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Geoff Mangum's PuttingZone Newsletter
January 2003 Issue
January 30, 2003

Hi Folks!

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 --

1. Who Improved in Putting 2001 to 2002, and Who Didn't

2. Dr Tony Piparo on Pressure Putts

3. Five New PZ Tips

4. Featured Putters & Putting Aids

5. Interesting Online Stories & Resources

6. PZ Website Developments


1. Who Improved in Putting 2001 to 2002, and Who Didn't

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.


2. Dr Tony Piparo on Pressure Putts

Dr Tony Piparo is 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, Master 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

Dr Tony Piparo
1-Putt Golf School
Winston-Salem, NC

EXCERPT:

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 HERE 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.


3. NEW PZ TIPS

1. STROKE: Stroke Path Straight or Arcing? - BOTH

2. STROKE: The Battering Ram Stroke

3. TARGETING: See the Spider

4. SETUP: All Sidehill Putts Tend to Run Lowside

5. TOUCH: Downhill Putts as Easy as Pie


Click any title to view the FULL ARTICLE.

1. STROKE: Stroke Path Straight or Arcing? - BOTH

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.

2. STROKE: The Battering Ram 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.

3. TARGETING: See the Spider

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."

4. SETUP: All Sidehill Putts Tend to Run Lowside

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.

5. TOUCH: Downhill Putts as Easy as Pie

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.


4. FEATURED PUTTERS & PUTTING AIDS

1. Ed Opie's "Breeds Confidence" Putters

2. Peter Pinters "Pinter Putter"

3. Bobby Geiger's Sure Putt Cups

4. Roger Brooks' Trueplane Trainer

5. The Putting Arc

6. Fuzzy Zoeller's Putting Peg & Pod


Click any title to view the WEBSITE.

1. Ed Opie's "Breeds Confidence" Putters

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 a look.

2. Peter Pinter's "Pinter Putter"

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 a look.

3. Bobby Geiger's Sure Putt Cups

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 recently:

"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 while putting.

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, 1-30-03.

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.

4. Roger Brooks' Trueplane Trainer

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.

5. The Putting Arc

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.

6. Fuzzy Zoeller's Putting Peg & Pod

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.


5. INTERESTING ONLINE STORIES

Recent stories of note:


6. PZ WEBSITE DEVELOPMENTS

Since the last newsletter, these features have been added to the PZ Website:

  • More music -- 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

  • Who improved 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

  • More Tips, More Aids, More Putters, etc.


Later, and cheers!

Geoff Mangum
The PuttingZone.com
http://puttingzone.com
The Future of Putting Now -
Golf's most advanced and comprehensive putting instruction.

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