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cfritchie

Unconscious Putting & my first round

8 posts in this topic

I quit playing for 8-9 years due to some stomach surgery, and started playing again last October. When I quit I was scratch.... I'm 50 years old and am not a long hitter but wouldn't consider myself short either. I've been playing to a 5.2 index since coming back and had some nice rounds in the mid to high 70's and a few blow ups with the worst being an 86. I do hit a lot of balls.

I downloaded the book "Unconscious Putting" this past Monday and read it this week, I hit some balls but mostly had 3-4 putting sessions to work on the changes Dave Stockon recommends. I knew the changes would still be a work in progress but felt comfortable enough give it a try. So Sunday afternoon the weather was decent and I decided to "take it to the course."

I was never a "good" putter, and wouldn't say I was a bad putter. My game was based around not making mistakes. I'd have a birdie or two per round and a couple bogies and the rare double. Not really a long hitter, I did have an above average short game.

The first couple of holes I was a bit "locked up" and made a couple of bad passes at the ball and started the round with two bogies. After settling in the result was a 72 with 4 birdies and 4 bogeys and I did miss a 3.5' birdie putt. I made some amazing putts, including 3-4 big breaking left to right for birdie and pars and had some really really nice rolls from 30+ feet that resulted in tap ins.

I'm 50 and it was great to shoot an even par round. As I try to remember my scores back 8-9 years ago I don't think I had many rounds that were even or better, what I recall was a bunch of +1 or +2 rounds that got my official index to a 0.

The point of this is if you haven't read the book I'd really suggest taking the time to do it. I was in the golf biz for 3 years and only needed my oral interviews for my Class A back in the early 90's. I am pretty "technical" with my approach to golf, as I studied under Hank Haney and some of his guys...I do however really appreciate the "feel" approach in this book.

I have a little bit of a pep in my step this week after shooting even par after being back for just a few months. Looking forward to some spring and summer golf!

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Welcome to the site, and back to the game! Just like riding a bike, huh? ;-)
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Like riding a bike into a wall!

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Welcome @cfritchie .  I like that book too.  I did a review of it here.

He also has another book that was really good.

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What kind of concepts are in the book?  Technically what are you doing now that was different before?  Can you explain what you learned/implemented from the book?

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I should start by saying I would have considered myself very "above average" with "thinking" about am I making a "correct putting stroke?" I know there are flaws in my stroke (relative to it being perfect"), but I have been a scratch player in the past so the stroke was not really "horrid." I just always felt if I were to have a good putting day I'd have to really concentrate on making a technically great stroke. My misses have usually been a push, especially on short putts.

The book really had me to "let go" of trying to make a perfect mechanical putt. With that said there are some basic key things in the book that are discussed with executing a good putting stroke. Those things for me I felt I was doing pretty good.

The book got me away from thinking about the technical aspect of making a stroke and really focusing on the speed and then the line. I now "trust" my stroke, since it was technically "good enough". The book completely changed my preshot routine as well as how I execute the stroke, and what I focus on when putting.

Simply now I do everything I can to get the ball rolling, and rolling on the correct line for the speed I want. Does it really matter "how" I get the ball to go on the line with correct speed, I don't think it does as much as I use to think it did.

This is still very much a work in progress but I do feel I have a chance to make a lot more putts, and last Sunday I did.

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I should start by saying I would have considered myself very "above average" with "thinking" about am I making a "correct putting stroke?" I know there are flaws in my stroke (relative to it being perfect"), but I have been a scratch player in the past so the stroke was not really "horrid." I just always felt if I were to have a good putting day I'd have to really concentrate on making a technically great stroke. My misses have usually been a push, especially on short putts.

The book really had me to "let go" of trying to make a perfect mechanical putt. With that said there are some basic key things in the book that are discussed with executing a good putting stroke. Those things for me I felt I was doing pretty good.

The book got me away from thinking about the technical aspect of making a stroke and really focusing on the speed and then the line. I now "trust" my stroke, since it was technically "good enough". The book completely changed my preshot routine as well as how I execute the stroke, and what I focus on when putting.

Simply now I do everything I can to get the ball rolling, and rolling on the correct line for the speed I want. Does it really matter "how" I get the ball to go on the line with correct speed, I don't think it does as much as I use to think it did.

This is still very much a work in progress but I do feel I have a chance to make a lot more putts, and last Sunday I did.

In addition, Stockton has his student focus solely on the putting line and how the ball will fall into the cup.  He prescribes not doing a practice stroke (watch Rory McIlroy) because it removes focus on the line.

Stockton breaks the putt down into three sections noting that the section closest to the hole is where it will break the most if slope is constant.  He wants you to see where the ball will drop into the cup using a clock analogy (6 for straight in, 5,  4 o'clock for right to left breaks, 7, 8 for L to R, etc.).  You approach and set up to the ball while staring at your line.  You only look down to aim your putter head to the start line.  He also wants you to pick a point an inch or two in front of the ball just before putting.  When you putt, you focus on rolling the ball over that point.

I really sped up my putting by doing this.  I found that a practice stroke did not improve my distance control, so I eliminated it.  It is relaxing too because you only focus on the line.  I use his methods for everything but read.  I use AimPoint for determining the break.

Watch Rory putt.  He is a student of Stockton's.

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I have always paid a bit more attention to the last third, I am paying a bit more attention to where the ball must enter the cup. I always did but not sure it was as high on my list as it is now. I am looking at an inch in front of my ball...previously I would pick a spot 2-4 inches in front of my ball and align my self to that, but not anymore. Looking at the spot to roll your ball over and not looking at the ball is a BIG change. That has been the biggest challenge but it starting to feel a bit natural, I can tell I roll the ball better instead of "hitting" it.

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