foozle vt foo-zled; foo-zling (1892): to manage or play awkwardly; a bungling golf stroke

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Putting, Putting, And Yet Even More Putting

As is often the case, the more time you spend concentrating on your ball-striking the more your short game (and especially your putting) is going to suffer. As both of you, my readers, know by now I've been spending an awful lot of time working on my ball-striking. And I'd like to say that I'm finally starting to reap the rewards of that work, but it might be a bit premature for that declaration. Regardless, my putting has definitely been suffering as a result. I even went an entire round putting left-hand low last weekend, something I haven't done in over two years. And what is ultimately a confidence thing has started to creep into my actual stroke. I'm having a hard time taking the putter back with any sort of conviction and its really starting to show. So.....I've been working on a few things the last few days. 1) I'm trying to clear my mind over the ball by asking myself "Where am I?" and then answering "In the hole over there..." and visualizing the bottom of the cup. 2) I'm trying to keep my grip pressure as light as possible. I've found there's much less twisting and pulling/pushing of putts when my grip pressure is the lightest. And 3) I'm trying to take the putter back with my shoulders and just rock them forward as I make my stroke through the ball. Again, we'll see how this all plays out as the proof will be in my scores. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Yet Another Revelation!

"The Fix" with Michael Breed on the Golf Channel Monday nights is oftentimes just an annoying rant, as far as I'm concerned. But he said something the other night about the position of the clubface at the top of the backswing that really stuck with me. He was talking about the position of the left wrist and how it needs to be flat for a golfer to make a really good pass at the golf ball. I figured out (somewhat on my own?) that to get to that position without manipulating the hands too late in the swing you need to turn the left wrist downward in the takeaway. I'm not sure if this technique would hold water with some of golf's greatest teachers but I'm finding its allowed me to return the clubface in a much square(r) position at impact. It's shank-proofing the swing, sure, but it can also produce a nasty duck-hook if you don't swing down and through the ball "out to right field", if that makes any sense? With a limited amount of research I have found this to also be a very effective technique out of the greenside bunkers as well. With a face open at address and a swing executed along the open stance-line that is universally recommended, too many bunker shots seem to squirt out weakly to the right. Closing the face during the takeaway gets the club back into the sand with that ultra-pleasing "thump" sound and seems likely to continue to softly splash the ball (and the sand) onto the putting surface.