‘Putt to Win’ by Brad Faxon and Dr Bob Rotella (50 minutes)
Price: £10.99 (DVD), £12.99 (video)
If, like me, you stand over a putt – even a two footer – and find your arms and body tending to freeze – help is at hand.
Top US Tour pro Brad Faxon –recognised as one of the world’s greatest exponents at ‘rolling his ball’ – and leading golf psychologist Dr Bob Rotella have combined to release ‘Putt to Win’ on DVD as well as video.
The pair have worked together for several years to develop intriguing techniques to get the ball in the hole but as the film reveals it has little to do with grip, stance alignment. This is brain and confidence-driven.
Faxon and Rotella liken the putting stroke to the nonchalant way you would toss a ball or a set of keys to someone standing ten feet away. You don’t think about gripping the object, how far you need to take the arm back, what trajectory and speed is involved or when to release. You just do it.
Says Rotella: "If you aim or get careful with a putt, you’ll mess up; you’ll get in your own way. Putting is unconscious and athletic."
The theory slightly breaks down when you consider that the hole isn’t going to move or react to watch the ball or keys but I know what he’s getting at.
One of the best tips in the film is the ‘Look and shoot game’ – a practice drill which Faxon plays regularly with his mates on Tour.
First choose holes on the practice green that are approximately 15-20 feet apart and set up beside one each. Without thinking about the grip, stroke or stance look up once and strike the putt at each other’s hole simultaneously back and forth, until one of you holes out, gathering each other's ball as you go, like tennis players volleying across the net. You score a point and ‘change ends’ each time this happens to attempt a different line to the hole.
The chat goes on all the time as putts go backwards and forwards and soon you will have developed an automatic stroke that sees the line, feels the speed and pulls the trigger instinctively.
This is what you are looking for when you go out on the course. Not only will it make you a better, instinctive putter it won't half stop you dallying about on the green.
The ‘nine-ball game’ has a similar effect, says Faxon, who sets up with nine balls to a hole 10-15 feet away.
"I judge the putt on how free and effortless I feel, trying to feel more free with every putt. My thought is merely ‘Free it up, let it go,’" says Faxon who also claims to practice his putting with a driver and sand wedge. Why, I couldn’t quite fathom.
Thousands of words have been written by putting gurus about reading putts and what to look for.
Rotella says: "Go with your first gut instincts. Your second and third instincts are based on doubt, mistrust and fear of misreading or missing."
Even on the longer putts, Faxon expects to ‘make’ them.
"I don’t buy this theory ‘just to get it close’. I like to see a line where I want the ball to roll and I see that line right to the point where it enters the hole," says Faxon.
There are many other tips and asides that make this DVD or video probably the best buy in the business if you want to improve your putting.
|Golfmagic rating: 9.5/10|
Putt to win is available at most good video stockists, golf pro shops or direct from Quadrant Video (www.quadrantvideo.co.uk)