Should I overhaul putting style?

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Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Apathy » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:47 pm

I'm a spin putter and it sounds like pitch putting is the bees knees.


Percentage wise, I'm 70% at 25' and 30% from 50' with my current putting style. I know that isn't great, but it's good enough that I am hesitant to just throw it away.

Practicing pitch putting I am 40% from 25' I can't pitch from 50'.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Whiz » Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:55 pm

If you are 75% from 25' in tournament play I would say stick with what works.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Apathy » Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:00 pm

Whiz wrote:If you are 75% from 25' in tournament play I would say stick with what works.



I was thinking the same thing, it just feels like I've hit my ceiling. Thank you for the response, it's kind of what I was expecting.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Mark Ellis » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:30 pm

When learning a new shot you don't lose the old shot. It is still there to be used as needed. So trying out something new is not an all-or-nothing proposition. It is not even an "overhaul" until such point as you decide that it is ready to become the new primary option.

Perhaps the fear is the time spent trying out the new shot is time you could be practicing the old form. True but the actual harm is small. Practice on new stuff teaches you the advantages and disadvantages of both the old stuff and the new stuff. So you might learn something about the old shot as you try out the new. Trial and error is the way you get better. Don't be leery of trial and error. Pursue it. The more experience you have at trial and error better you become. So a failed experiment was not a waste of time, it was a valuable lesson.

Maybe a push putt is eventually the form which will work best but you may not be ready for it yet. Mess with it, put it away, pull it back out and try it again down the road.

With putting more than any other shot you will have good days and bad days. On a bad day a really good putter, even a top Pro, will come maddeningly close but they just won't go in. So if you have nothing to lose, try something else. Change putters, change form, change routine, change timing, change grip, change anything just to break the bad mojo. Your experience with trial and error gives you more options.

With putting more than any other shot practice gives a long term, cumulative advantage, not necessarily a short term boost. This is why so few players keep practicing putting. They practice one day and putt poorly the next. They conclude that practice doesn't help and stop, which assures continued mediocrity. If you want to get better at putting, keep practicing.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Apathy » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:15 pm

Mark Ellis wrote:
Perhaps the fear is the time spent trying out the new shot is time you could be practicing the old form.



For a long time I was worthless at putting. As a result, I spent a ton of time changing putters, stances, grip, release, etc. and it seemed I was just spinning my wheels. Never getting better and constantly destroying my confidence. I eventually bought a stack of 10 wizards and forced myself to use them and picked the best of my several crap styles. Now I have what I think would be considered poor form but I can hit putts fairly consistently.

I think I'm hesitant to change out of fear of uncertainty settling back in.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby Mark Ellis » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:15 am

Apathy wrote:
Mark Ellis wrote:
Perhaps the fear is the time spent trying out the new shot is time you could be practicing the old form.



For a long time I was worthless at putting. As a result, I spent a ton of time changing putters, stances, grip, release, etc. and it seemed I was just spinning my wheels. Never getting better and constantly destroying my confidence. I eventually bought a stack of 10 wizards and forced myself to use them and picked the best of my several crap styles. Now I have what I think would be considered poor form but I can hit putts fairly consistently.

I think I'm hesitant to change out of fear of uncertainty settling back in.


Your journey to your current level of competence evolved through trial and error. Now you hit a plateau. Ok. This is the nature of the beast. Trial and error got you to where you are now. It will take you to the next level, too.

The time spent "spinning your wheels" was not wasted. It taught you what worked best for you at your prior level of skill and experience. You are now more experienced and skilled. What may work best for you now and the depth of your potential are unknown. There is one way to find out.

If you want to cement putting confidence then practice putting close enough to the basket so that you MAKE PUTTS CONSISTENTLY. No matter which form or disc or stance you use, making putts builds confidence. Real confidence is not bluster. Real confidence survives a missed putt or a bad day. It allows you to make the next putt and come back strong tomorrow.

So form and confidence are two separate but inter-related aspects. Certain forms or approaches work better for you than others. Trial and error allows you to figure this out. Trial and error allows you to develop a new shot. Once you have a shot then you need to develop confidence in it, which comes through practice.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby JR » Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:49 am

It is ok to try whatever as long as you keep some old form putting practice and usage going on to not let it rust. You can't leave the old form totally underused because it can rust. You may not lose a lot of your current percentage if you don't practice it but the loss depends on how locked in it is. You could lose a lot along with the confidence if you're not set in the old form.

I heartily suggest learning stagger and straddle stance with both laser and pitch putts. You never know which obstacles you have to putt around and in the long term you will probably need each of those styles at some point. For me and watching others it seems that laser putts are better into headwinds in hitting percentage and they punish you more if you miss because you'll thrower farther beyond the basket. You will need confidence in even trying a putt like that if you want to beat pitch putt percentage though. A case of practicing to keep your form permanent. So if it turns out that you'll develop a higher percentage make rate with a pitch putt there is still a use for the laser putt.

So far it would seem that there are a few commonalities to a successful form whichever style you use. The need for a weight shift, keeping the muscles loose, aligning with the target and a quick, quick, quick arm motion in the end of the arm stroke before the elbow extends totally straight.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby A buzzz and a beer » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:23 pm

I went through this same exact thing last year. I was also a spin putter and considered very good at it. However, I felt to get the most potential out of accuracy from 30 and in a push/pitch putt was the way to go. It will take a LOT of putting with the new style to get your confidence and accuracy up. I would work on this when you are out practicing and playing casual rounds. The one thing I would recommend is that once you start a round with the pitch putt to stick with it the entire round. Don't miss one putt and flip flop. This is what I did for a long time and it made the process take a lot longer.

Slowly build the new putt on the side. Since it will take a lot of time to get it to the point you are at now with a spin putt I would also still practice your spin putt to keep it going. I would then still use the spin putt in tournaments and stuff until you are completely comfortable with the new style. If you want some added pressure with the new style try it out at your local league for a round.

Overall, I think it is good to be able to do both. Recently there have been times for me where I have had to use spin putting because of putting over small brush and stuff. At other times a solid pitch motion is much better because of other things like branches hanging down. I also recommend trying it from all different angles, straddle, straight, and other variations.
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Re: Should I overhaul putting style?

Postby chunk » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:10 pm

i just finished transitioning from spin putting to push putting over the winter and i'm happy i did. i don't know if was the increase in the amount of time i spent practicing that made me a better putter or the switch to push putting, but my friends now hate it when i land my upshot 20' or less from the basket because i'm now pretty much 100%. accuracy at distance greater that 20' have also improved but not at the same rate.

what i like about push putting is that it has eliminated any error left and right, and if i miss it's either high or low.
what would willie do?
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