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Putting Nightmares

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So after a long 6 months of no golfing due to weather here in NE Ohio, I went out for my first time and developed really disgusting putting habits over the winter. I am still currently using a 35" Odyssey Crimson 660 Series blade. Last year, I was by no means a great, or even good putter - but I was "okay" and respectable within my own means. I typically left the ball dead at the hole - or within a 3' radius from anything outside of 12'.

 

Off-hand, I am wondering if it is time for me to pick up a new putter. I have not been fit for a putter yet, but I do have more of a "crouched/leaned over" stance while putting and when choking down on the grip, my index finger on my right hand (I'm right-handed) has a tendency to stretch down vertically onto the steel shaft of my putter.

 

I have a 33.5" Wrist-to-Floor measurement and 7.5" hand length. I'm 6'1 as well (not that that plays a major role).

The issue I seem to be having is just getting my putts on the line I am seeing. I typically start putts and leave putts right of the line and hole.

 

Though I do plan to get fit for a putter, can anyone else relate to this somewhat - or describe a similar issue and your resolution to the issue?

 

I had a generic fitting at GolfSmith which resulted in having an Odyssey ProType Black #9 34" putter  recommended to me. I found that a bit odd, as it would seem very easy as a "salesman" to recommend a $269.99 MSRP putter to someone having issues.

 

A personal friend of mine recommended I check out a 33.5" Odyssey Metal-X Rossie after doing an informal fitting with him as well (he is not certified, but is knowledgeable). I am definitely a fan of the 3 alignment aids on the top-line of that particular putter as well.

TooLongToRead - My putting is F'd at this time and I keep leaving my putts short and right of the hole. I typically start my misses right of my line and I am currently using an Odyssey Crimson 660 Series blade putter that is 35" and I never went through a putter fitting. Is it simply time to go to a fitting? The last time I tried, the recommendation was a new $270.00 Odyssey ProType putter.

 

EDIT: In addition, I have been told numerous times that by placing my index finger on the steel shaft of my putter, that the putter is simply too long for my putting stance/style. Several people recommended a shorter putter (at least a 34") with a longer "pistol" style grip as well. I'm pretty confused right now and just need some feedback before I follow through with a GG or GS recommendation.

post #2 of 7

I normally try to avoid posting in threads from people who are near enough to me because I don't want it to come off as trying to solicit your business (for lessons, putters, etc.). The debate over whether that's reasonable or just stupid on my part is for another time, but I've tended to take the side that my advice is seen as more "unbiased" when it's not going to lead to a few bucks in my pocket.

 

I'm making an exception in this case, and yes, you're close enough that I'd encourage you to come by Erie sometime for a little look-see, or stop by when we're out your way. But even if you don't, the below is still the exact same advice I'd give to anyone regardless of their location.

 

You putted well with your putter but now don't. Guess what? Buying a new random non-fitted putter will only temporarily fix what ails you. In the end it'll be a waste of $100 to $300.

 

Great putters do three things well:

  1. Read greens.
  2. Control distance.
  3. Start the ball on their intended line.

 

AimPoint is great for the first. Various threads here about that, so I won't go into more detail. It's money well spent, whether it's with me or someone else.

 

A properly fitted putter (and I don't just mean for length and lie, or whatever method your friends did - I mean a TRUE full-on putter fitting) can help with the second and third, and you can look at various threads here which talk about Edel putters. I will add this, too: though an Edel putter makes lining up and thus starting the ball on-line much easier, and controlling your distances easier, you still need to practice it.

 

In other words, rather than buying a new putter, I would suggest that your stroke is poor. You're doing something which makes hitting your lines and controlling your distances difficult. A part of it may be your putter - a big part of it, perhaps - but you shouldn't rely on luck giving you a putter that actually fits you. The other part of it is seeing why your stroke is making those two things difficult.

 

We have a SAM PuttLab and it's not only a great diagnostic tool but a great practice tool as well. If you're a 9.4 you are more than a casual golfer, so stop up sometime. You will get better, you'll know how to practice and why, and you'll enjoy the game more.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Erik, as always, thank you for the advice. I've been here a long time and I always appreciate your no b.s. direct approach to a resolution.

 

I would definitely be interested in setting something up with you if time/availability on both parts permit it. Out of curiosity, do you intend on being near NE Ohio (Medina, Akron/Canton, Cleveland) area in the near future?

 

The thing with me is that I never stick to practice drills and only rely on playing the game as my form of practice. This is a big reason why I carry many flaws in my game after playing for 3 years with no formal/professional teaching. Every aspect of the game did actually come "natural" to me to some extent, with the exception of putting.

 

I guess I was just hoping there would be some sort of "Yeah, I had that problem too. Here's a thought to help eliminate/alleviate the alignment issue:" type of solution, but I knew that was impossible and posted my cry for help anyway LOL.

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

So after a long 6 months of no golfing due to weather here in NE Ohio, I went out for my first time and developed really disgusting putting habits over the winter. I am still currently using a 35" Odyssey Crimson 660 Series blade. Last year, I was by no means a great, or even good putter - but I was "okay" and respectable within my own means. I typically left the ball dead at the hole - or within a 3' radius from anything outside of 12'.

 

Off-hand, I am wondering if it is time for me to pick up a new putter. I have not been fit for a putter yet, but I do have more of a "crouched/leaned over" stance while putting and when choking down on the grip, my index finger on my right hand (I'm right-handed) has a tendency to stretch down vertically onto the steel shaft of my putter.

 

I have a 33.5" Wrist-to-Floor measurement and 7.5" hand length. I'm 6'1 as well (not that that plays a major role).

The issue I seem to be having is just getting my putts on the line I am seeing. I typically start putts and leave putts right of the line and hole.

