Sports

A cure for putting woes

Here is how to learn to putt:

Putt! Putt! Putt! Putt! Putt! Putt!

You teach yourself how to putt. There is no right or wrong way. There is only your way. It is in finding your best way to roll the ball into the hole where you have the opportunity to put your own learning powers to use.

So try every conceivable method, sensible or nonsensible. Stand tall, short, closed, open, close to the ball, far away from the ball. Position the ball forward, middle or back. Try a long putter, short putter or extra long putter. Try a blade, mallet, center-shafted, any shape that hits your eye. A big grip, small grip, rubber or leather. Try them all.

Putting will constitute approximately 40 percent of your score, beginner or expert. Anyone can master putting! You can shoot low scores.

Putting is easy. It's three steps: 1. Aim. 2. Fire. 3. Pick the ball out of the hole or repeat steps 1 and 2. Buy a line marker for your ball then simply align to the spot you want the ball to start on.

Experiment until you find a method that enhances the accuracy of your visual perception of the target's location. You will know when that is when you discover the ball is rolling along the path you want and is finishing up where you think it should most of the time. Experiment until you find a putter that feels right to you and enhances your perceptual accuracy. Take your time - three months, six months, a year, whatever it takes. Putting is a matter of imagery. You can either imagine the ball going into the hole at the right speed and along the right path or you can't. Keep trying until you can.

Play your partner, your spouse for nickels, dollars or to see who does the dishes. Be a child. How many games can you invent? How many ways are there to be attracted, engaged and entertained? Therein lies your ability to be a great putter. If you putt a lot you'll become OK at putting. But if putting is play, you'll become great. If putting is work, well, good luck.



Rules teaser:

In match play a hole was conceded on the basis of an invalid claim. Afterward it was discovered that the claim was invalid. The concession may then withdrawn. True or false?



Answer to last column's teaser:

In match play, player A told his opponent B that he scored a four. Already with four strokes, player B picked up his ball. Player A corrects himself, saying he scored a five instead. Ruling? Since player A had holed out, player B is deemed to hole out, so the hole is halved.



John Lucas is the professional at SkyRidge Golf Course and can be reached at john98382@olypen.com.

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