My Putting Touch Is Back

How melodramatic of me to think that this early in the season I need to worry about my putting. During my last round, I only putted 29 times with no 3 putts. But that was not the good news that I need to embrace moving forward. What has me excited is that my touch returning. You know, that feeling in our hands, shoulders, and swinging motion that allows us to make great judgement calls on the green. Regardless of how long the putt, when my touch is on I feel I can sink a putt every time. There is no doubt that having my touch back is a great sign for my golf game.

Image from: http://timmilburn.com/3-things-putting-a-golf-ball-taught-me-about-decision-making

Just about every video I watched on touch and feel dealt with distance control. I believe that this fundamental is very important to have the ball going in the hole. However, I think there is a bit more to the putting process that deals with touch than just distance control.

I equate touch to a rhythm I have when standing over all that starts after my pre-shot routine. It starts with how the club feels in my hands, the locking of my wrists and shoulders, and the movement of the club head. There is a sort of balance I feel when all is going well from the start and finish of my putting stroke. I am not struggling with any part of my process.

I am not sure I describing my rhythm properly. Everything about my putting process feels in sync. Nothing is out of kilter. When this happens (and it happens often) my putting is what I consider to be solid and reliable. There is a flow to my actions and all of them work together to produce a confidence I only have when my touch is in place.

So what does all of this mean, I am expecting my putting average to drop below 30 and hopefully hover around 28 putts per round for most of my year. This is an ambitious goal, but when my putting touch is in place any thing can happen.

Do you have a putting touch?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

4 thoughts on “My Putting Touch Is Back

  1. Jim, great news. Was your adjustment to extend your follow through twice as long as your backswing? My putting touch is a merry-go-round of problems and tweaks that needs constant attention. I’m still in the data gathering phase of my change to the claw grip. Post coming soon on that.

    Thanks!

    Brian

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As someone who analyzes data all the time, I question using number of putts alone to gauge putting prowess. It’s not enough data. You can have a terrible day tee to green and leave yourself rotten putts and watch the count skyrocket. You can miss every green and chip them all to tap in range and walk off the numbers making you look stellar when you barely got the taps ins to drop. Number of putts along with GIR is better, but still won’t tell you if you were putting from 5 feet or 50. So number of putts alone is useless especially as time passes and memory of the day fades.

    Better to track things like percentage of putts inside (name your distance) feet and maybe percentage of two putts inside the same distances too. That will tell you how your putter is working. Just a few distances can indicate when work is needed and where to put in the effort.

    As for feel, replacing the grip on the new mallet to a thicker pistol grip has helped me get more comfortable. Today I did one last test. I played the blade on the front nine and the mallet on the back. I’ve been practicing with both at home and they are close to equal there. But on the course, the mallet with it’s much better alignment aid proved superior for me. A proper fitting might do a better job of putting the best putter for me in my hands, but I’m liking what I’m getting so far. My biggest issue I think is mental. I expect the mallet to send the ball farther but it doesn’t. Something about the tech used on the face. And from a practical standpoint the blade is actually more prone to overshoot with it’s lighter mass making it accelerate faster. I know that intellectually, but…..lol…..I’m mental and need a bit more time with it before I can let that go all the way I think.

    I started off good. Got a bird right off the bat. But it was a short putt. In the end, the blade cost me strokes and the mallet gave most of them back. So I guess the case is closed on that question for me. Time to put full concentration on acclimating to it fully.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      There is a whole lot of information in your comment. As far as my number of putts only, well I tracked all the stats you mentioned last year and found that it did not help. I generally notice a direct correlation between my touch and number of putts. I mentioned the number because I use it as a metric for a season’s worth of data analysis. All the points you made are true, however my most important stat is GIR….always.

      The blade vs mallet debate is one that @36aday (Mike) and @golfisental (Josh) have all the time. I am a blade player, as I do not have the same feel with a mallet.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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