Friday, March 3, 2023

Contact Information

 Looking to change hosts for my blog. Contact page has not been functional. In the meantime if you would like to get in touch with me I can be reached on Instagram @rearickbruce or Twitter @burntedgeputts. Message me there and I will share more contact information.

Thanks for following!

Friday, February 24, 2023

Breaking the Average Barrier - Visualization Strategy

 One of the questions I ask at every initial evaluation is, "Where do you look when you aim?" I then steer the conversation to how they visualize each putt. To simplify the process, I like to use a WellPutt BigTilt platform with the Well Line laser projection system. How you aim is a function of how you see visualize the putt. Basically, which line in the drawing above do you notice first. I happen to see the white curved line to the hole and the yellow start line is secondary. Many of my players are just the opposite. They see the yellow line and the curved line is secondary. Then I classify each payer into one of four categories. Are you linear or non-linear. Which line do you notice first. Then are you a specific aimer or a non-specific aimer. People who aim a line on the ball would be examples of specific aimers. Those who prefer to match alignment to start direction are more non-specific. Like all things in golf. Everyone is different. I could probably write a book on the different experiences I have had just with how players visualize their putts. The important thing is for you to figure out what works best for you and create a habit of looking at every putt the same way. 

Disclaimer - I am an affiliate for WellPutt. If you are interested in any of their products feel free to reach out to me by email and I would be glad to assist you. 

Friday, February 10, 2023

Breaking the Average Barrier

Five Reasons you might Miss a Putt

I believe one of the reasons we don’t see an improvement in putting statistics at any level is that we really don’t address the issues that cause you to miss a putt in the first place. So for what is worth, I offer these suggestions on why a great stroke might result in a missed putt. 

5. Let’s start with the obvious one, a poor read. This is always going to be a work in progress, as every putt will be unique. Even the exact same putt can change depending on the day. Often the inability to find an appropriate start line or direction is more of a problem than seeing the actual break. I have recently had some experience with the WellPutt Big Tilt and WellLine Visualization System. It is amazing to see the reaction of players, when the start line is projected along with the actual path to the hole. It is almost never what was expected and often they don’t believe it until they hit the putt. Understanding the metrics of a rolling ball is important to being a better putter.

4. Inability to strike the ball on a consistent point on the putter face. As we look to develop a feel for speed, how fast the ball leaves the putter and in what direction it travels it is an enormous help to strike the ball on a consistent spot on the putter. Years ago Dave Pelz showed that the better the putter the smaller the dispersion of impact points on the putter face. There is no getting around it. If you don’t strike the ball where you set the putter in the first place, the odds of the putt being missed climbs dramatically. I will leave the discussion of “more forgiving” for another time. We are talking about made putts as opposed to narrow misses for the purpose of this discussion.

3. Bad Balance. One of the great understandings I have developed from my work utilizing concepts from Mike Adams, Terry  Rowles and the Ultimate Golf Lesson is the concept of how we use ground forces for STABILITY when we putt. I look to find an anchor point in the stroke. This is measured from front foot to trail foot and from heel to toe and it is unique for each player. Why? It is very simple. If you are off balanced based on individual tendencies during your stroke - YOUR HANDS WILL REACT - and a subconscious movement that repeats itself becomes a conscious one that has to be manipulated. 

2. Poor Trail Hand Orientation. The biggest battle most of us have in our putting stroke is how to control the trail hand. Another huge discovery I received from the measurements of the Ultimate Golf Lesson is how different players have impact tendencies in the orientation of their trail hand. Matching these tendencies to your static grip is crucial in controlling the putter Speed and Direction in equal measure. Game Changer!!

1. Consistent Ball Position. If your stroke repeats, the ball position required relative to the center of rotation of the stroke must repeat as well. I use the balance point of the body at the base of the neck as the reference. Where the ball positioned relative to this point is often the difference between make and miss. You spend a great deal of time learning a repeating stroke, but much less time finding a repeating ball position relative to the stroke. So if the ball is positioned a little forward or back of the correct point this results in enough variance in the strike to miss the putt. Watch the very best putters on television. Notice how meticulous they are in their set up. It is a critical part of their success.

