This drill is one of Zach's favorites. Place a shaft 18 inches behind the hole and start with 3 balls 5 feet away from the hole. The goal is obviously to make the putt; however your secondary objective is to get the ball to the hole but not touch the shaft. When you achieve this with all three balls, move out to 10 feet.
If you come up short on any of the three, or hit the shaft, you have to go back to the previous distance. After you are successful at 10 feet, move out to 15. You can go in any increments you want. When Dr. Mo and I want to really challenge Zach, we go 10, 20 and 30 feet. Mo has found that this really sharpens Zach's focus and makes his practice productive. He really dials in his speed while tapping into his competitive nature. Try it!
Much is made these days about the concept of putter fitting, in which the length, loft, lie and weight of a putter are carefully matched to your personal physique and mechanics.
But before you get fit for a putter, you may want to consider the putting philosophy of the person doing the fitting. For example, some putting instructors advocate that you get your eyes directly over the ball, while others suggest that your eyes should be inside the target line.
So what one person considers a good “fit” for a more upright setup will be different from a good “fit” according to someone who advocates a more bent-over, eyes-over-the-ball setup. Indeed, the former requires a longer putter, while the latter requires a shorter putter.
So the putting theory changes the fit—an interesting topic, and one that’s not discussed enough.
On that note, we reached out to leading putting instructor Pat O’Brien to talk about his own approach to putting, and specifically some of the old putting “rules” that may be on their way to becoming exceptions.
We’ll start with the notion that your eyes should be directly “over the ball” and thus right over the target line, a bedrock of traditional putting instruction. Here’s what Pat has to say on the subject:
“There’s been a paradigm shift in the last 20 years or so. Greens are now more manicured and faster. Back in the day, greens were slower and more grainy, so the style was more of a wrist stroke, or pop stroke. Go back and look at old footage from the ‘60s and even ‘70s, and guys were more bent over, and they popped it, and the ball wouldn’t go too far past the hole because the greens were slower.
Well, the easiest way to get yourself in a position to make that stroke is to get your eyes over the ball, because then your hands and arms are trapped underneath your chest, so you can’t swing your shoulders very freely, and it’s more of a small-muscle stroke.
But if you look at the best putters of the past 20 years, and the guys that come to mind would be Greg Norman, Brad Faxon, Tiger Woods, Zach Johnson, these are guys that stand up to the ball. They have good posture, they are very athletic. And I would venture to say that their eyes are anywhere from the heel of the putter to an inch or two inside of that.
Very quickly the SeeMore Putter has become the choice when golfers are looking to improve their putting stroke. Each day more and more are contacting us about questions on the putter. Golfers wanting to improve their putting googleus on the internet and learn very quickly why SeeMore helps in all areas of the putting stroke - alignment, set-up, posture and grip. Learning this simple system leads to confidence when using the putter - which leads to lower putting strokes per round - which leads to lower scores.
Our putters are around 2.5-3.5 degrees of loft,which is the angle of the face when striking the ball. These lofts will make sure you put optimal roll on the ball when you have your hands in the right place as mandated by the SeeMore putter (hide the red dot!).
On the lie angle, that is a different angle, that of the shaft to the head...and 70 degrees is usually a perfect lie angle to start with which is our standard.
On which types of putters for different strokes, in reality the arc and the pendulum go hand in hand, the arc meaning that the putter head goes slightly open and to the inside on take away, comes through square and impact, and releases slightly closed and to the inside of the line after impact. This is the natural arc.
The pendulum refers to the tempo of the putt, meaning on short putts the putter head travels back and through at the same pace and the same short distance back and then through..a one...two tempo...but on longer putts the putter travels back further along the arc, then travels further past the ball on impact...always staying on the arc..so the putter head is always square to the arc. All of our putters are ideal for this type of stroke, it is personal preference, but we would say blades tend to work best.
The other type of stroke golfers refer to is the straightback and straight through...which we believe and most believe is simply not possible to achieve...without significant wrist action as one would need to close or hood the putter on take away, and would need to slice open the putter as the stroke moves through..because turning on an arc so to try to keep the putter square to square involves this type of complicate manipulation...so one might think you are putting this way but it will be a struggle for sure. After reviewing many, many putting strokes the above explanation is our meaning of each type of stroke.
We encourage you to do some research onPat O'Brien, who instructs many tour players..atPatOBrienGolf.com, or you can link to him throughSeeMore.com. Your putting will improve, and you will understand all of the great benefits of SeeMore. Call us at the office and we can get a putter custom built for you that will greatly improve your putting.
Lastly, this past Sunday was the 10 year anniversary of the passing of Payne Stewart. Here is a great link that we would like to share with you -Remembering Payne Stewart 10 Years Later. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news??
Below is a excerpt of an article thatPat O'Briendid for the Texas Links Magazine. Give us your thoughts and feedback.
If you're struggling with your putting, perhaps understanding the design of the putter will help to free your stroke. A putter is essentially a weight on a stick, and the shaft goes into the head at an angle less than 90 degrees, usually around 70 degrees.
