Here’s a little shoutout to one hard-working golf news, player, and social site that I have been a longtime fan of, Golfwrx.com.
Take a moment to peruse the latest news, info., and features, then join the forum and have a ball.
Here’s a link to a few of the articles that I posted there “back in the day” (the day I decided to take humorous golf writing seriously). http://www.golfwrx.com/author/tim_schoch/
If you mix it up over there, be sure and tell them that Tim says “fore!”
I have discovered a magical putting tip that has held up for dozens of hours so far. It may not be what you need, but it is certainly the key I have been searching for.
I will first begin at the beginning. I started my focus on putting by laying aside my brand new putter that totally betrayed me last season. I instead chose the old Ping Zing I had loved from the late ’80s until something happened around the turn of the century. It’s bronze and I cleaned it up spectacularly and slid on a slightly oversized Winn grip.
Next, I simplified my stroke. One, two. One, two. One, two. You get the idea. No Snedeker pop stroke for me. One, two. Virtually the same length back as forward. I don’t really think about it, except that I don’t want to go too far back or I’ll decelerate on the forward stroke. Every once in a while, for some reason, I feel my right hand playing in to the forward stroke. This doesn’t seem to hurt accuracy, but I don’t even think about it.
Even though pro teachers say that to improve putting one should focus on speed, not line, my problem is line. My speed has always been good. Furthermore, my problem isn’t on seeing the line–oh, I see it fine from behind the ball–it’s on setting up to the line and seeing it sideways.
After observing myself for many putts, I realized that I had the same success whether my feet were too far open or too far closed. My real problem was where my toes were pointing. That would change where the ball was in my stance. Not good for me.
How to clean this up? It was like magic.
Since I could aim the putter accurately on my line, why couldn’t I also aim my feet? But how?
Then it dawned on me: line my feet up parallel to my putter face. If the putter was aimed correctly, then just aim my feet correctly. Then my eyes, shoulders, hips and knees had a better chance of synergy.
And it worked. It still works. This has been all indoors here in Virginia, so I can’t wait to get out on the putting green.
Again, I have a putter I do not doubt, my stroke is under control, I have confidence in my choice of line, I can feel the distance to the hole, and now I trust my set up to make it all happen.
Summary: I started with fundamentals. I made certain my putting stroke was solid and I didn’t sway, ingraining a one-two tempo to my stroke, finding the right grip and the mental notion that makes it happen (I push away with the back of my left hand, and I lead the putter through with the back of my left hand, traditional right hand low grip, with thumbs parallel down the face of the wide grip).
It’s really odd the things that can improve your game. Two other things have helped me in my full swing: 1) picturing my hands and and wrists like Lee Trevino’s at the top of my swing, then 2) swinging like Steve Stricker with no wrist action at all. Neither of those things truly happen, but they are controls that work for me.
So I suggest, with any swing improvement you are trying to make, be as visual and position-oriented as you can. It is a lot easier to picture Lee Trevino’s swing in my mind than to force my own hands into someplace around my head.
Good luck this season. And keep it fun and fast.
Apologies for being inattentive here. I’ve been distracted by awesome life events. But golf has a way of bubbling to the top, and with all the cool stuff coming up, I’ll be sure to be here to comment. Thanks. – Tim
Paulina Gretzky’s fetching pose on the cover of Golf Digest magazine’s fitness issue is causing such an uproar that the publisher’s hand must be awfully blistered from all the high fives.
Frowners are terribly upset that the slick golf magazine didn’t instead feature a female golfer from the LPGA. How dare the magazine betray its sport, the profession, and its own duty to support and promote the wounded game of golf?
Maybe it is just me, but I didn’t realize Golf Digest is a journalistic publication whose job is to preach to the choir and only the choir. The magazine is a commercial powerhouse. Golf is hurting, make no mistake, which means subscriptions may be hurting, as well (my guess). What better way to spread the word than reaching outside of your readership to fresh blood?
The true genius of this cover is Paulina’s connection to hockey and all their fans, who already have the start of darn good golf swings. “Step off the ice and go green this spring!” is the subliminal message. “Put down your stick and pick up some steel and let’s do this!” Genius, I tell you.
Paulina’s engagement to pro golfer Dustin Johnson is another tie that rationalizes the cover. I can see how featuring them both on the fitness issue might have been a choice they considered. But they didn’t chicken out, they opted for the full monty controversy AKA publicity.
Anyone who has read any golf magazine over the years realizes that commercialism has taken over. No longer can you find cartoons, a humor page, or fiction by whimsical and sharp-witted writers. Equipment, ads, tips, ads, advertorial, ads, features, ads. Don’t get me wrong, I love it, but I miss the old days, too.
I believe this move by Golf Digest to open up its readership is a positive step in growing the game. That’s how you do it.
What if, for instance, they had featured Tony Romo on the cover, who also has a strong connection to golf and to fitness? Would the PGA Tour be whining that the magazine didn’t feature Jason Dufner instead?
And just as a side note: I still think the LPGA needs to get its marketing act together. Some of their ads are much better, but if you’re excited by their ads and then tune in to a telecast, well, welcome to Snoozeville. I’ve said for years on this blog that the LPGA needs to hire a storyteller and build some drama, personas, and rivalries. No one on the LPGA even spits or bends a putter shaft over their head. Who wants to watch that?
I just don’t see a down side to this. Everyone wins, everyone is getting attention, the magazine is getting read, and golf is in the headlines. Rock on.
One little cautionary message, however. Back in the late 1980s, Golf Illustrated magazine featured me with Hank Haney on its cover. Hank’s doing all right today, the magazine went through some therapy and is on its way back, I think, but look what’s happened to me. Just sayin’.