Is your aim and intention to improve your putting stroke or to hole more putts?
As far back as I can remember, I have always been told that if we improve our stroke, we will hole more putts. One creates the other. Cause and effect.
However, I would question the sequence of that or any other particular cause and effect. What we see and feel are essentially effects. When we watch good putters, we notice that they tend to keep their head very still. We see that their stroke looks smooth and unhurried. It looks like the rocking of the shoulders creates the stroke. As a result we are often encouraged to copy or emulate these traits in order to “produce a better putting stroke”.
These are observations and I would suggest they are observations of effects rather than causes. In golfing parlance, “the stroke creates the putt.”
Surely the task creates the technique rather than the other way round, or as we talk about in The Lost Art Of Putting, “the putt creates the stroke”.
In my line of work, as a golf coach based at Archerfield on Scotland’s Golf Coast, I am very fortunate on a number of counts. I am based at what I believe to be one of, if not the finest Performance Centre in Europe. The facilities are simply outstanding. In addition to two fantastic golf courses, a Tour standard grass driving range, world class short game areas and putting greens, our swing and putting studios within the Performance Centre are fully equipped with the very latest state of the art Technology.
With highly experienced and knowledgeable coaches and club fitters using TrackMan, Sam Putt and Balance Labs, GEARS 3D motion capture and super slow-motion video technology, we leave no stone unturned in our quest to help our students become the best they possible can be.
One of the most interesting aspects of what I do, is that I have the opportunity to work with an incredibly diverse group of people, from weekend golfers to seasoned Tour Pros and everyone in between.
In the last week or so, I had the opportunity to work with a couple of top athletes from different sports. One is a former Scotland rugby international and another Scot, who is an Olympic and World Champion curler who has amassed more gold, silver and bronze (mostly gold) medals than you can count.
In their own sports, they were and are very creative and during our time together, we discovered that their attention was on what they needed to do with the rugby ball and curling stone. Interestingly, despite the fact they were both great technicians in their “own” sports, their attention was NOT on their technique when they were performing at their best.
Perhaps even more interestingly, they had both become very aware of their “technique” or swings when it came to golf and much less aware of what they needed to do with the golf ball. While both their techniques looked good on camera, they weren’t producing the shots they wanted.
After digging a little deeper, we played around with the concept of focusing on the “shot creating the swing” rather than the other way round. It didn’t take long for both of them to confess “that’s what I do when I’m on the rugby pitch / curling rink!”
Almost instantaneously, they both started to create the shots they saw in their minds’ eye. Not only did they find this incredibly rewarding, one word they both used was “liberating”.
Liberating is a word we keep hearing from our students and readers of “The Lost Art Of Putting” from people around the world from as far afield as Australia, USA, The Middle East and Zimbabwe as well as closer to home in the UK.
Whether you are faced with a demanding tee shot, an iron shot into a green, a pitch over a bunker or a fast 10 foot putt with a foot of break, rather than focusing on and perhaps questioning your technique, focus on creating that shot or putt.
As golfers around the world keep telling us, from tee to green, creativity is liberating.
To discover how creating putts can enhance your enjoyment of this great game and order a copy of The Lost Art Of Putting.