I can't think of anything more frustrating in our game than losing control of your putting stroke. The “yips” come in all forms and in varying degrees. But no matter what you fight, or how you fight it, the frustration is still the same.
So my goal for the coming year is to begin a discussion to see if I can help you understand, hopefully control and for some, maybe overcome this problem. I am not going to pretend I have all or any of the answers. I am going to share my experiences in the hopes that an open conversation will help find a solution. I don’t like the concept, often stated by the golf pundits, that once you have them, you have them. I have seen them overcome and I hope with an organized effort you can find a solution. My line is, "Just because you have them doesn't mean you have to use them." So that is my goal. To organize an effort to help.
Over the next weeks I intend to use this forum to address the problem. Some examples of topics we will discuss:
We will start, as I do all my instruction, with the conflicts caused by visual issues. I have seen instances where the stroke gets jumpy as the player tries to compensate for aiming issues. Or compensate for an inaccurate perception of target. An example of this would be when a player aims a line on the ball and then struggles when the get to a playing position as the line “doesn’t look” correct.
We will discuss how vision defines the shape of your stroke and how you might have more success utilizing the natural arc of your stroke, rather than manipulating the putter to match a personal preference. The manipulation is often referred to as a steer. Basically the putter gets out of position in the stroke and you react at impact to fix it. I think this is the problem I observe most often.
We will talk about conflicts in your source of motion and the sequence of movements you utilize to finish the stroke. A common example is a player who starts the stroke with big muscles in the core or shoulders, then changes the movement source to the hands in transition from backswing to forward swing. Random movement patterns are another reason we see mid stroke corrections that, depending on your level of anxiety, can develop into a jerky motion.
We will also spend some time talking about how putter design can influence movement patterns. We will spend some time talking about alternative methods and finding a third point of contact to stabilize the motion. With the elimination of anchored putting the most popular system is currently the arm lock style as shown in this picture from the BioMech Golf website. Click the picture to link to their site.
We will also spend a great deal of our time working on the concepts we need when nothing else works. Some focus on the mental side. Learning that putting is hard and how important it is not to react to the previous miss. How to be proactive with our putting rather than reactive.
Most of all we want your feed-back. Good, bad or indifferent. I don’t pretend for a minute to have the answers. I do know that the timeline we will create on how to analyze your own issues has had some success. There is no way I can guess what you require so your interaction is crucial. There are a number of ways you can contact me. Through the email listed on the blog, by commenting below, or creating a thread in my forum on Puttertalk.com. I promise to read and respond to every request. I might not go into depth or detail as I still have my clients to serve. But I will do the best I can. If you are interested in finding out how my system might benefit you on a personal level, I am currently taking on some new clients and have some new options of working with clients remotely.
Much More to Come.....