Jump to content

"The Art of Putting" by Stan Utley

Note: This thread is 3702 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Recommended Posts

Does anyone highly recommend this book? I bought Pelz's Putting Bible 2 weeks ago and read 75% of it and am done with it- IMO, a total waste of my time and money. I don't think I want to putt like Perfy :) It felt very awkward.
Link to post
Share on other sites

realed, definitely look into Stan Utley's putting book. Takes an hour to read and you immediately understand. Practice a little, get comfortable with the grip, and in a day you'll see instant results. After a few weeks, my putts per round have only gone down by 1 or 2, but I basically leave my self with tap ins instead of 4-5 feet like before. I'm hoping soon some of those will start dropping, and I'll be around 31-32 putters per round, maybe even a sub 30.

-Just saw iacas did have a thread for the art of the short game. Removed short game post.
Link to post
Share on other sites

utleys book is quite good, but i still think pelz's has value. they both have very different approaches. Pelz is much more academic while Utley is more technical without as much as the way.

Even if you don't like Pelz's technique, some key takeaways from his book are

- speed is more important than aim
- the debate over the straightaway putting method versus inside-square-inside
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read Utley's book last week. I've tried his approach a couple times since, but so far I find the arc swingpath difficult to get used to. That said, I don't think my putter is well suited to the method (I think it's face balanced, and the way it's weighted seems to works better for a straight putt stroke). Nonetheless, I liked the book, particularly the grip advice and his common sense approach to lots of aspects of green reading and putting.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I picked up this book and the companion book on the short game. I'm not interested in reinventing my putting stroke but if I can find things useful in reading distances and lines better on greens I'm all for it. Kind of surprised by the thinness when I first opened up the box and as usual there's the golfers life story, etc. etc. which I am all too happy to skip. I finally found chapter 3 on finding the right equipment. Didn't get two paragraphs in before I was out of bed looking at my two putters. I know I have seen Face Balanced and Toe Weighted before but I never found an explanation or correlated which works for which stroke better. I'm a straight-back and straight-through putter (not the Utley approach) and sure enough the putter that I have (had) currently in my bag isn't weighted for the way I putt. Fortunately my steady eddy backup putter of five years is and it just strutted it's way back into the bag. So, I can say the 17.00 was worth if for that one paragraph alone. Hopefully there's more nuggets of putting goodness to be found as I continue to peruse the book. Thanks Stan!
Link to post
Share on other sites

I read the book, bought a toe hang SC putter, and tried it for about 2 to 3 months. It is a natural swing but I find my distance control to be lacking. One of the pitfalls is that he describes the forearm rotation but observers have shown that he does not do what he instructs.

His book has a lot of fluff. The main value is that he recommends that you map out greens and the fall line. Outside of that, the book has little value in my opinion. Many of the professionals that used his instruction benefited from his short game instruction, not his putting.

I find the work of gravity on the downswing to be a more effective method over this way. I use the cadence 'one potato (backswing), two (downswing), as described by Geoff Mangum on the Putting Zone.
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's definitely true about the fluff -- the chapters on his work with other players come to mind -- but I nonetheless enjoyed reading those parts simply bc I like reading about golf history generally, and Utley's a guy with an interesting story, I thought.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been a SBST putter for as long as I can remember. I've posted on threads in TST supporting that method. I read Pelz' Putting Bible about a year ago. I also listened to the argument and feedback given here in TST about the arc stroke taught by Utley. (I'm open minded).

I suppose it was a combination of short game success using Stan Utley's short game methods that led me to Stan's book, The Art of Putting.

I picked it up July 2nd and gave it a quick read. That night I picked up a heel shafted putter (not a face balanced one like my Odessey 2-Ball). I spent 90 minutes at Golfsmith and was starting to get the hang of the stroke thanks to the simplicity in which the book was written.

The next day I spent 2 hours on the practice green. The first hour was really enlightening, making me realize how I was 'holding off' my wrists and arms during the SBST stroke (as many have said). Using the arc stroke, my forearms made a natural rotation open-to-square-to-closed. The second hour I started knocking them down. I referred back to the book several times (it easily fits in the bag).

One attribute that is common to his putting and short game strokes is to keep your right arm against your right side on the backstroke and let it fold then simply straighten it on the forward stroke. I find this so easy to repeat.

I played 3 rounds over the 4th of July weekend (re-reading the book several times). My putting was simply incredible compared to how I'd been over the past year or so. I averaged 31 putts, but it was the quality of the long putts (true tap ins) and the accuracy of the short ones that made me a believer. The first round included 3 birdie putts of 8, 12, and 15 feet. My 3 footers were going in dead center.

The stroke is becoming engrained although I still think a little about the mechanics just prior to the stroke. I caught myself a few times stopping the rotation through impact which will leave the face open. If you follow his instruction to reduce tension and allow the rotation, the release will happen naturally and automatically.

I practiced during the week and played this past Monday and Tuesday. Monday I shot an 83, uncharacteristically triple bogeying three par-5's (OUCH!!). My back-nine was even going into 18 where I tripled the par 5. The putting was solid throughout.

Yesterday I shot my personal best at my home course (even par 72) thanks to an all around good game (5 birdies including a 15 and 20 footer). I 3-putted 15 and 17 (20 and 30 feet) so all was not perfect, but my confidence with the putter is through the roof right now thanks to Stan's book.

Changing the most important aspect of golf - the putting stroke- after 20 years is risky business. It's only been 2 weeks but, so far, I consider myself to be an Utley convert.

If you're a SBST putter, proceed at your own risk. If you're new to the game, get this book (and - my personal advice - switch to cross-handed which I was glad to see that he says is 'ok').

