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

Hi Folks!

Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring!

1. The Brain and Putting

2. Four New PZ Tips

3. Dr Tony Piparo on Putting Touch

4. Featured Putters & Putting Aids

5. Interesting Online Stories & Resources

6. PZ Website Developments

7. My Teaching


1. The Brain and Putting

The Mayo Clinic Sports Science people are revisiting the "Yips" phenomenon / phenomena and are finding more golfers suffer from neurological problems than from psychological problems. This work is part of a constellation of related "brain" studies being conducted by a small group in golf science concerning putting. Other studies include those of Debbie Crews at Arizona State, Joan Vickers at the University of Calgary, and Dr John Milton in Chicago. All of these studies suffer from the same defect -- using the high-tech investigative tools of hard neuroscience to gain piecemeal insights about brain function in a bottom-up approach that tells the golfer next to nothing about how to play the game, and leading to misinformed advice-giving without a sound foundation. The more beneficial approach would use these science resources under the guidance of real experts in putting technique and under the guidance of real experts in neuroscience in a top-down research paradigm. This is the next frontier for golf science, focusing on the brain-body relationship for sports performance. It's important not to let this area of science get stranded on Voodoo Island. For a lengthy critique of the neuroscience involved, see my article "The Mechanics of Instinct in Putting: The Neurophysiological Paradigm for Applied Research."


2. NEW PZ TIPS

1. BASICS - Putting Manual

2. BASICS - Five "Musts" for Great Putting

3. TARGETING - Box the Break

4. SETUP - Feet-to-Ball Setup - Pick Up the Quarter


Click any title to view the FULL ARTICLE.

1. Putting Manual

A practical overview of Touch, Stroke Technique, Putt Reading, and other topics. This manual was commissioned by Dave Lobeck, manager for Fuzzy Zoeller and his Putting Peg aid, and Dave graciously allowed me to post it on the PZ.

Five "Musts" for Great Putting

The five "Musts" for great putting are: 1. Tempo, 2. Touch, 3. Targeting, 4. Technique, and 5. Psychology.

Box the Break

The only part of the green that matters is the part the ball rolls over from address into the cup, so you can "box" this putt and focus only on this surface while learning something valuable about the break and how to start the putt off so it feeds into the break correctly and goes on to sink -- simplify a typical breaking putt to a break point and then a higher aim spot for starting the putt off, with the intention of having the ball break off the start-line so it turns parallel to the baseline right at the break point.

Feet-to-Ball Setup - Pick Up the Quarter

How far out should the ball be away from your feet? It's a matter of balancing the shoulders above the feet, so try this: treat the ball like a quarter you just spotted on the ground, walk up to it to pick it up, and when you plant your foot to bend down, that's the right distance back from the "quarter" -- usually about two putterheads.


3. Dr Tony Piparo on Touch

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 by the Numbers

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

EXCERPT:

... There is no magic formula for determining how hard to putt the ball for a given distance. You just have to figure it out by putting enough balls from a known distance until you produce the memory for that distance. Because the brain is so powerful, you only have to develop the memory for a few distances, 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 feet. Once you have the memory for these distances you will also have the distance control for any intermediate length putt (like 17 feet) less than 50 feet. And with just a little ingenuity you will be able to adapt to uphill and downhill putts as well as faster and slower greens. ...

*****

Click HERE for the FULL ARTICLE, "Putting by the Numbers." If you have any questions or comments about using these techniques you can contact me at DrTee4@aol.com.


