Monday, August 6, 2012

Mis-lead by Leadbetter

Golf Digest   September 2012   p.27

Making a longer putt should be accomplished the same way you would make a longer toss of a ball.  Make a short toss and then make a much longer one and you will find that you accomplish it by making you arm swing along a longer arc--not more effort to accelerate your arm, more time.  If you use a basketball, and make two-handed, side-armed tosses you will find this is exactly analogous to putting.

In his article, David suggests that putting distance should be a function of swing size--good so far.  But then the train comes off the track.  He writes, "No matter the length, the key to good putting is hitting the ball at the right pace."  A good putt is not about pace alone.  A good putt requires enough speed to reach the target but also must be on the correct line.  Good putting is the combination of speed and direction.  One or the other is inadequate.

His confusion doesn't stop there.  He goes on to say if your rhythm improves "'ll start to give the longer ones a better chance of dropping."  Rhythm has nothing to do with the length of the putt.  The swinging motion by definition is rhythmic.  Every putt from a 3 footer to a 20 footer and everything in between should be rhythmic.  But do not be confused by David's remarks.  Your stroke can be perfectly rhythmic and result in the putt being 4 foot too short or 4 food too long.

Bottom Line:  Use a swinging motion for putting (this will make the stroke rhythmic).  Accomplish sending the ball different distances by varying the size of the arc along which you swing the putter.  Finally, putting is about both pace and direction.