The balance point of the putter is about 6 inches from the head. If you held the putter lightly in your fingers, when you let it swing, you would see that the head travels on a natural arc and it comes up out of the ground. It also returns to square at impact with no effort. That is what it is designed to do.
If you are not allowing this to happen, you are putting forth too much effort into your stroke. The putter isn't designed to go straight back and straight through, or square to square.
To quote instructor Jim Hardy, "If we played pool or shuffleboard, where we stood on the target line, straight back and straight through works, but we stand to the side of the ball, so there has to be an arc."
Also, if you're trying to keep the putter low on the backswing, you are moving the bottom of the swing behind the ball. This would cause you to use your trailing arm to accelerate the putter to get it back to the ball. Speed is hard to judge when you have forced acceleration. The putter is designed to swing with a rhythm that resembles a pendulum. It's designed to swing up on the backswing and then fall down on the way through. It's not designed to swing low going back, and then forcefully finish high on the follow through.
When people come to me for help, I look to their set up for clues as to why the putter isn't swinging freely. If you are having challenges, here are a few things to look for:
Had a great few days out on TOUR this week. A few more putters in play. Talked to Zach, Vaughn and Briny. All are doing well. I spoke to Mark Hensby who has been using the putter for the last two weeks. He used it when he was on the Nationwide TOUR but he then signed with PING. This past year his contract was ended and put the SeeMore putter back in play. D.A. Points is still using the putter and feeling confident with it as well. Another nice story is Pat Perez. He picked up the putter at a off-course partner of ours.
He understood the technology but just wanted to make sure that it was that easy. Working with him on the putting green, he was confident in his alignment of the putter. He stressed over and over again about the confidence that it gave him in his alignment. We worked with a triangulator - showing him how good his alignment was with the SeeMore. He was dropping 20-25 footers from everywhere. It was almost too funny. He started to laugh and say "that this thing is money".
This is one of the many positive points of using a SeeMore... it aligns you square to your intended target line every single time. No other putter does this. By simply hiding the red dot and lining up the two white lines you will be square. You then check your alignment (like Pat was doing) to make sure that you are lined up to your target. This is where the triangulator comes into play. Simple device but gives you immediate feed back of your alignment.
It is evident being out on Tour that SeeMore is become more and more noticeable from the Tour players.
They are not afraid to come and talk to us about the putter and how we can improve their confidence. Other TOUR players that have used SeeMore are the ones that get other players to come try the putter.
Players are thinking of SeeMore as a solution of taking their putting to the next level. Even if it is on a level of the PGA Tour or even to a college player, an amateur or 25 handicapper, it is the technology and a game improvement club that everyone needs.
Lastly, this is the second year in a row that the SeeMore Putter Company has donated putters to the John Deere Classic Youth Day (Tuesday of tournament week). Junior golfers from the Quad Cities attended the event. See pictures below.
Having just watched The U.S. Open, I want to share some observations on the putting stroke. I hear announcers constantly talk about the stroke and what should happen. They reference keeping the putter low, releasing the putter and acceleration, to name a few things. Frankly, I have heard enough and I feel compelled to offer a little common sense on the stroke. If you follow the advice about keeping the putter low, you may develop the yips or already have them. Here is why:
You simply must understand the design of the golf club, or in this case the putter. It is essentially a weight on a stick, and the shaft goes into the head at an angle, usually around 70 degrees. What that means is that it is supposed to travel on an arc, and it should be allowed to come out of the ground. The head of the putter will travel up on the backswing, and come down into the ball before eventually going back up.
If you keep the putter low on the backswing, you are putting downward pressure on the club. The bottom of the arc moves inches behind the ball. At this point, you have two choices; you can let it swing and hit the ground behind the ball, or you can accelerate the putter with the right hand and arm to try and get the bottom back to the ball. The finish will be severely high.
If you continue to rely on your right side to bail you out, a motor pattern gets established between your brain and the firing of the right hand. It may take years, but eventually the right hand is ready to go before the stroke happens. It knows that it will be pressed into service momentarily. A twitch develops. All because the putter has been kept too low and the bottom of the swing has moved behind the ball. Add in tension and anxiety, and the putter is kept even lower going back. A vicious cycle has occured.
It has taken me awhile, and I apologize to those who have been waiting, to post some different shots of the grip. Attempting to teach someone a new grip through words and pictures alone is very challenging. I hope these additional pictures help.
The first picture is taken from above to show you how much the grip in the left hand sits in the fingers. While the heel pad sits on the top of the grip, the thumb pad does not in fact make contact with the club. I could very easily run a finger underneath the thumb pad. There is absolutely no hand or thumb pressure at all.
You can also notice how the heel pad of the right hand sits on the middle, ring and pinkie fingers of the left hand. The finger nails of the middle and ring are covered up. No part of the right hand is in contact with the club. To refresh, if the grip is truly in the fingers, you can control the putter effectively with no tension in your hands, arms or shoulders. You can let it swing itself, which is the topic of an upcoming post.
In the other picture, you can see the finished product. One of the reasons I touch my forefingers is that I want my hands to feel as one. When the right heel pad covers two of the left fingers, the right arm will be less prone to straighten because the hands are not split apart. If the right arm is straight, it can become too heavy and put undue downward pressure on the putter.