4. FEATURED PUTTERS & PUTTING AIDS

1. Nike Blue Chip Putter

2. Balance Certified Golf


5. INTERESTING ONLINE STORIES

Recent stories of note - Golfers


6. PZ WEBSITE DEVELOPMENTS

Since the last newsletter, these features have been added to the PZ Website:
  • A half dozen new putter manufacturers added 3-28-03. Including Simple Simon's Belly Putter and the Belly Putter Network ... HERE
  • Links to EVERY Collegiate Golf Team in the US added 3-19-03. At least those with a website, over 500 site links for NCAA Divisions I-III plus NAIA teams ... HERE
  • 50-60 full-text putting articles from Golf Digest dating back a few years added 3-18-03. To the Putting Articles page in the Tips section ... HERE
  • Some further insights into Bobby Locke's putting technique, added 3-17-03. From Dick Mayer's book, relating what Bobby told him directly late in his life ... HERE
  • Online Mini Putting added 3-17-03. Three FLASH miniature putting games for online play, for those with too much time on their hands! ... HERE
  • Putting Trivia Contest added 3-17-03. St Paddy's Day ... email the right answer and win a free prize... HERE
  • More books added to Putting Books page and to Putter Antiques page. 3-16-03. Some obscure putting books, HERE, and some clubmaker references, HERE.
  • 19 Putting Science articles added. 3-13-03. Including my study of Putting Neurophysiology and my critique of the flawed approach of Joan Vickers, Debbie Crews, and the Mayo Clinic ... HERE
  • Fresh batch of articles posted in the Magazine Rack. 3-11-03. Sports Athlon Golf Annual, Golf International, Golf Magazine, T&L Golf ... HERE
  • Finally, a Site Map for seeing the PZ organization & navigation whole. 3-10-03. Dragging a little ORDER out of a lot of ChAoS ... HERE
  • Lots of new tips posted this week. 3-6-03. Including new PGA Tour tips with videos. ... HERE
  • Revamped Home Page. 2-12-03. For easier, quicker navigation ... HERE The old Home page is still around, now called "Features" ... HERE

7. MY TEACHING

1. Robert Linville's Precision Golf School

I've started working with students of Robert Linville's Precision Golf School in the NC Triad area, teaching out of Meadowlands GC south of Winston-Salem, and at other venues. Robert has this to say:

"Geoff has worked with many of the players at Greensboro College and numerous students from Precision Golf School. I have seen a tremendous improvement in every student in a short period of time. His concepts are very logical and simple to implement. Geoff has more knowledge and expertise about putting than any other person that I know. He is an outstanding teacher and his philosophy is backed with an enormous amount of research. He's definitely at the top of the class. I have given my last putting lesson. I refer all of my students to Geoff."

-- Robert Linville
Director of Instruction -- Precision Golf School
Golf Coach -- Greensboro College
1993 Carolinas PGA Teacher of the Year
1999 & 2000 NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year
2000 US Coach in US-Japan Collegiate Team Matches

1. Working with Jason Carbone

Jason Carbone is a PGA pro from Inverness in Toledo, Ohio. During the Winter, Jason migrates to his job as Master Instructor for the Jim Mclean Golf School in Miami at Doral. Last fall, Jason stopped by Greensboro for two days to hear what I had to say about vision and touch in putting. Jason represents the future in golf instruction.

2. Teaching at the IMG Golf Expo

The International Management Group (IMG) Golf Expo held annually in Cleveland drew tens of thousands from the midwest. I spent three days teaching hundreds of golfers, including kids, some key techniques as part of the Fox Sports 1350 Sports Radio booth. One of my guys won the putting contest and the set of new Nike irons!

3. Joining the Team at Golf Inside-Out

My friend David Geier of Golf Inside-Out takes a team approach to teaching golf, and so far he has collected together Harold Swash, Carey Mumford, and George Kelnhofer. I'm glad to be asked to make a contribution to this group, and will be participating with Dave as he carries out research and teaching that helps people reach their full potential through golf.

4. Working with Bob Montello

Another new friend! Bob is a fine teacher from Connecticut, a coach to players on the Futures Tour and the LPGA, a deep student of the game, and quite a character, too! We recently spent two days together trading putting lessons for full-swing lessons at Pinehurst and in Greensboro. I expect he and I will cover a lot of ground together over the next decade or two.


I hope your Spring is filled with Golf.

Later, and cheers!

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

PS - tell a friend! use the postcards...

 
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