Monday, May 23, 2011

Is The Belly Putter In My Future?

   I'm thinking about the belly putter.

   Just thinking about it, not going there. Not yet anyway.

   I know that listening to someone else talk about their golf game is as much fun as long bunker shots but indulge me for a moment. Maybe you've been where I am today.

   Then again, how many of you have three-putted seven times in 18 holes in a tournament like I did Sunday? That didn't include the 18-incher I also missed.

   If I'm going to continue playing, I'm going to get behind the push to go to 15-inch wide cups like the ones they used at Pine Needles earlier this year to see how much better people played. Not only did it speed the game along, players made more putts, there were more smiles and no one was the worse for it.

   It's a helpless feeling when you're standing over a putt with your mind doing a Google search for a new swing thought. You know what it's like: That didn't work so let's try this. Hmmm, that didn't work either. What about...

   I knew this was coming. I wrote a blog last fall about how nice it was to be a good putter again. Six-footers were opportunities, not evil teases. I was making more than my share of 15-footers and it showed in my scores.

   Todd Smith, a superb teacher and a friend of mine, had given me a simple suggestion and it worked -- for several months. Now that simple suggestion has gone the way of eight-track tapes.

   With the likelihood of 15-inch cups being adopted any time soon by the USGA, I've asked Todd to try and work his magic one more time. There's a member-member event coming up at Cedarwood where I play in a couple of weeks. The way I'm putting, it could do serious damage to a friendship.

   And I'm not ready to go shopping for a belly putter.

  Not yet, anyway.


Anonymous said...

15 inch cups. Just like everything else in America at the moment, dumb it down so that "everyone" can "claim" success. Ridiculous.

HokieTT said...

For me, whenever I start putting horribly, my first change is to switch for a mallet to a blade, or a blade to a mallet. It provides enough of a change to keep me focused on making the adjustment, and then I think less about how terribly I'm putting, and soon enough, I'm back to my normal putting ability. One of the toughest things in golf is getting your brain out of the way.