Mangum's PuttingZone Newsletter
January 2003 Issue
The golf year
is starting off very well, wouldn't you say? I just returned from
the PGA Merchandise Show where I checked out some new equipment and
aids, met with Harold Swash again!, and had some great fun with friends.
I've also been writing a lot --
In any given year, about 270 pros play on the PGA Tour vying for
the top 125 spots. During 2001 and 2002, a total of 305 different
pros played on the PGA Tour. Of these, 262 had sufficient data to
compare their putting stats from one year to the next. A comparison
of Putts per Greens in Regulation for these 262 golfers showed that
only about 1 in 10 significantly improved, while nearly 5 in 10 stayed
about the same and another 4 in 10 got worse! Later on, I'll check
to see what difference it makes in terms of money and scoring average.
Check out the full stats HERE.
one of the very few sports psychologist to concentrate on putting.
Winner of the
prestigious American Psychological Association Award for his dissertation
on the Effects of Chronic Fitness on Putting, Dr Piparo has attracted
a wide following with his recent book with optometrist Dr Steve Kaluzne,
the Art and Science of Putting: Training the Eyes, Mind and Body (Sports
Performance Centers of Am. 1999). Dr
Piparo has studied the physiology of putting extensively (with a Masters
in Kinesiology to complement his Doctorate in Sports Pyschology),
and combines this knowledge with his vast understanding of sports
psychology and his experience of over twenty years teaching elite
golfers. His 1Putt Golf School is located here in North Carolina.
Putting Under Pressure
How can you sink more pressure putts? The simple answer is, "It
depends". It depends on why you miss them in the first place.
It may be that you miss as many non-pressure putts as you do pressure
putts. If that's the case then you don't possess the requisite skills.
Your putting stroke may not be as simple as possible. If it's not
you will miss any number of putts, especially under pressure where
complex movement patterns break down quickly. You may miss putts because
you don't read greens well. This too will be exaggerated under pressure.
Do you miss short putts, especially under pressure? If you do, you
don't have the appropriate visual and mental focus control. In Geoff's
December, 02 PuttingZone
Newsletter I wrote about how to improve your visual and mental
focus control so you can sink more short putts. Do you miss putts
because your distance control is suspect? Geoff will reprint an article
I wrote about how to improve your distance control in a later newsletter.
I refer to this method as “Putting by the Numbers".
However, if you putt well except when you need to then it's your
inability to handle pressure that's the culprit. Working on your stroke,
green reading, focus control, and distance control won't do you any
good because you already are skilled in each of these areas. What
you need to learn is what and how to handle pressure. ...
The FULL ARTICLE discusses the Stress / Anxiety system and its biochemistry
in depth, including what to do about it on the Dance Floor. Click
for the FULL ARTICLE, "Putting Under Pressure.". If you
have any questions or comments about using these techniques you can
contact me at DrTee1@aol.com.
NEW PZ TIPS
STROKE: Stroke Path Straight or Arcing? - BOTH
Battering Ram Stroke
Sidehill Putts Tend to Run Lowside
as Easy as Pie
any title to view the FULL ARTICLE.
The long-running and never-ending debate over whether
the stroke path should be straight-back-straight-through or inside-square-inside
detracts from the true fundamental of "a square face moving square
thru impact". A closer examination of the mathematics and geometry
of the putting stroke reveals that a straight shoulder stroke, because
of its rising back and thru and the tilt of the plane of motion, is
BOTH straight and arcing inside-square-inside. The trick is keeping
the shoulder sockets rocking in the same plane throughout the stroke.
In order to "flush" your putts for pure,
straight rolls, think of the stroke as swinging a battering ram suspended
beneath two handles or ropes straight and level thru the ball.
The "fall line" of the green surface at the
cup runs straight uphill-downhill thru the center of the cup, and
the final path of all putts across the flat-but-tilted surface
right around the hole makes a pattern like a spider with the legs
all indicating different pathways into the hole, and the head of the
spider is the SAME AIM SPOT for all putts. Learning how slope tilt,
green speed, and distance of putt make the spider change size and
shape a little, so you can accurately visualize the curve or path
of the one "leg" of your putt and find the single aim spot
or "head" of the spider above the hole on the fall line,
is mostly learning how to "see the spider."
All sidehill putts tend to get lost to the downhill
side, and you need to conform your setup to the surface, not to gravity,
if you want to avoid losing the putt to the amateur side.
All downhill putts share the same targeting problem -- if the
ball rolls too far across the hill, it will miss high; and if it fails
to roll far enough across the hill, it will miss low. The best way
to handle downhill putts is to aim for the pie.
FEATURED PUTTERS & PUTTING AIDS
Click any title to view the WEBSITE.
