Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Do you suffer from putting "blindness"?

After badly missing a putt, do you ever find yourself asking, "How could I have missed that?"

If you find you're missing putts from all over, even the short ones, you may be suffering from putting blindness. Symptoms include: leaving 20 foot putts 10 feet short; hitting 20 foot putts 10 feet past; missing everything on the low side; smashing 4 footers through the break leaving 6 foot come-backers; four-putting from 50 feet; silently wishing you'd never been born.

Most golfers use the standard putting grip:

The problem with using this grip is that it mimics the grip of the full swing, and for most players, the full swing is not a thing of deft touch or precise sensation. I have no idea how the subconscious works or what it actually is, but I do know it is something of a simple fool, and if it sees you using a full-swing grip on a putt, chances are your hands will go blind.


(Image courtesy of getintogolf.org)

Here are some other putter grip styles that have come into vogue in the last several years and are helpful at restoring putting sight. They are:


Above: left-hand-low, where you place your left hand below your right. The purported advantage is two-fold: a) it's easier to keep your wrists straight, and b) your shoulders are level.

Then there are the claw grip (and its derivations):



(Images courtesy of dlancgolf.com; polekatgolf.com; pgaprofessional.com.)

I like to call these grips (from left to right): The Dandy, the Bludgeon, and the Glad Hand. They work because they make your brain respond to a putt in a non-full-swing manner--your subconscious thinks, "Hey, this isn't golf. It's... uh... heck, I'm not sure. Let's just hit the dang ball." And PLOP!, you start making puts.

Here's a putting grip that requires its own grip to be installed on your putter:

(wishbonegolf.com)

The creator of this putting system claims it helps with the "yips," a mythical putting ailment that has its basis in neurology.

Lastly, if you're really having a hard time, and mere putting grip changes won't cure your ills, there is the last resort of using a longer putter.

These long putters can be expensive, but if they work for you...?

Remember, 43% of your shots are putts, and they can well determine whether you're going to play to your potential, which is, as we all know and tell ourselves every time we shoot over 90, par--or better.

3 comments:

The Daily Mulligan said...

I'd like to name the last one where you need a grip installed, the prayer. Cuz I wouldn't have one over the laughter of my friends.

I'm going to try the glad hand today.

Cal said...

I point my first finger down the back of the grip. It seems to stabilise the club a bit better for me.

Anonymous said...

Fun article....
I like to call those grips "shit, I know I suck at this because I have no nerves, thank god there are tour players that are no longer afraid to admit that they have no nerves because now I don't look so stupid."