Putting is 41% of golf. Fewer “putts per round” is the quickest way to cut strokes. A properly fitted putter combined with proper technique os the best way to reduce your putts per round in a hurry.
There are two major philosophies/methods of what a good putting stroke should be. One is to have a smooth, gravity-driven, stroke with little effort put into accelerating the putter head into the ball. The distance the ball is propelled is determined by the length of the backstroke and then gravity accelerating the putter head into the ball.
The other philosophy/method of what a good putting stroke should be is to have a fairly consistent backstroke length and controlling the length of the putt by accelerating the putter head into the ball. The amount you accelerate is determined not by the length the backstroke, but by the length of the follow-through.
I have tried both. I tend toward having fast-twitch muscles. The second method works better for me. The first method works better for somebody who can remain extremely calm, even under pressure, and who tends to have less fast-twitch muscles.
Try both and see which one works best for you. You know your own personality and probably already have a pretty good idea of which will work best for you.
If you like the first method, John Ruark is a good teacher of that method. He can be reached at email@example.com or 415-497-7627. He is in Marin County north of the Golden Gate bridge.
If you like the second method, Eric Jones is a skilled teacher of that method. He is also a long drive champion, in case you want to take advantage of his skill in teaching how to hit a ball farther and more consistently. Eric can be reached through his website: targetcenteredgolf.com. He coached a major university golf team to repeated championship seasons while in that capacity.
John Ruark first tests your aim. You use your own putter. He then shows you how to practice a backswing and follow through of equal length. This promotes a pendulum stroke and consistency.
John’s analysis then gets more technical, but not difficult to understand. John uses the Science And Motion putt lab (SAM). Here are two samples of SAM output:
SAM rates your stroke and compares it to the professional golfers who are the best putters.
On the mental side of the game, John uses the Focus Band. It is a brain wave measuring device that puts out sounds to indicate what part of your brain you are using when you putt or hit other shots. Studies have shown what the feedback should be if you are “in the zone.” Because you get auditory (sound) feedback, you can practice having proper thinking that causes lower scores. It has helped a number of our clients break through scoring plateaus to new lows.
Eric’s teaching method for putting is more traditional, but just as effective. He watches your stroke and shows you how to set up for a consistent stroke. He shows you how a shorter backswing minimizes the likelihood of your stroke getting off line. He also works with you to get your acceleration into the ball to match each putt’s length. Eric’s method produces a tighter, more controlled stroke – the kind I use. John’s method works great for many people, but I am not cold-blooded enough under pressure for it to work well for me.