I discussed leaving the flag in while putting for sometime now. It has been fruitful and for the most part, I think most amateurs are leaving the flag in. Their reasons are their own and I, as a grateful golfer, have given up trying decide what is the best course of action. I like to have the flag out, but I not overly adverse to leaving it in for long putts. To each their own. However, the other day, I found a teachable moment on the course regarding the flag left in that I thought I would share.
A few days ago, Rick and I were playing early birds at Osprey Links Golf Course. It was early in the morning (started at 6 am) and the shadows were very long as the sun peaked over the trees. For the most part it was very beautiful and I was thoroughly enjoying our round.
On the 11th hole, Rick hit his chip to within 6 feet of the hole it was a very good shot and he had a great chance at par. Interestingly, his ball came to rest right in the shadow of the pin. I do not mean close, but dead centre.
As you can see, the shadow of the pin completely encompasses the ball. The interesting thing about this shot is that Rick said it was the perfect line. Go figure, so I started to think this was a great teaching moment.
Before I go to the teachable moment, Ricks ball went left about halfway into the putt. He hit it well, but missed the shadow. I asked if the shadow bothered him when putting and he said no. So, I guess it was a great alignment aid for him.
This is where the teaching moment comes in. A friend, Tom Cameron, is a great golfer and posted a video of putting with a string over the ball. (much like the shadow in Rick’s shot) He says it helps him develop confidence with 8 to 10 foot putts. I have not tried this, but it makes sense to me. Here is what I am talking about:
Try the string drill, I bet it helps you develop a strong short game. I know I am going to give it a whirl.
Have you ever tried the string drill?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!