Thursday, July 13, 2017

Are you Jack or Arnold, Linear or Non Linear Thoughts Part 2

I have had a number of inquiries about the posts I made on linear or non-linear perception as it pertains to putting. Many of you don't buy into the philosophy, but many of you have asked me to share more. Let me say these are observations based on hundreds of conversations with players of all levels about putting and offered as food for thought only. Everyone is different and you have to embrace and understand your tendencies to be your best.


I don't know the first time I heard linear and non-linear used as terms in putting instruction. I think it was in my early days with Sentient Sports representing Science and Motion. I do know that the first time I heard it, I offered that I was sure that my old boss and mentor Arnold Palmer, was a linear thinker. Mr. Palmer saw most golf shots in a straight line from himself to the target. Even when he was in trouble he would look for a straight line solution to the hole, before he would ever consider curving the ball. In putting he would only move the line he chose off the hole when absolutely necessary.


Let's compare that to his friend and rival Jack Nicklaus. Like many players of my generation, Mr. Nicklaus' instruction books were the guideline of our golf games. And it is fair to say he was a topic of many a conversation with Mr. Palmer during our Monday practice sessions. Contrary to Mr. Palmer, Mr. Nicklaus would be my best example of a non-linear putting approach. Watch him on YouTube as he reads a putt. His eyes always started at the hole and came back to the ball. He was visualizing the putt going in the hole, then bringing the line back to determine a start point. Couple that with his perfect speed approach, no line on his putter or the golf ball, and I think we have it right.


So are you more like Jack or Arnold? Remember at the end of the day all of us are just looking for a solution. Never be afraid of the information and never assume what someone says is the right way for you. Try and verbalize your approach to the task. Looks for conflicts in your thinking. Fix the conflicts. That is the best way to get better.

1 comment:

Jonathan Schram said...

Bruce, is it possible for one to have a linear perception of putts of short distance <10ft yet non-linear for longer >11ft putts? I tend to use aim point as a tool but rely greatly on feel and imagination when it comes to putts >11ft.