Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Reading Greens and Understanding Touch w/David Orr

I met David Orr back when I was 15 years old although I'm sure he doesn't remember it. He's from Pulaski, NY which is about 20 miles from my hometown. In fact, I believe I was probably one of his first lessons he ever gave, all for about $10...which he didn't want, but I wanted to make some sort of gesture for taking the time to help me out. It was early spring and for about a month I got to play a lot with David, whom at the time was on the Hogan Tour (now known as the Nationwide Tour). Back then David was a tremendous striker of the ball, but was a weak putter by Hogan Tour standards. Despite not really getting into teaching yet, I admired David's passion for the golf swing which showed up in his ballstriking.

Now David has really turned that passion into putting. He's studied putting with intense focus and research, including spending time on tour. I believe David has remarked that he's done 21 research studies over a 3 year period on everything you just about manage to think of when it comes to putting.

Here's a free video from his Web site at http://www.orrgolf.com/ with Geoff Mangum talking about how the golf hole works in putting, touch and speed. (http://www.orrgolf.com/lessons/GeoffMangum/Geoff_Mangum_OneSpeed.mov)

I will also HIGHLY suggest getting David's "Green Reading Basics" video which is available at his Web site forum for $19.99 (http://www.orrgolf.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=152)

I got this last week and this is always something I've struggled with even though most consider me a good putter. I'm a "tangent line" putter (putts to an imaginary hole when there's a break), but often fought with actually seeing the break. David really cleared things up here. More importantly, he really does a superb job at clearing up what the fall line is and the principles of using the fall line. I knew what the fall line was and basically used it just to clear up any doubts of which way the putt was going to break. But David goes into a lot more detail about the fall line and how the ball reacts to it and how to use it to your advantage.

I can't speak for David, but I think he would likely be more well known if he was in Florida instead of Buies Creek, North Carolina. But he seems to be loving his life there over gaining fame and making Golf Digest covers and he's doing a tremendous job at clearing up mysteries of the two big parts of the golf game, ballstriking and putting.


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