 

Though I do plan to get fit for a putter, can anyone else relate to this somewhat - or describe a similar issue and your resolution to the issue?

 

I had a generic fitting at GolfSmith which resulted in having an Odyssey ProType Black #9 34" putter  recommended to me. I found that a bit odd, as it would seem very easy as a "salesman" to recommend a $269.99 MSRP putter to someone having issues.

 

A personal friend of mine recommended I check out a 33.5" Odyssey Metal-X Rossie after doing an informal fitting with him as well (he is not certified, but is knowledgeable). I am definitely a fan of the 3 alignment aids on the top-line of that particular putter as well.

TooLongToRead - My putting is F'd at this time and I keep leaving my putts short and right of the hole. I typically start my misses right of my line and I am currently using an Odyssey Crimson 660 Series blade putter that is 35" and I never went through a putter fitting. Is it simply time to go to a fitting? The last time I tried, the recommendation was a new $270.00 Odyssey ProType putter.

 

EDIT: In addition, I have been told numerous times that by placing my index finger on the steel shaft of my putter, that the putter is simply too long for my putting stance/style. Several people recommended a shorter putter (at least a 34") with a longer "pistol" style grip as well. I'm pretty confused right now and just need some feedback before I follow through with a GG or GS recommendation.

 

 

OP - sorry to hear about your putting woes.  Based on your post I cannot figure out if you practiced at all during the winter with your putting.  It seems that you did not play golf for 6 months which is understandable considering that it was winter, but that still does not mean that you can't practice.  If you are not practicing then that is what I would suggest.  I practice putting about 7-10 hours each week on the practice green and then in my basement.  My putting has improved quite a bit because of this constant practice. 

 

Since you used to be a good putter with your current putter then there is no reason that you cannot get back to that.  Buying a new putter will not solve any problems.  I know this for a fact because since I started golfing 10 months ago I have gone through 25+ putters (yes I'm nuts but I kind of collect them).  It sounds to me like you just need some practice time to grove your putting stroke in order to get back to where your were or even better......good luck!

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

I would definitely be interested in setting something up with you if time/availability on both parts permit it. Out of curiosity, do you intend on being near NE Ohio (Medina, Akron/Canton, Cleveland) area in the near future?

 

The weather (temperature) will limit our outdoor availability for awhile. I'm in San Diego Thu-Tue but quite literally any other day is available here in Erie at our indoor facility. http://thegolfevolution.com/metro/ - I'm sure you've seen it. We have a 2000 square foot putting green, power outlets for the SAM, and it's 70 degrees or so… :D Come by and we'll do a whole game look-see. Message me and we'll work out some good TST pricing. :)

 

Enough of a public sales pitch though...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

The thing with me is that I never stick to practice drills and only rely on playing the game as my form of practice. This is a big reason why I carry many flaws in my game after playing for 3 years with no formal/professional teaching. Every aspect of the game did actually come "natural" to me to some extent, with the exception of putting.

 

Putting drills aren't fun, but I'm sure you've read my 65/25/10 thoughts on practice, so I think if you develop a few simple drills, you can easily incorporate them into ten or fifteen minutes of practice each week. And I don't even necessarily mean dedicated practice - you can do a lot of them in warm-ups before you go play.

 

There's an idea in golf that's somewhat pervasive that "fixing" things requires an "overhaul" of your swing. That's not what we have EVER done with any student. We simply choose the priority piece for that student and let them work on that. They'll get better, even if they "practice" five minutes a week. If that five minutes is done WELL, and PROPERLY, you can get more out of that than many get out of five hours of hitting balls. And believe me - getting better is addictive. So many will learn to quickly enjoy practicing and will do it more.

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spyder View Post

I guess I was just hoping there would be some sort of "Yeah, I had that problem too. Here's a thought to help eliminate/alleviate the alignment issue:" type of solution, but I knew that was impossible and posted my cry for help anyway LOL.

 

The question is, though: are you aligning poorly, or returning to impact differently than your alignment (or both)?

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Wow, I just re-read my initial post and I apologize for the confusion to the other readers lol. Apparently, I do not make much sense when I have not yet had several AMP energy drinks and a coffee in me.

 

So, the bottom line is that I practiced all winter in my living room. Yes, it is on very short carpet and in no way idealistic in comparison to a true green. However, I feel like my alignment is not the big issue. I feel like I am aligning myself properly, but the return stroke with the putter is causing the issue of leaving the ball right of the hole - take out the result of being short, high, or long.

The putt that I miss most often is a putt that has very little break, or breaks from left-to-right. I will almost always leave my putt short and to the right of the hole on putts that break left-to-right like such:  (

On my second most missed putt, the putt with very little break, I will typically start my ball off on a path that is literally 1" to the right of where I want it started within the first 6" of roll. If I am currently putting a 10' putt with little to no break | , for shits let's say that it is "dead straight" (impossible), I will leave the ball 3-6" short and 2-3" right of the intended line most of the time.

 

These issues have remained consistent for approximately 1 full season last year and during practicing indoors this winter. I also practiced my stroke in my own home, hence the carpeting reference I made earlier.

 

After getting fed up with these results, I am just trying to figure out if a brand new putter could help since I gave this one 1.5 years. I was never a "good" putter, but just "okay" with this putter so far. I also am repeatedly told that the length of my putter is negatively impacting my stroke as well. The rep who gave me a "fitting" at GolfSmith said that I have "very little arc with heel lead" and was not very good at explaining himself in detail when I asked questions.

 

All of this led to my frustrations lol.

post #7 of 7

I see, so you did practice during the winter....well time for plan b then....get a lesson from Steve Stricker.  It worked for Tiger so it should work for anyone.....

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