Some goober pulled up a 3 year old thread
I thought the least I could do is quote below the only post in the two page thread that was important since folks will be here reading.
From Geoff Mangum himself....
puttmagic, on 12 February 2009 - 10:17 PM, said:
I enjoy reading about myself! Actually ... I like the criticism and agree with it. However, all that I write is not really intended for the normal golfer. Sorry. I have other fish to fry in addition to simply teaching simple techniques to golfers. For example, I am directly attacking the bs people in golf science because what they are doing is very hurtful to the usual golfer. That means I have to "out Ceasar Ceasar" when it comes to high-falutin' scientific discourse. Can do!!
Here's the teaching for the usual golfer -- simple but very advanced:
Touch is timing and timing is both total time of stroke (tempo) and rhythm (the ratio of the backstroke to the rest of the stroke, and of the backstroke to the stroke down to impact). A "swing" is what allows golfers to have "instinctive" touch, as in "pay attention to distance, green speed, and uphill-downhill, and then just make a rhythmical swing." The rhythm of ALL swings is 1 backstroke timing equals 1 forward stroke from top of backstroke to top of thru-stroke / follow-thru, as in "the same", or count "one" to the top of the backstroke and then the golfer has only and exactly the same time used for the backstroke to get the stroke all done to the top of the thru-stroke. So, whatever your tempo, just count "one" "two". Not hurried and not worried and no chickening out -- just rhythm. Look and swing.
Straight strokes wherever the putter has been aimed come from a stable, balanced, comfortable, responsive setup that establishes the "frame" of the swingset for the stroke (although not a fixed robotic setup), hopefully with shoulder frame parallel to the target line, and then the golfer simply starts the backstroke to join in with the inner sense of the usual rhythm and stands still while the arms and hands and putter swing thru the bottom of the stroke and then into and thru the ball. The "wrecking ball" physics of the swinging putter head with the stable biomechanics for the swingset frame will always send the putter head straight down the line slightly rising past the bottom of the stroke arc. The golfer's job is to set a grip with minimum muscle tone that prevents the putter face from coming out of relation with the shoulder frame, and then making sure that any twisting open of the shoulder frame in the backstroke is mild and that the upper torso and shoulder frame re-square by the bottom of the arc and then stays square at least one inch through impact. The base of the neck and the line of the throat orients to the exact bottom of the stroke on the ground, and the swinging of the putter head actually defines how the shoulder frame moves. A putter that moves straight down the line squarely will move the lead shoulder vertically up from the ground (usually about two inches), since the putter head is also rising vertically up from the target line. This has to persist for about one inch, so it's not that tough.
Reading is pay attention to the slope and the direction straight uphill thru the hole of the fall-line, plus the green speed, plus the arrival speed of the ball over the last 2-3 feet into the cup with the usual delivery speed and the golfer can then instinctively and intuitively predict the final curve of the putt into the cup. Seeing where the target spot is located on the fall-line above the hole is retracing this final curve back out of the hole and then to the ball where the curving changes to a straight line, and then reversing to follow this start-line all the way to where it intersects with the fall-line above the hole. This way the golfer builds a start-line from the curve that also has a touch reference at the fall-line, like a second cup on the fall-line for purposes of an imaginary straight level putt. With the putter face aimed down the start-line and the touch issue basically left to instincts and the "usual" rhythm "one two" back and thru, sinking breaking putts is rather easy from any distance. They are all the same. I also teach a simple way to read and aim without any target at all, just a sense of aiming high enough.
Aiming the putter is standing behind the ball and seeing the straight line from ball to target and selecting a spot 5-6 inches in front of the ball that is on this line precisely, then walking up to the ball and aiming the putter face not at the hole or target but squarely thru the ball at the chosen spot near the ball, and then setting up beside the ball and "checking" where in fact the putter face has been aimed. This last step is the one golfers can't do accurately. To do this, the golfer 1) square the line of the throat to match the leading edge of the putter, which aligns the pupils the same as the aim of the putter face, and also automatically sets the shoulder frame parallel to the aim of the putter; 2) aim the face not the eyes at the ball and sweetspot of the putter, with aiming the face meaning think of the face as having an arrow stuck thru the back of the head out of the bridge of the nose perpendicular to the plane of the head / face thru the ears left-right, and bend towards the putter until this arrow 8-10 inches out from the bridge of the nose points at the sweetspot, 3) rotate or swivel the head on the axis: center of neck out top of head where buitton on cap is located, so the button only spins in place and does not wander left-right when the head turns the face and eyes down the line, and 4) at the end of the face turn know that whatever the straight-gazing eyes see when still looking where the arrow points is the exact spot the putter face aims at. It's not about "eyes over the ball" or "eyes inside the ball" -- that's neither right or wrong so this is irrelevant. What matters is aiming the face not the eyes when "looking down" at the putter sweetspot to begin with.
That's it. Read to select a target on the fall-line. Aim straight at this with the putter face using a spot near the ball and then accurately check the aim beside the ball. If the aim is good, forget the issues of read and aim. All that's left is make a beautiful stroke that rolls the ball exactly where the putter face aims sending the ball off over the spot 5-6 inches in front of the ball, and do this with a smooth rhythm.
Golf instruction doesn't teach touch, reading, or aiming the putter worth a flip, and the stroke stuff is way too complicated and doesn't know anything about the wrecking ball physics that underlies a nice stroke -- and the stroke may or may not feature a straight backstroke depending on the golfer's skill and preference, but it better feature straight and square thru impact at least 1-2 inches. And straight strokes really are not about perfect technique or special technique but about rolling the ball over the spot in front of the ball. Do that, and the stroke is straight. Do that with the usual rhythm, and the stroke is straight with a nice roll and great touch and the start-line and touch matches the read. Technique is only to help get this dumb trick started on line with the least trouble and greatest consistency. But when push comes to shove, the heck with technique if it bothers you -- just roll the ball on the line over the spot anyway you need to. Okay, so you need to be better at reading putts. That's okay, just don't add poor stroke or poor touch to difficulty reading putts. Fix one skill and then fix the next and if you don't fix each skill separately you'll never get near as good as you can be.
I've simplified the website today for golfers only looking for "how to putt" information and can't be bothered with stuff about putters, training aids, golf history, industry news, science for putting biomechanics, motor learning science, and that sort of boring "no athlete would ever care" stuff. If you ever feel confused about something, I apologize, but please feel free to call me or email me (336-340-9079 cell, email@example.com, geoffmangum on Skype) anytime.