Saturday, July 16, 2011

PUTTING TECHNIQUE OVERHAUL: Getting Our Body Much Much More Into the Act

I’ve been asked in several emails if I would explain in more details my technique of getting our body more involved in putting. 
In the Mongoose Golf Swing. . .You merely lift the club into position. . .thus eliminating the many horrors that originate in the infamous “takeaway.”  Well  . . .something similar. . .although in reverse. . .happens when people come back to the ball while putting.
We take our grip on the putter. . . always a mystery to the majority of golfers . . .address the ball (after deciding the so-called “line”). . .rotate our shoulders to take the club away. . .then rotate them back. . .making contact with the ball and finish.
Back to the Mongoose Golf Swing. . .once we’ve got the club in position. . .by merely lifting it up. . .we now contract the muscles of our right shoulder. . .arm  . . .and hip (if we’re left-handed it’s the left side). . .which prepares us to strike down at the ball and up into a finish as we rotate around.

Contracting the muscles helps us change directions. . .and prepares the whole upper body for action.  This is the most powerful method of striking a golf ball possible, period!  So I pitch the “More Power, Less Effort” phrase as pure fact.
The same goes for putting.  We take the club away from the ball with our hands and shoulders. . .but then we have to change directions to come back to the ball and apply the exact amount of force we need to get the ball to the hole (I recommend the thought of hitting it past the hole. . .which I’ve already written about: see Archives).

To achieve this is a much more controlled way. . .I recommend contracting the muscles of the entire right side of your body (left side for lefties like me). . .and using the body to make contact with the ball.  Why?  Having demonstrated this a thousand times and then some. . .over the years. . .people are astonished at how much more FEEL they have in their bodies over their shoulders and hands.  


In truth. . .it’s about getting more billions of nerves into the act.  Much more feel of what is going on.  Eventually. . .you'll get to the point where it’s significantly easier to gage the amount of force needed to make the putt go exactly where you’re aiming it.

When I say “contract your muscles”. . .I’m not suggesting that you bind yourself up as if to throw a big punch. . .or heave a shot put.  Just contract all those muscles along the side of your body enough to feel the body begin to engage in the act.  The result is a kind of pop putt. . .the idea being to “pop” the putt off the putter.  Pop!  There’s a thwack sound when you strike the ball correctly with the full Mongoose Golf Swing. . .and there’s a “pop” sound when you hit the putt correctly.
FORGET THE CONCEPT OF “STROKING” THE BALL.  Think only of “popping” it. . .using your body to create the quick contact with the ball.  And don’t give up because you miss a bunch of putts.  Soon. . .you’ll be making many more than you deserve.
The late Billy Casper was my all-time favorite putter on the pro tour (he won 51 tour events. . .including 3 majors).  He popped his putts because he wanted the blade of the putter to make the least needed contact with the ball and yet get the job done.  He had a very short "stroke". . .which he developed over the years.  If you watched him putt. . .he got a little of his body into the act.  I. . .of course. . .recommend getting much more of the body engaged in putting.
Nicklaus used a kind of “pop” piston action.  He won 18 majors.  In my opinion. . .none of these guys used their body enough in putting.  Hogan got the yips and that ended his pro golf days.  Palmer also got to the point were he became cautious. . .and that was his demise.  The body simply will not let your down because so many more parts of our nervous system are engaged.  Casper advocated putting in the dark.  I never understood the benefit.  But maybe it worked for him.
PUTTER AND PUTTING GRIP

I recommend the long putter.  But you don’t put it against your belly (the so-called “belly putter” technique).  You hold it as if it was a BROOM.  I taught a little girl how to putt with a broom.  She’s off-the-charts deadly.  Beats her father. . .who will not change. . . every time.  Intimidates here older brothers something fierce.  Dora is her name.
Look carefully at the picture. . .note how easy it is to use your body to pop the putt.  Even a 50 footer can be handled with no more than about a 7-9 inch backswing.  Again. . . your body will know how hard to pop the putt.  How much force is needed.  And we have what is called “body memory” which is simply fantastic. . .a great resource when under pressure. . . say in a tournament.

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