Pete's Golf Shop. The task: measure my putting stroke. The results: my stroke flunked almost all the tests.
Actually, it wasn't all that bad, but I have to say my confidence was pretty shaken after I saw what was really going on when I tried to use what I thought was a pretty effective putting technique. Kevin had me hit five putts--about ten-footers on a pretty straight line--and recorded them using the Science And Motion's PuttLab. The technology uses ultrasound to measure 28 parameters of the stroke.
I won't bore you with all the numbers (mainly because I'm not sure I completely understand some of them), but a few jumped out at me. Here's how my aim looked at setup.
Pretty ugly, huh? I've been told by neutral observers--some of whom snickered as they said it--that I typically address the putt with my shoulders aimed right. I guess I subconsciously compensate by aiming my putter face left, or closed.
Then there's the path my putter follows.
Kind of looks like it follows the direction of my shoulders, doesn't it? If this was all I'd seen, I might have tossed my clubs in the lake and retired to the chess board or some other game where aim doesn't matter. But then Kevin showed me what my putter face looked like at impact.
Now that's encouraging. My putting stroke may look like Jim Furyk's full swing--once described as an octopus trying to change clothes in a phone booth--but it puts the putter face squarely behind the ball at the moment of impact when it counts.
One thing I found that really surprised me, though, was the amount of loft I was adding to the putter with my stroke.
This was a real shocker because I've been working hard lately on doing just the opposite. I read Dave Stockton's book on putting and had just delved into Michael Breed's new book (reviews to come) and thought I was de-lofting the putter with a forward press. Guess not.
Of course, there were loads of other data in the report Kevin sent me after the session. He also measured the swing path, loft and rise of the club, the timing of my swing, and its dynamics (remember that octopus analogy?) as well as where on the putter face the ball made contact. It was all very helpful and I hope to spend more time with the system someday.
In addition to writing about golf, Dave Donelson distills the experiences of hundreds of entrepreneurs into practical advice for small business owners and managers in the Dynamic Manager's Guides, a series of how-to books about marketing and advertising, sales techniques, motivating personnel, financial management, and business strategy.