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Geoff Mangum's PuttingZone Newsletter

October 2001

Hi Folks!

Hope you are all well, and also hope the recent tragedy is resolved in a way that affirms the great loss and the values all people should live by. Nuff said.

In this issue:

1. Website improvements & new stuff
2. Putting news
3. Putting Gadgets of Note
4. What I'm Up To
5. Coming Attractions

1. WEBSITE

  • Tons of new stuff. Dozens of new tips, with the new stuff staged separately for your convenience and marked as new so you don't have to hunt thru the pile.

  • Also, a slideshow of Bobby Locke profiling his golfing career from 1930s thru 1980s.

  • A collection of photos of pro setups, showing basically two styles-- the good (mostly of yesteryear and the best of today) versus the so-so -- very interesting contrast.

  • More putters -- now 260 manufacturers linked with about 30 added since September. More than anywhere in the world.

  • Nice links to select golf websites of distinction -- always interesting.

  • More science stuff, including research references galore.

  • Putting scene postcards so you can let a friend know about the PuttingZone.

2. PUTTING NEWS

In the New Tips section, now featuring news articles on putting, putting research, and great golfers of putting. Samples: Yips study, EEG Brain Biofeedback, Hypnotism, more... Go to the New Tips page.

3. PUTTING GADGETS OF NOTE

Jesper Parnevik and the Zen Oracle:

Here is a snippet from the PZ Forum on the ZO:

The Zen Oracle by DirectCreations (URL: http://www.directcreations.com/faq.asp) is an interesting training aid, but it has a couple of problems. First, the good, then the bad.

The Good: The Zen Oracle trains a particular motion, and this motion has several integrated aspects. The one most prominently featured is the "release" action. This tends to train a down-the-line followthrough. It especially helps to make the preplanning / envisioning of the correct stroke motion more readily available as a kinetic sense of motion, so this makes the movement thru the ball more accurate and repeating. That's pretty good, and the ZO seems to do a better job than some other tips, drills, and aids I'm familiar with for this one aspect of the stroke motion.

The Bad: The ZO necessarily restricts the length of the backstroke that it can be used with: go too far back and the ball rolls out from underneath. This feature of the ZO has a terrible effect on tempo when used outside of about ten feet. In particular, it forces a short backstroke, which produces a quicker thru-stroke, emphasizing "hit". And in my book there is nothing worse to mess up than tempo! Absolutely nothing. And nothing worse to inculcate into a stroke than "hit." "Hit" is the enemy to distance control precision and consistency, and thereby to accuracy and effectiveness of putting. The advice to "accelerate thru the ball" is shunned by top putters (e.g., Loren Roberts, Michael Corcoran in the PGA Tour Manual of Golf) and instead the golfer wants his hands to "keep pace with" the natural pendulum rhythm of the putterhead. In this stroke, the butt of the handle stays pointed at the pivot of the stroke (neck area) thruout the stroke, and the handle does not waggle about inside the grip. The ZO trains a motion that degrades this sort of stroke, especially when it is used outside of about ten feet.

4. WHAT I'M UP TO

  • Book: I delivered a book proposal to Sleeping Bear Press -- The PuttingZone: Science, the Brain, and the Black Art of Putting. We'll see what they think. I figure I need about 4 months of writing to get a complete manuscript in shape. I have about 150 pages in hand.

  • World Congress on Golf Science: I submitted an article for consideration for 4th Congress, 2002, St Andrews, Scotland, entitled: "The `Mechanics of Instinct' in Putting: The New Paradigm for Applied Golf Science." We'll see what the "Junta" says.

  • Networking: making contacts all over, especially LPGA Teaching Pros. I toured Florida this summer meeting as many pros as I could, and I need to get back soon to meet more. If you are interested in having me come meet people or make a presentation, let me know. I work cheap! Also making contact with the golf science crowd and with Tour pros worldwide. Met with numerous LPGA Teaching Pros at their annual championship this July at MidPines Resort, Southern Pines, and also met a number of LPGA pros at US Women's Open, Pine Needles Resort, Southern Pines, PGA Tour pros at Greensboro, and at Buy.com Carolina Classic, Wakefield CC, Wake Forest NC.

  • Writing: published an article in Golfer @ Large Magazine in Bombay! Hot dang! Now that's what I'm talking about. Also appeared in Carolina Fairways magazine and on WJOX Radio in Birmingham, Alabama ("ain't no ham like Birmin'ham"). More tips articles coming real soon: "Make a Pretty Stroke," "The Gap," "Simplify Schmimplify: Just Do It Right!" "Good Looking Greens are Easy," "Dominate the Moss!" and more. Also now writing tips for EuroGolfNet.com and soon to add GolfWorld.com.

  • Collegiate Golf: working again with Greensboro College Golf team (2000 NCAA Div. III National Champs) and Coach Robert Linville. Hope to also be working again with Methodist College, maybe Larry Penley's Clemson, UNCG, and a few other collegiate teams this Fall. Met a dozen top coaches at the NCAA Finals at Duke this summer.

5. COMING ATTRACTIONS

  • Plan to make the research database searchable online, as soon as I get my techie friends here to help me!

  • Plan to add a whole section on putting drills and exercises. Plan to make the tips section searchable for types of tips (e.g., short putts, lagging, grip, stance, etc.) -- that ought to help a lot.

  • Plan to add tons of photos of golfers to illustrate putting technique, and to create digital video and 3D animation for instruction.

  • Plan to start taking questions on putting in the Forum for Q&A sort of thing.

I need to hear from you, because it really helps. Thanks.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
The PuttingZone
http://puttingzone.com
The Future of Putting Now

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