Last week I was on the practice ground at my golf club working on skills when a lady member who was passionate about golf asked me what I was doing. I thought about it for a moment and I quickly changed the conversation to her game. She told me she was in Putting Boot Camp! Graciously, I asked what it was. I was told it was a program put together by our Director of Golf for members who had difficulty putting. I was very surprised that it got to this point for her because she had been playing golf for 25 plus years and was totally frustrated by her putting. If you play golf for any extended period of time you will become frustrated with your putting! It is just the way it is. Sometimes, expectations out weight abilities.
I head home, and bring up the subject to my Son who is in his Mid-20s and plays golf once or twice a year. First words out of mouth where “Please tell me you didn’t go Mister Miyagi on her?” I said sort of because I asked her do you know what putting is. Without sounding patronizing I asked how you can do something if you do not know what it is. I went on to explain to her that putting was about judging speed and slope. That is how Bobby Jones explained it. A putt has all the controllable factors as a regular golf shot before the club goes into motion I explained to her. Now I have really lost her. Wax on, wax off Daniel Son. Grip, stance, posture, alignment, ball position, attitude, and balance are things that can be controlled by us.
I have seen and played against some very good putters and they are all masters of the controllable. They use different putters, different grips, different strokes, the ball goes into the hole at different rate of speed, but they all understand putting. I think if she just took the time to really understand the art of putting and watch and talk with good putters, she may not have gotten to this point.
As for me, I was a below average putter for many years who made himself into an average putter because I finally understood putting. There will be days when the hole looks like the head of a pin. Those are days that separate golfers. Why so you ask Daniel Son? How many players do you that can Putt it onto the head of a pin?
After this last Miyagi moment I think I will stay quiet and trust the quality of what I know.
Catch you on the flip side.