Connect with us

News

My search for putting success

Published

on

By Brant Brice

GolfWRX Contributor

What do we do when our putter fails us? How do we feel when that once beautiful piece of shiny exotic metal lets us down? Or that putter you’ve had for years and years that has always been the one club you swear you’ll never replace in your bag becomes replaceable, and no longer easily guides your ball into the hole? So starts the agonizing search for the new “it” girl in your golf bag to cure your newly found yips.

We have all found ourselves on the indoor putting green in a local golf superstore wading through 400 putters heavily promoted by 10 different mega brands? You get basically three choices: those that are identical in some way to Karsten’s original Ping Anser style putter, those that look identical to the 8802 iconic putter or the ones that look like a spaceship on a stick? Fourth option … Have you been glancing over at those hot new belly putters that will make you look cool like Keegan Bradley or Webb Simpson, or the senior tour broomstick long handle putters that make you look like Bernhard Langer? Did you actually pick one up and strike a ball with one secretly praying none of the sales guys would see you? Worse yet, a member from your club witnesses you taking a rip with a 43″ spaceship made out of outer space alloy. Don’t fret, I’m here to help … hopefully!

Like most of you I have gone through many, many putters. My collection sits at about eight right now. I play a mallet style from TaylorMade. I also have two putters that I am in love with that I purchased only as collectors pieces — a Ping A1 with the sound slot and an Acushnet Bullseye a la Corey Pavin. I also own a few Anser style putters including a broken Scotty Cameron, a Rife 8802 copy, and now a 41” replica of Fred Couples’ belly blade putter. And oh, a 27″ blade I cut down to see if Robert Garrigus was on to something (turns out he wasn’t, and my back still hurts from that experiment). I think I am a pretty good putter. I can read greens well, I have an amazing number of putts that I make from 20 to 40 feet, I lag very well, I tend to consistently start my putts on line, but my ego shattering misses are from inside 4 feet. That last part has become so insidious that naturally I started the search for the putter that could make me putt like Freddie C.

I was incredibly uncomfortable in the local shops testing the belly and broomstick models, especially the broomstick conceding in some way that I was a lousy putter and needed a crutch. I also felt dumb since I basically own one of each style already including a heavy putter. So why was I here? Every week on the TV we hear how the long putters will fix the yips, and how they have resurrected careers like Langer, Senior, Scott and Couples. The R&A and the USGA haven’t outlawed them (yet) and they have had some newly found success on the tours. So I built a belly putter that is 41″. I tested every belly putter in the usual stores and found 41″ to be well suited to my build. I took it to a course I don’t play and spent days testing the new weapon against my arsenal of dust collectors. What did I find? I found out quickly I needed to add weight since having the ability to manhandle the thing was a bad idea. I added a lot of lead weights, and the putter is now nearly 400 grams total. Results: I loved it from 40′-4′. I made a ton of long distance putts, and I start the ball on line very well. With it, I am a great lag putter, but I wasn’t very good from 4 feet and in and was still pushing the ball to the right. Turns out after four weeks practicing and tinkering, I was the same putter as I was with all of my other putters. I spoke to a PGA professional and within five minutes he had me rolling in 4 footers like they were 6″ putts. My ball position was too far back which encouraged me to push the ball and to take an ever wider open stance to counteract the push.

So do the longer putters help amateurs? I emphatically say no. Adam Scott, Fred Couples, Bernhard Langer, etc. are still far better putters with a standard blade than you or I are with our best putter. To them and to you, your best putter is going to be the one that feels the best in your hands and allows you to make a smooth tension-free stroke that inspires confidence. If you are going to venture into the belly market, understand that a belly putter swing comes from the shoulders not the hands. They do promote a much more relaxed swing, so if you find one that just feels better than what you have, you will in fact putt better.

Go see a professional and have your favorite putter fit to your swing, posture and grip. Then instead of dropping $300 on a new flatstick, pay the pro to give you a lesson after he or she sees your flaws. Finally, and here is the absolute secret to GREAT putting … PRACTICE. Stop machine gunning 100 balls with your driver once a week and wonder why your putting doesn’t improve and spend some quality time on the putting green practicing distance control, starting putts online and reading greens. Practice with one ball, not three. Put together a practice routine that adds pressure and covers distance, line and touch. You will save a ton of money and will actually lower your handicap.

P.S. If the fine folks at Cameron are reading, I could be persuaded to put that Taylormade putter back in my collection if a 34″ or 41″ Kombi shows up at my doorstep! Turns out my broken Studio Select 2.5 Cameron was a fake … but that’s another story!

