Optimal Putting: Brain Science, Instincts,
and the Four Skills of Putting -- A New Paradigm for Putting in the 21st Century.

Expanded Contents


Acknowledgement. xi

Preface. xii

Chapter 1: “Mechanics Of Instinct”. 1

Conventional Lore. 2
A New Paradigm. 9
Where Is This Headed? 10
Optimal Putting: Black Art Or Science. 13
Learn The Skills From The Ground Up. 19
Cited References. 19

Chapter 2: The Brain And Movement In Space. 22

Why Learn About The Brain. 22
Raison D’être For Brains. 24
Human Brains & Movement Inheritance. 25
Big Ideas For Brain Function. 28
Cited References. 35

Chapter 3: Distance Control Theory. 41

Skill 1: Instinctive Touch. 41
Definition Of Touch. 41
Optimal Delivery Speed. 41
Observing Optimal Delivery Speed. 44
Five Factors For Instinctive Touch. 48
Definition Of Tempo. 50
Gravity As Fundamental Fact For Movement. 50
Gravity As Timing, Objects In Motion As Forces. 51
Gravity And Movement On Earth. 54
Physics Characteristics Of Pendular Motion. 55
Inherent Timing Of Pendula On Earth. 58
Gravity Timing And Instinct. 59
Human Instinct And Gravity Timing. 60
The Strength Of Instinctive Gravity Timing. 62
Choosing An Optimal Tempo. 63
What Is A Backstroke? 68
Cited References. 70

Chapter 4: Distance Control Praxis. 72

Skill 1: Praxis Or Application For Touch. 72
Green Speed Appreciation. 72
Green Speed Appreciation From Core Putt. 73
Touch For Different Distances. 75
Instinctive Touch For Each Green And Distance. 77
Targeting Teaches The Body For Action. 77
Head-Neck Motion Primes Sense Of Distance. 78
An Instinctive Move Generates Backstroke Size. 79
A “One Potato ... Two” Tempo. 81
Tempo Timing And Accurate Timing Performance. 82
Stress And Anxiety As Harming Timing. 84
Targeting “Loads” The Impact Force. 85
Correct Touch Is “Not Long” And “Not Short”. 86
Enough Backstroke. 89
Never Hurried, Never Worried. 89
The Alternatives Ain’t Pretty. 90
Uphill / Downhill Effects. 91
Special Case Of Slick Downhill Putts. 93
Special Case Of Steep Tiers. 95
Special Tricks For Long Lags. 96
Delicate Strokes. 99
Short-putt Touch. 99
Summary Of Touch. 100
Cited References. 101

Chapter 5: Straight Strokes. 104

Skill 3: Putting Straight Every Time. 104
A Word About Biomechanics & Robots. 104
A Natural Hanging Of The Arms And Hands. 107
Carpenter’s Square Off The Foot. 109
Straight Stroke Movement. 111
The Lead Hip Anchors The Backstroke. 111
Start The Takeaway With The Shoulder. 112
The Gravity-Tempo Downstroke Is Effortless. 115
Hands Quiet Or “Dead” In The Downstroke. 115
Hands Do Not Rotate, Grip Pressure Constant. 117
Hold Throat Line Still Once Thru-stroke Resquares. 119
Vertical Uplift Of Shoulder Sends Ball Straight. 122
Head Motion In Thru-stroke. 125
Putter Face Staying Square Thru Impact Zone. 128
The Aiming “T”. 129
The Straight Stroke And Timing. 130
Summary Of Straight Stroke. 131
Cited References. 132

Chapter 6: Aiming Accurately. 134

Skill 2: Aiming And Setting Up At Target. 134
Stand Back The Same Distance As The Putt Length. 135
Use Only The Dominant Eye To Sight Line. 135
Use The Putter Shaft As A Visual Ruler. 136
Anchor Transient Perceptions On The Ground. 137
Walk The Line To Keep The Perspective. 137
Position The Putter Face In Light Of Anchors. 138
Ball Itself And Putter Head Show The Line. 138
Putter Sweetspot And Perpendicularity Of Face. 139
The Two T’s. 139
Set Up To The Putter As Aimed. 140
Aside On “Ballstriker’s Neck”. 140
Neutral Hanging Of Arms And Hands In Gravity. 141
Settling Downward From The Top. 143
Grip Form And Setup. 143
Establishing Homogenous Muscle Tone For Form. 147
Checking Aim Of Putter Face From Beside The Ball. 149
Squaring Skull And Throat Line To Putter Face. 149
Head Turn To Check Aim Of Putter Face. 150
Tricks For The Straight-out Gaze. 151
Tricks For A Proper Head Turn. 155
Cited References. 155

Chapter 7: Reading The Putt For Target. 157

Skill 1: Picking A Target For Line And Distance. 157
Read The Green As A Whole From The Fairway. 157
Local Hills And Mountains Confuse Scenery. 158
Read The Stock Chart Of The High Fringe. 158
Beware Of Lobed Greens With Catchment Basins. 159
Assess Overall Slope As Rise Over Run. 159
Perceiving Elevation Change From Ball To Hole. 160
Perceiving Green Surface Contour. 161
Perceiving Green Speed. 164
Visualizing Rolling Speed Of The Ball. 166
Other Perception Issues For Reading Putts. 166
Find Straight Start Line For The Curving Path. 168
The “Apex” Is Too Low As An Aim Point. 169
Find The Fall Line Straight Uphill Thru Cup. 169
Use Target Spot Always On The Fall Line High. 175
See The Spider At Any Location On The Green. 176
Cited References. 178

Chapter 8: Putting Routine. 179

Purpose. 179
Pre-round Preparation. 179
Approach Routine. 179
On The Green Routine. 181
Reading Routine. 182
Routine For Sensing Green Speed. 182
Routine For Perceiving Green Contour. 183
Routine For Reading Elevation Change. 183
Aiming Routine. 183
Setup Routine. 185
Aiming Check And Distance Head-turn. 186
Stroke Routine. 188
Conclusion. 191
Cited References. 191

Chapter 9: Synthesis Of The Four Skills. 192

1. Read The Putt For Target. 192
2. Aim Straight At Target “Hole” On Fall-line. 192
3. Putt Straight Where The Putter Face Aims. 193
4. Putt With The Usual Tempo And Touch. 194

Chapter 10: Drills For Putting Skills. 195

1. Read To Pick The Target. 196
2. Aim At The Chosen Target. 198
3. Putt Straight At The Target. 199
4. Putt With Instinctive Touch. 205

Appendix A: Bibliography Of Putting. 209

Putting Instruction Books. 209
Seminal Or Noteworthy Putting Instruction Articles. 217
Putting Instruction Tapes And Discs. 228
Putting Instruction eBooks. 233

Appendix B: Puttingzone Academies & Coaches. 235

Appendix C: About Geoff Mangum. 245

Appendix D: Puttingzone Opportunities. 249

Media / Websites. 249
Coaching Services. 250
Partnering Up / B2B. 251
Speaking. 253
Special Offers. 253

Appendix E: Friends Of The Puttingzone. 255

Index. 258

Colophon. 271