The U.S. Open just emphasizes the importance of putting.
The problem we face is that, if we decide to work on our game, we are inclined to more often hit some of our favorite clubs and ignore those we don’t like. We all like to hit good shots and gain the concomitant sense of satisfaction and achievement. We don’t work on bunker shots or even our putting which is up to 45% of our score.
Even though the U.S. Open greens were bumpy and extremely undulating the best putters will always do better than the mediocre putters. A good putting stroke – irrespective of the green conditions – will always make more putts than an inconsistent stroke. If golfers — and this includes the elite golfers — were to focus on the fundamentals of putting and understand how to constrain at least five of the six degrees of freedom they would score better and enjoy the time they spend on the green.
Jordan Spieth, now one of the youngest superstars, is a very good lag putter — I am not sure he knows why he is so good — but even Jordan shows some signs of trepidation on short putts which becomes obvious by his indecision as when to look at the hole or to look at the ball when making the stroke.
The question with this unusual technique — to avoid trying to control the putter path on short putts — is; when is a “short putt”, a “short putt” and therefore when do you stop looking at the hole?
Yes we do have a superstar, a worthy champion, and a good putter but we all need to understand the importance of putting and sticking to the fundamentals. Believe it or not you can teach yourself how to putt and in so doing help those who you care for get on the right track from the beginning of their golfing careers.
Next week we will divulge the inside story of the Frog Stick , your essential practice putting device.