tmfool, on 01 October 2010 - 06:17 PM, said:
thanx for all the replies...
i think we pretty much agree on the reasons why the open stance works (individually).
i am interested in suggestions on how to cure the ocassional "push" flaw that creeps in periodically.
shooting 76 w/ 36 putts -- going 0-6 inside 10' for birdie has me thinking about squaring up for awhile.
where are the flatstick gurus?
Are you trying to putt on an arc, or straight-back-straight-through? I don't see an open stance and SBST being a good combination. I think there would definitely be a tendency to leave the blade open. Plus, I think an open stance requires a light grip. Tension in the hands and arms can leave the blade open as well.
I was a pretty good putter for a long while. I used an open stance. As part of my effort to improve scoring I ditched that and "went square." My putting was terrible. But, I stuck with it for a while. Trying to get used to it and give it a chance. I stunk. I went back and worked hard on putting, but my approach was to figure out what I'd do if I didn't think about mechanics or what is taught. I made my mind a blank slate. I built on that foundation. I am putting very good now. As it turns out, what I came up with is little like Davis Love III's routine, with my stroke.
I used to stand over the ball for too long. Tension. Now, I stand behind the putt. I pick my line. I take a couple of strokes to get the feel for distance as I look at the hole and the line. Lastly, from behind the ball, I pick out a spot that's on my line to align the face. I walk right in, align the face, look at the hole and the line, and just make the stroke. My stance is slightly open, and my hands and arms are very relaxed. I am slightly behind the ball. I have just enough grip pressure to keep my left wrist from breaking down.
I do two things just before the stroke and as I make the stroke, while I'm over the ball. I "see" two things. I see in my mind's eye the ball rolling on the line and going at the hole. As I look to the ground with my eyes I "see" my line. It's a little weird, but the line on which I want the putt to start is glowing. It's kind of like a glow stick has been laid right over the first 12 inches of the line of the putt. So when I putt, I make sure I get it started on line, and I have a feel for distance control by also seeing the ball along the path to the hole. "Seeing" these two things makes me completely focused, without adding any tension, because I just stepped in, got that in my head ,and pulled the trigger. It leaves no room for mechanical thoughts, which leads to tension.
The actual mechanics are that the face opens a little on the back swing. Because I see a line, I keep the face square during the impact area because I am trying to hit the ball and make it roll on line. Because my arms and hands are relaxed, once I've accomplished the proper impact ,the face will close naturally.
I've been on a SAM Putting Lab twice and this is proven by the equipment.
Putting is a very personal thing, and almost everyone does it differently. I am not saying this is the way everyone should putt. It works very well for me. For someone reading this it may spawn an idea or two that leads him or her to a unique and better putting game for themselves.
Putt well. Play well.