Pros: Dave tries to get you away from thinking about mechanics and releasing the athlete in you - "see it, hit it" is his mantra. Good routine.
Cons: He could spend more time on green reading and seeing the line -- a little more science would work - but Dave is not a science guy.
Why Should You Buy this Book?
I purchased this book, not for mechanics, but for Dave's pre-shot routine and what to look at over the ball (a spot).
Is Stockton Big on Mechanics?
No. Stockton eschews a lot of modern day mechanics, as opposed to a guru like Mike Shannon, who will put you through a rigorous SAM and video analysis, and tell you about the angles that PGA Tour players own, and how their putter moves through the zone.
Dave would probably say "bull hockey" to all of that ghee-whiz gizmo stuff.
Stockton says you've got to have the proper mechanics for your body type, and that each of us have a swing signature. After you get that, it's all about "see it, hit it." And this book is about seeing it and how not to get in your way so you can hit it ... into the hole.
Does Stockton think you should try to make every putt?
Hole that sucker.
What is unique about Stockton?
No rehearsal stroke; don't look at the ball when putting.
See the line.
Dave wants you to kneel behind the ball and get a look at the line, and then walk on the lower side of the green below the line of your putt. He wants you to see that line, feel that line, imagine how the ball will roll down that line - get that line into your head and keep on looking at that line.
Do you see a common thread here?
It's all about the line (and speed - they're inter-related).
How about the practice stroke?
Dave says, "Screw the practice stroke." Forget it, It takes you away from your line and introduces tension.
So What Would Dave Do?
Cute. From behind your ball, walk around to the ball, looking at your line and with the empty right hand go ahead and make a couple of practice motions to get a feel for the putt and relax.
Now grip that thing, and put your putter in front of the ball to gain some feel for the putt, then behind the ball, all the while looking at your line and imagining that ball rolling into the cup. Always be moving a little, do not stay still. Squeeze your toes, get your body in position, take a look at the line (Note: I'm thinking speed), look 2 inches in front of your ball at a spot along your line, and pull the trigger. Keep that head still until the putter stops.
Do not stand over the ball and think - it takes away all of your athleticism and feel, and introduces mechanics into your thoughts. Forget it. See it, Hit it.
He's Got to Have Something About Mechanics, Right?
Yes - Dave has pp 38-52 with pictures and everything, talking about mechanics, ball position, etc. Never fear, mechanics are here!
But if you already have mechanics, the book is useful for the pre-shot routine, although there is no substitute for an AimPoint Class.
How Does One Avoid the Dreaded 3 Putt?
Dave says he focuses on the line, but he focuses on speed even more. He doesn't want to leave it more than 18 inches past the hole (but AimPoint guys know it's not more than 12 inches). Dave says it's not about being passive or lag putting -- no way -- he doesn't want to "hit" the ball and jam it in - he is specific about his speed. He advises you not to take the line out of the putt by trying to jam it in the hole. It's a balance with speed taking priority. One hint: Before you make that stroke, your last thought should be about the speed of that particular putt and where it will drop into the hole.
Comment: I think Dave is trying to say is that Speed and Line are interrelated. When you look at your line, you've got to think about the speed of your putt to sink it, and think about a line with a speed that leaves you a little past the cup.
Yes, Dave offers some fine drills with pics towards the back of the book, and offers tips on what to do if things start to go wrong.
A worthwhile book from one of the game's best feel putters. It's old school and some of the setup is old school. So take what you want from Dave and free yourself mentally from the rest.