot with another ... then cold ... hot/cold ... hot/cold. They have no system to fall back on.
So lets say you get tired of hearing about their putting and you give them your SeeMore putter to try on the putting green. They go outside and become very good with it on the putting green in about 10-15 minutes. They understand the system, but when they come back to you their comment is, "I like the putter but I can not use it because I see the red dot." This is when the door is open to tell them about a RST2 or a whisle shaft putter, which may very well be the answer, as they are created for these players. Or you may simply engage in the following scenario, sticking with the straight shaft putter.
SeeMore User: Where do you see the red dot?
Golfer: I see a small spec of red in the bottom right hand corner.
SeeMore User: Do you see the same small spec of red on every putt?
Golfer: Yes, I see it the same place every time.
SeeMore User: Did you say that you see the spec of red in the same place every time?
SeeMore User: Welcome to SeeMore!! Because he sees the same spec of red every single time - his putter loft will be the same for every putt.
Now begin to explain to him the benefits of consistency. Over time, the golfer will most likely gradually reduce the slight forward press and become better and better. The other possibility is the golfer will use the RST to set up neutral and hide the red dot every time, and then simply use a small forward press as a trigger prior to the stroke, which is fine as well.
Let us know your thoughts!!
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