Click here for more discussion in the “Putter Forum”

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

We share your golf passion. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX, Facebook and Instagram.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Photo Galleries

Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

Published

on

GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

News

An instructor’s perspective on the Chamblee/Dufner Twitter controversy

Published

on

If you have not had a chance to read the latest exchange on Twitter between Brandel Chamblee and Jason Dufner — and his teacher Chuck Cook — you have missed a wonderful controversy brewing. As you may know, Brandel is never one to hide his feelings on his views of the golf swing (he’s against The Golfing Machine teachings). And when people disagree with him (Jason Dufner), he’s not hesitant to tackle his opposition head on.

I’d like to take the time to weigh-in on what I feel should be focused on from an instruction standpoint, instead of what has been said on Twitter in this controversy.

Brandel’s side

First of all, I consider Brandel to be a friend of mine and he has been nothing but gracious to me during my professional career; though we have differing viewpoints on certain things. I have often called or emailed him, asking his opinion on one thing or another, and he has never failed to answer me. In fact, I love hearing what he has to say, even if it’s the opposite of what I feel personally and professionally — he hardly speaks without research to back it up. When you have the kind of stage he has, you must be armed with facts.

As we all know, Brandel is not a fan of the new breed of instruction. He prefers the old school methods, and clearly from his initial Tweet that sparked the entire controversy, he prefers an upright backswing. He is not a fan of most technologies used on the lesson tee, and he is very vocal regarding the Golfing Machine book and the Trackman launch monitor. While I hold both these things dear to me personally, I do understand how he could not be as convinced as I am of their successes within the game.

People must understand his opinion is a matter of perspective, and though he has this perspective as a player, and as a player-turned-teacher, he does not have the thousands and thousands of hours on the lesson tee. This does not make him right or wrong, it just gives him a different viewpoint.

Dufner’s side

As a teacher myself, I admire Dufner’s rise to fame and to the top ranks as a player, and I applaud him for doing so in spite of the odds and the drama that has gone on within his personal life over the last few years. I am proud to see him step up on a public forum and defend Chuck Cook (his long time teacher) on this Twitter thread. It is refreshing to see! Though I don’t know Jason, I’d like to shake his hand for doing so. My biggest gripe with Tour Professionals, in general, is their failure to stand by their instructors when things are not going well.

The last time I saw a player defending his teacher this adamantly was in a text string I had with Kevin Kisner (who is a great guy and friend) and John Tillery (his teacher and also a friend), who was not picked as one of the Top-100 Teachers on the latest list by Golf Magazine. As I told Kevin and John, it is a matter of time before he is recognized by Golf Magazine. The lists are subjective and many things go into the selection process; they make good choices and other times they make mistakes. John is a heck of a teacher and will always be Top 100 in my book! So kudos to Jason and Kevin for standing up for their guys…they both deserve it 100 percent.

Chuck Cook’s side

How Chuck was dragged into the middle of this whole controversy is beyond me, because he is one of the nicest and most soft-spoken guys. I also consider him the top-1 percent of teachers within our business. Chuck was in Vail for many years while I was also teaching there, and we have been on many outings together. He has been nothing but professional to all of us and anyone he comes into contact with personally. When someone questions him or his ability to teach at the highest levels, I can only say look at the two U.S. Open Champs he has taught, as well as what he’s done with countless other people within the game of golf. He is a smart and stand-up guy and deserves nothing but respect from all of us.

Chuck, I wish I could be HALF the teacher and person you are and have always been! That is a fact.

The Golfing Machine

Now, we could write an entire article series on the book I call my bible within the golfing world. However, 99 percent of the people in the world call it a “method,” or too complex, although every top teacher uses its methodologies within their instruction. It is ONLY an encyclopedia of motion — that’s it. It tells you what will and will not work together during the swing. What the book lacks has been the proper messenger to get the word across and that blame is only on timing. That’s not a knock on the past teachers who have used it or the players on Tour who have employed it.

Homer’s great book was born in 1969, and sadly the world would not be ready to hear these type of ideas in this type of format until now. And, like anything, it has been grossly misunderstood. The book and teachings have been chastised and will continue to be until a few more generations realize the greatness of what is contained within its pages. Only time will help our cause.

The Conclusion

Its all good… it’s not a big deal people! Please understand we ALL come from different places within the game and have our own opinions based on our perspective. Remember that these are all subject to change and can at any time. Every one of the people in that string of Tweets have their own agenda to promote and have the basis to call themselves great in what they do for a living. As long as we all have a drink and a laugh together at the end of the day, I see no harm in a gentleman’s disagreement between friends as long as nothing was done out of malice.

Your Reaction?
  • 103
  • LEGIT10
  • WOW2
  • LOL7
  • IDHT2
  • FLOP18
  • OB6
  • SHANK155

Continue Reading

Popular Photo Galleries

Friday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

Published

on

GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

Related

Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Friday’s Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 1
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending