Friday, February 10, 2006

Proof Is In The Putting..

When I played last week I realized how much putting REALLY matters when you want to lower your score. As dumb as this new found theory may sound, just bear with me here.

Out of my years playing golf, I never really wanted to strangle my putter and "helicopter" it into the nearby lake more than last week. My technique or stroke didn't feel bad, it probably was though, but I missed five, pathetically easy, putts. You know the "all hope and life on Earth depending" 2 footers. The reason I was placing so much importance on these putts, last week, was that I was in realistic contention to convert all those putts to save par and even birdie.

These missed putts were literally on the edge/verge of dropping in. If the wisp of a bee's wing had gone by the ball as it rolled it would've sank. I had this one hole, dogleg right par 4, and ended up driving it into the rough. I got very close to the hole on my 2nd shot and had an uphill 2 footer for a birdie. It doesn't get any easier than this right? It was a great wedge followed by an obscenely easy uphill putt for a birdie..which I managed to convert into to a tap in par.

For the longest time I've always played with the mind set that I'll get get on dance floor then I'll take a 2-putt anyday. It seems though I usually don't got on in regulation and after having all those missed opportunies where I REALLY needed to 1-putt to save, forget the 2-putt theory.

I realize now how dramatically this matters if you are playing, at a level, where you regularly have chances to convert up and downs to save par. Who says you have to be on in regulation! I now see the light when everyone, good players, is saying it comes down to putting. I can see how a mid 80's player can realistically be a high 70's player just by making more of these putts..gees!

On the other side of this argument I also can say, with confidence, that if you're shooting in the hundreds, this part of the game is probably not a blip on your ability radar who really cares if you're finally on the green in eight. I'm still a strong believer that once you have the basic fundamentals, you should concentrate on the driver on down, UNLIKE the teaching methods of all your PGA teaching professionals today. Like who really wants/cares to be able to get up and down to save an 8..right?

Are they saying learning to keep a 250 yard drive in play down the middle is any easier or harder than getting proficient with your up and downs? I say they're equally important, but you gotta be in play too for any of this to matter.

Andre Agassi was taught how to play tennis his father and was taught to hit the ball as hard as he could. It didn't matter to his father if young Andre was hitting the windscreens on the opposite side fence. His father believed that once he gets his power he can dial down the accuracy later. Andre Agassi is the oldest player on the ATP today, 36 next April, and is ranked 8th in the world, but sorry I digress.

Anyway, with this new found knowledge I expect to shoot a 79 this

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