We are delighted in bringing you our latest in a series on putting.
In this updated article Tour Miss has been in much discussion with tour players and Dr. Joe Parent the renowned founder of Zen Golf and Zen Putting.
We understand Tour players are not poor putters. It’s just that seem to be simply using the non adapted putters which can be very demanding in finding the right balance, body, alignment and, of course, putter.
Studies show affixing the putter shaft to the heel of the putter is not logical for the unique action in putting.
Tour Miss, Fatiha Betscher has spent an enormous amount of time researching and talking with Tour players on the subject of putting logic, putting methods and the benefit of one putter compared to another.
And it’s not the belly putter or the broomstick putter but centre shaft putters that would seem to work best.
It just seems so logical and rational rather than having a putter with the shaft on the heel of the putter.
As long as players don’t have more than 14 clubs in their bag, Tourmiss also finds that using two putters could also be the answer – one for short putter and the other, with a different head weight, for longer putts.
With Joe’s permission hereunder is a description of Joe’s Point Putter and his Point putting method.
What’s The Point?
The Point is to get the ball headed for the hole with the smoothest, most confident stroke possible.
What’s The Point? The Point is a new type of putter, designed specifically for a new type of putting method.
First, The Point Method:
The Point Method is to use your index finger, the one you point with, to direct the path of the putter head along the intended line of the putt as it passes through the ball position. To do so, you have to use a particular grip and a special mental technique.
To keep the left wrist from breaking, you hold the putter grip with medium to firm pressure, locking in the set-up position of putter, hands and arms. The main energy of the stroke comes from the rocking of the shoulders on a vertical plane. There will be almost no movement of the rest of the body for short putts; a little bit of natural movement of hips and legs will occur on longer putts – in response to the shoulders rocking, not leading them. The head position should be steady for all length putts.
The particular grip is one in which the index finger of the hand furthest from the hole (the right hand for right-handed golfers) points directly down along the side of the shaft furthest from the hole. While the rest of the hands are holding the putter grip somewhat firmly, the index finger should rest very lightly, or even float slightly away from the putter grip.
Rock your shoulders to take the putter back, keeping your arms, hands and putter the same as they were at address. Then make a smooth transition, letting the shoulders rock the other direction. Here is the key instruction: as the putter head approaches the ball, press your index finger more firmly against the shaft, as if the index finger is pushing on the shaft to push putter head through the ball position and down the line.
You should have the intention that, as the putter head goes past the ball position, you will point your index finger to follow along the intended line of the putt.
The special mental technique for The Point method is to move your sense of awareness. Instead being in your head watching the whole process unfold, you put your awareness mostly in your index finger. It should feel as if your index finger had its own mind and own set of eyes; so that it could see the line and direct the path of the putter along that line.
Your index finger has one simple purpose: to point along the intended line of the putt while pushing the putter through the ball position along that line. Tune in to the awareness of the index finger as you take the putter back, and activate the index finger as the putter head nears the ball to press firmly against the grip and take charge of directing and pushing the putter through the ball.
I was working with a player who had the tendency to decelerate at impact when putting, and consequently the ball would wobble a bit along the path of the putt and often end up short of the hole. As soon they began using this technique, the deceleration tendency all but disappeared. Their putts rolled more truly and held their line better. And a lot more of them went in the hole.
Second, The Point Putter:
The Point Putter helps you accomplish The Point Method:
- The grip has a flat side away from the ball, not where the thumbs lay on the grip the way most putters have it. This provides the ideal surface for the index finger to push the shaft along the intended line of the putt.
- The grip is large and the shaft is thick all the way along. Studies show that a larger diameter grip makes it less likely for the putter to turn in one’s hands. The perception of the thick shaft gives one the psychological sense that the putter is less likely to be manipulated by the hands.
- The heavy weight of the putter head contributes to a smoother transition from the back stroke to the forward stroke, and provides the momentum that makes it easier for the index finger to guide the shaft without pressing on it too hard.
- The center-shafted feature, midway between heel and toe of the putter, is necessary for the index finger to be pointing along the shaft directly at the line through the ball position.
- The shaft entering the putter head well behind the face of the putter contributes further to preventing deceleration – when the index finger is pointing directly at the ball position, the face of the putter has already started the ball rolling.
That’s The Point!