If you would like to go into depth, I have some open spots available for stroke evaluations. We have developed a system that allows me to achieve this online and has been proven to be helpful for a number of players. It takes about 30 days on average to go through the process and requires a cell phone to take videos. A helper or tripod is useful as well. 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Ultimate Golf Lesson at PGA Show.

 So very grateful to be working with Mike, Terry, Dr. Cheetham and Dr. Duffey again.

Click this link for more information on how to sign up.

See you in Orlando!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Breaking the Average Barrier - Part 4

As I continue to compare average performances on the putting greens with an exceptional ones, rarely do I hear comments about the quality of the putting stroke. More often I hear comments about the ability to see or predict the path of the putt, "I could really see the line today." Or a comment like, “ I had a good feel for the greens today.” You can call this aspect of putting a number of things. Read, visualization, decision making, and many more are accurate descriptions of the pre-putt process. Being an old guy, I prefer the term visualization, as that is the phrase that my mentors used to describe the process. So for the sake of this discussion let's use that term.

As I was taught, visualization is a two part process. First part, the ability to “see or picture” the path the ball will travel as I calibrate the texture of the grass and the influence of the slopes. The second part is the ability to “feel” how much effort will be required to match what I see. Think of this combination, as a complete rehearsal of the upcoming event in your head. 

The secret of visualization is the ability to match what you see to how it will feel. 

As every player and every putt form a unique combination, there is no possible “one size fits all” solution to this problem. The following are some thought provokers on how to build your visualization strategy.

As you process the requirements of the putt, how do apply the conclusions to your choice of direction? 
    For example do you see the direction of the putt in a linear manner, or straight line to a point left or right of the hole? Or do you see the putt as a curved path from start to finish. Or do you see it as a combination of both. 

How do you create speed with the putter? 
Do you regulate the effort based on the strike,  or the length of the stroke, or do you change the rhythm of your stroke to increase or decrease the tempo. (BTW the latter is a very successful technique that has been coached out of many strategies)

How do you process the distance the ball must travel?
Do you do it numerically? Where the effort is calibrated to a number. Much like I would with a full swing club.
Do you process it visually? Do I putt to a mental picture. Or do I look at the hole when I putt. 

How do you transfer the process of defining distance to a feel?
Mentally - A subconscious effort?
Physically - Practice strokes?

These are some of many questions I ask in my sessions online or face to face. Each answer produces the next question. It is interesting how these understandings lead to answers of mechanical problems much like a discussion of mechanical issues help visualization skills. The key point is they are not separate. Feel or mechanics have to match visualization or decision process. 

Friday, October 7, 2022

Online Program Updates.

I have been fortunate to have had a number of inquiries recently pertaining to my live instruction and online lessons. I would like to publicly express my gratitude for the opportunity to work with players and instructors from all over the world. 

The following describes the two online programs I offer.

The fee for an online lesson is $250.00. It consists of 4 parts.

  1. We find the appropriate distance from the ball and and the proper ball position that helps you aim and perceive the target accurately. 
  2. Based on the length of your arms as they relate to your height, we find the posture that keeps you in a balanced position over the ball. These first two are tied closely together and the discussion is interchangeable. 
  3. Once the set up is decided, we build the stroke mechanics that best suit the requirements of the ball position. This is where I differ from the industry. I build each stroke to match ball position, where most adjust ball position to the movement. 
  4. Finally, we look at the putter and question whether it compliments or interferes with the first 3 decisions.

I consider strategic decisions and speed control issues a different lesson, as we can’t really have that discussion without an understanding of the first.  Same fees apply.  

Obviously, this takes some time. The fee covers the time required, with no additional charges. We work at your pace. 

The second is the unlimited program. There is a onetime fee of $1000.00. It is a comprehensive look at my system and how we make the 4 decisions and how those decisions apply to strategic decisions. This program puts me on a retainer. I use FaceTime, video and text to walk you through the system. It includes a course 490 page course guide to use a reference.  The guide is updated occasionally and all updates are included. Should we have the opportunity to meet face to face, as a participant of the unlimited program there is no charge. It also includes all Zoom open forum meetings, we plan to start after the first of the year. 

You can reach me through the contact page, I normally respond quickly and will include all contact information in the reply.