Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Look Into The Poll Question and a Response to a Video

Wanted to go over a couple of things. First, the look into the latest poll question 'If You Could Putt It Like Any Player In Their Prime, Who Would It Be?' Here were the final results

Ben Crenshaw - 54 votes (35%)
Bobby Locke - 21 votes (13%)
Loren Roberts - 20 votes (13%)
Paul Runyan - 12 votes (7%)
Billy Casper - 11 votes (7%)
Seve Ballesteros - 10 votes (6%)
Phil Mickelson - 10 votes (6%)
Nick Faldo - 4 votes (2%)
Greg Norman - 4 votes (2%)
George Archer - 4 votes (2%)
Mark McNulty - 1 vote (0%)
The other poll about where your mis-hits tend to be pretty much ended in a 4 way tie.

I was a tad surprised by Crenshaw winning by such a big margin, although he's probably considered by most as the greatest putter of all time. What's unique about this poll is the top 3 in this poll (Crenshaw, Locke and Roberts) all had different strokes. Most people don't realize that when hooked up to the SAM Puttlab, Roberts' stroke actually came out to be a 'cutting across stroke.' Crenshaw looks like a classic 'arced' stroke. I believe everybody pretty much arcs it, just the Straight back-straight thru putters have a tad bit of an arc because they simply cannot manage to be perfectly straight back and straight thru. But it's much less pronounced than say Crenshaw or Utley's arced stroke. Roberts is definitely attempting a SBST stroke IMO and happens to cut across the ball slightly.

Crenshaw talks a little bit about the different styles of putting in this video.

I actually voted for Billy Casper. I think he was a better player than Crenshaw and not necessarily a better ballstriker. I recall that Casper wasn't very long off the tee and hit a sizeable hook. But he could repeat it pretty well and managed the course quite well and could win tournaments with the flat stick. I remember reading a story about one of the US Opens he won where he simply could not reach a par-3 in regulation because it was too long and instead of going for it, he just planned on hitting it short of the green where the low cut of grass was knowing that he could get up and down all day from there. Meanwhile his opponents would go for the green, fail and make a bogey. He was a 2 time US Open champ, former Masters champ, finished 2nd in the PGA Championship on three different occasions, and was a tremendous Ryder Cup player. I think he was probably as good as Crenshaw with the flatstick and probably more clutch in big situations.

Anyway, thanks to all of those who voted and I have a new poll up and I would appreciate if you would vote in that poll as well.


I got a video response to my 'Learning Feel From Mechanics' from reader Greg Brown. Here it is:

I think you've got the idea down quite well. Again, feels are subjective and extremely important to repeating good alignments and mechanics, thus repeating good golf shots.

The problem is that most popular instruction has it very wrong. They think that everybody feels the same thing or the same way. And to make matters worse, they may give a feel that could work for a 'swinger' but the golfer may be better suited to be a 'hitter.'

For example, a 'swinger' usually uses a horizontal hinge action and a hitter uses an angled hinge action. But popular golf instruction may tell you to feel like you are 'shaking hands' with somebody at the halfway point of the follow thru. That *might* work for some 'swingers', but that would be a severe problem for a 'hitter' because now they would be using the incorrect hinge action for their swing. It's like putting the engine of a 1980 Mercedes into a brand new Hummer. It just doesn't fit and disaster is likely to ensue.

TGM tries to get the golfer to incorporate the proper mechanics first then asks 'how does that feel to you?' So if you're a 'swinger' trying to learn and repeat a horizontal hinge, a TGM Authorized Instructor should be able to put you into the right mechanics and then ask how does that feel. Then once you get that feel, you can just step up to the ball, remember the feel, and stripe the ball.

As far as the homemade Smart Stick, here's a link to a post I made that has another golfer who came up with their own homemade Smart Stick

One thing to note about 'tracing the plane line' is how that happens with the 'fanning forearm takeaway' technique as described in my post. (

If you just 'fan the right forearm' back like I described, the flashlight will automatically trace the plane line going back. That's a HUGE reason why I love the right forearm takeaway method. It gets the club on plane (and also squares the clubface) without really consciously or subconsciously thinking about it. So Greg, take your flashlights out and fan the forearm at address and watch how that flashlight will automatically trace the plane line.



Greg Brown said...


Its so funny, I had my second lesson with Greg Smith, GSEM in Mesa and he said the exact same thing, I need to fan more on the way back with the Right Forearm Takeaway. It was an instant success for my ball striking. I will have to check it out with the lights tonight.


jandmmarlow said...


I just want to drop you a note saying that I appreciate the work you put into your blog.
It is refreshing to find a site from a TGM players perspective. The other TGM sites that I visit sometimes become confusing for many different reasons. I can follow along with what you have discovered for yourself and apply it if applicable. I like the narrations with video's so that there is no misunderstanding with the point you are trying to make.
I also appreciate your comments on swingers (I know you are a hitter).
Thanks again.

Rich H. said...

Thanks for the kinds words. And as Ty Webb once said, 'swingers molest collies.'

J/K. Swinging is certainly a valid way of striking a golf ball and is predominantly used by golfers and Tour pros. My big thing about the two is that I have yet to see concrete evidence that golfers are usually meant more for 'swinging' than 'hitting.' That's puzzling to me since everybody agrees that 'hitting' is usually better for golfers who have less flexibility which is usually what amateurs have a problem with.

jandmmarlow said...


I have gone back and forth several times in the past year. My TGM instructor obviously has a bias towards swinging. He is a Homer Kelly purist. He was a personal friend of Homers'. My instructor told me after returning from a TGM convention this fall that some of the TGM instructors thought they were hitters but after looking at their takeaway he concluded they were swingers. He stated that a hitter must use a closed face takeaway and not let the clubface open.
I liked hitting except at some point while hitting I tore a muscle in my left side under my left arm, over my ribcage. It healed and then on my first attempt at hitting again I reinjured it again. At that point I decided that Hitting was not for me.

Rich H. said...

According to Dr. Aaron Zick, a physicist who was invited to speak at TGM Teaching Summits, everybody does a little both of hitting and swinging. Even the 'purists' tend to acknowledge that hitting and swinging are extremely similar. In fact, Yoda thought that Brian Gay was a 'swinger' at first and then they realized he was a 'hitter.' Brian Manzella prefers to call 'swinging' as using 'force along the shaft' and 'hitting' as 'force ACROSS the shaft.' I actually like that terminology because it acknowledges that we both hitting and swinging, but seperates the method by where the force in the shaft is being applied.

Rich H. said...

BTW, who is your TGM instructor?

TeddyIrons said...

Rich, last night I was alternating between swinging and hitting at the range. I was keeping the right elbow close to the body in the hitting motion as you do and found it very successful with the driver and the 3 wood. I could also hit the short irons well with this. However, I had trouble with the longer irons. Did you ever experience anything like this?

When I went to swinging, I couldn't hit the driver straight but I could rip a 3 and 5 iron.

Rich H. said...

I tend to struggle with the 4-iron. I don't carry a 3-iron or longer. Just a hybrid.

TeddyIrons said...

Interesting. Hitting a driver feels easy and effortless using my new hitting method, but like you, the long irons seem to be a problem. Maybe it's time I invested in a hybrid.