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always been a notoriously poor chipper and putter. I went to Pelz's school and only got worse.

A couple months ago I bought Utley's Short Game and Putting books (and a Scotty Cameron Studio Select 1.5 33" to replace my two-ball). After reading both books and a little bit of practice, I now consider myself an excellent putter and decent short game and sand player. My partner and I won our flight in a member guest this past weekend and all of our oppenents remarked what a good putter I am (I used to hope for two putts and settle for three putts).

I hope it lasts.

Straight back and straight through just wasn't for me. I just couldn't consistently keep my backstroke on line.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I recommend reading both Utley's and Pelz books. In my opinion Utley's style of putting is the way to go. But other than the actual stroke technique, I learned a lot from Pelz book about how to read greens and pre shot routine etc.
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
I picked up this book a few weeks ago because, as I said in a post about The Art of the Short Game , I needed something to jolt my short game. I've never been a particularly good putter (don't make a lot of birdies but I two-putt a lot) so I thought this couldn't hurt. Plus, I was already an arc putter so it wasn't a major diversion from what I was used to. What I found most valuable and immediately noticed in my own stroke is that I was really more taking it back on a arc and through straight. This is no good as it is basically a push stroke and goes against what your brain really wants to do. Needless to say, when I began folding my left elbow back in on the follow-through and releasing the putter head my rolls became instantly more true and went into the hole with "purpose" as opposed to seemingly dropping against their will when they did go in. A major confidence builder which is one of the most important things in putting IMO.

I'd recommend this book to anyone regardless of skill level. I picked it up used on amazon for like 10 bucks and read it in a couple of hours. Well worth the time and money.
Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Finally recieved my copy. Amazon.com had this one bundled with his short game book for a reduced price with free shipping (slow...but free).

I'm really just getting in to it now. I've been to the practice green and tried some of the principles.

I figured that it'd be tough making the changes but figured now would be a good time to adopt them while my back heals up and full swing practice is a no-go.

For the most part I've been a SBST type putter with my wrists well forward and angled down. It's always felt like a manufactured position but it worked so I kept it going. I've always taken an overly wide stance, too.

Reading the book a bit had me curious as to the changes.

First thing I did was adopt a new set-up:

  1. putter grip in my palms vs seated in fingertips
  2. no more right index finger down the grip...it now rests naturally behind the grip
  3. feet more natural width, as if I were standing normally
  4. upper arms hang down naturally, elbows more against my sides than previous
  5. right hand now opposes left hand at almost equal height position vs before with it lower than left hand
  6. shaft is leaning slighlty toward target at address

The feel of the putter suspended just above the green is tremendous in that I can now feel the head....I can now better feel the head through the stroke as well.

The net effect of these changes is that it is sort of like a little golf swing with a definite "impact" and follow through the ball.

Lag putts were really sharp...distance control was way more consistent than with my prior crouched and low set-up.

10 footers were dropping nicely, too.

Short putts were made with confidence as well...I did "cheat" a little as was my old habit by firming up my left hand a bit. I don't know if I can break this habit.....don't know if I really intend on even trying to.

One thing that also helped me with the grip changes is that the SC grip is simply perfect for my new hand positions.

I've been playing this game off/on since 1992 and I feel like my best putting is ahead of me due to these changes. I'm very grateful for this book. Can't wait to read and try the short game book after I fully absorb and apply this one.

Thank you for the recomendation!!!!!
Link to post
Share on other sites

Note: This thread is 3702 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Support TST Affiliates

    TourStriker PlaneMate
    Golfer's Journal
    FlightScope Mevo
    Use the code "iacas" for 10% off Mevo and the code "iacasjun21" for 10% off SuperSpeed.
  • Posts

    • I've also only played Kelly and The Links Sandestin.  Both were a lot of fun.  Kelly was my favorite.  Sandestin maybe a little too tight and too many houses in danger of my tee shots. 🙂
    • Four rounds to catch up on: 7/20: Finally got my bro out to Croasdaile to play. I shot 51-44 from the blues that included a nine on the 9th hole. Didn’t putt well: a four putt and four three putts. My bro shot 59 on the front, which isn’t bad at all for him since the front is the tougher side out there, but he played awful on the back. 7/23: Back to the home course for the next three rounds. This one was a nice little 87 where I made a quad on the par-3 third and a triple on 14, but played well apart from that, including back to back birdies on 9 and 10. 7/30: I played the day after we got back from vacation and shot a pretty poor 96. Made a nine on the second hole and it just went downhill from there: 49-47 were the final numbers. 8/1: The best round of the four: shot 40 on the front with no doubles, then a 44 on the back which included a triple on 13 and a double on 17. Total is 84, which I’m super happy with. Also dropped my handicap from 13.8 to 13.5. I’m probably gonna play tomorrow as well, so looking forward to that!
    • Adam, you always give great advice. May I make one suggestion? Use a dry erase marker rather than a sharpie. Much much easier to clean off the club face. 🙂
    • Yea, not something you can decide on your own. Someone can say all the benefits of a single plane swing, but it might not work for you at all. 
    • Damn Kevin…I’m not even an instructor but I certainly think you’re doing yourself a disservice in all this pondering and video searching. Not to be an ass but you're all over the place. You’re building a house and analyzing the kitchen sink before even having the foundation poured. Have a good instructor give you a priority piece then focus on that and that alone. You’ll find much better progress that way. Just my two cents.🙂
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. camerongautx
      (30 years old)
    2. CyboNinja
      (40 years old)
    3. Hawk367
      (54 years old)

  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...