Ed Opie in the Detroit area has designed a real winner. The putter
style I tested has a head weight on the heavy side, the head weight
concentrated high for a quality early roll, and some toe-heel weighting
to offset energy loss on mishits. One interesting feature is the sole
-- Opie has designed a "bounce" for the putter like the
bounce on a sand wedge designed to minimize any inadvertant stubbing
of the putter. Ed very graciously customized a putter for me at 32.5"
with 76 degrees of lie upright. The top rear of the putterhead has
a section of a ball removed, which acts as a good aiming guide and
also doubles as a ball pickup cavity. The loft is 4 degrees. This
putter sends the ball rolling very straight! It rapidly replaced my
very nice Rossa Daytona in the pecking order of my putter collection
-- which is saying quite a lot. Have
Peter Pinter is a professional engineer in Boca Raton FL, and he
has designed a very attractive center-shafted putter he calls the
Pinter Putter. The blade putter has an ellipsoid shape and is precision
milled in the USA from brass bar stock to produce a balanced putter
with a soft feel. The putter's low center of gravity will strike the
ball below the centerline for a quick top spin roll. The back weighted,
center shafted design reduces the twist of putts struck off center.
The curved sole prevents stubbed putts. Have
Bobby Geiger's Sure Putt Cups are showing up on all the most exclusive
golf venues these days. He makes and sells a miniature cup for the
practice putting green that trains accuracy in putting, complete with
3 cups, a state-of-the-art hole cutter, and a stand-alone aluminum
sign that explains a good drill for using the cups. Each cup is merely
3 inches in diameter. Here's what James Achenbach at Golfweek said
"The normal cup has a diameter of 4.25 inches. This one,
a product of Boomerang Inc., of Tangerine, Fla., is manufactured
with a diameter of 3 inches.
I am starting to see these cups at more and more facilities, and
they are wonderful for practice. A 3-inch cup forces a golfer to
concentrate on absolute accuracy.
With one or two Sure Putt Cups in a practice green, a golfer can
switch back and forth between a normal cup and the small cup. This
produces a dramatic sense of proper visualization and alignment
The Sure Putt Cup is much better than any cover-up device that
simply reduces the size of the regulation cup. Trust me, a putting
contest to these small cups will separate the putters from the pretenders.
If I owned a golf course, I would hold an annual event with small
cups in all 18 greens. Everybody knows the importance of putting,
but the Sure Putt Cup places even more emphasis on this reality."
-- James Achenbach, Golfweek,
The Sure Putt Cups are great for practice greens and backyard greens.
Tour pros and PGA pros love them. Check out the very exclusive and
growing list of courses and schools where you find the Sure Putt Cup
today, and keep an eye out for them to start appearing at every PGA
Tour event. Your local pro can learn the details and find them HERE.
Roger Brooks is an Oxford-trained mathematician at the University
of Lancaster who recently authored a study of the mathematics of the
putting stroke for the World Scientific Congress on Golf. Based upon
this study, Dr Brooks has modelled a straight shoulder stroke and
has used this model to design a stroke-plane training aid he calls
the Trueplane Trainer. The Trainer is a flat rectangle with grid lines
into which is inserted a sheet of plexiglass that leans back off vertical
and intersects with the base plate in a straight line. The aid is
used by making shoulder strokes that run the heel of the putter straight
along the plexiglass. The aid is sold mostly in the UK, and is prominently
used by dozens of top players on the European Tour. The aid is available
as well form the website.
The Putting Arc is a similar stroke-plane trainer newly introduced
in the US market. This aid was recently featured at the PGA Merchadise
Show with demos by putting guru Mike Shannon from Alabama. The aid
comes in two standard versions -- a heavy wooden form, and a less-expensive
plastic form. The idea is slightly different from the Trueplane, in
that the Putting Arc has the golfer run the heel along a vertical
surface that curves ellipsoidally. From the golfer's perspective,
this curve looks like a very mild "frowny face." Hence,
the Putting Arc trains an arcing stroke path inside-square-inside
rather than a straight stroke path. The plastic version is secured
to the green with tee pegs. For the elite golfer, the Putting Arc
will custom-design and craft a putting arc that uniquely matches the
golfer's own stroke path. HERE.
Fuzzy Zoeller, Masters Champ and current Champions Tour star, has
long been reknowned for his putting. He recently debuted his Putting
Peg, a device for the practice green that offers a smaller target
than the hole but that makes the sound of a ball rattling into the
cup when struck. Fuzzy also offers an indoor model he calls the Putting
Pod. The pod sits on the floor and allows close targeting and realistic
sound effects. Pretty inexpensive, too. HERE.
INTERESTING ONLINE STORIES
Recent stories of note:
PZ WEBSITE DEVELOPMENTS
Since the last
newsletter, these features have been added to the PZ Website:
-- PZ Pikin's -- some old stuff mostly from the Library of Congress
- 1-16-03 - "Show me a golfer who doesn't like music, and I'll
show you a three-jacking hack." ... HERE
in putting, and who got worse, in 2002? 1-9-03 - A look at all the
players on the PGA Tour in 2002 to see whether they gained or lost
in Putts per Green in Regulation. Later, I'll look at what difference
the changes made to money earned and to scoring average ... HERE
Added 5 Tips
from putting guru Tim Sheredy at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy
in Bradenton, showing how they train champion golfers in putting
- 12-19-02 - HERE
Later, and cheers!
The Future of Putting Now -
Golf's most advanced and comprehensive putting instruction.
PS - tell a friend!
use the postcards...