People Do Not Putt Like Robots

by Phil Bundy on April 28, 2010

In March, I wrote how a tip from Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game instructional DVD has helped to rekindle my putting. After weeks of practice, I am happy to report that the feeling that I enjoyed on the greens as a junior golfer is beginning to return to me.

In his video, Phil suggests setting your eyes slightly behind the ball when taking your stance to stroke a putt. If you are a right hander like me, your eyes will be slightly to the right of the golf ball at the address position. With this set-up, you can look down the line of your putt as opposed to having a sort of invisible wall blocking your view when your eyes are directly over the ball. This tip triggered some good memories of the putting technique that I used successfully as a junior golfer.

The tip also reminds me of Jim McLean’s advice to become target-oriented – even looking at the target as part of a good preshot routine for a full swing. For parallels in other sports, a quarterback doesn’t just mechanically move his arm to toss a football. Instead, he instinctively throws at a receiver to complete a pass. A basketball player does not simply manipulate his hands to hurl a basketball. He fluidly shoots the ball at a basket to score.

In golf, many of short game gurus dispense very technical information as instruction to aid putting despite the fact that most of the best putters in the game stroke the ball with a great deal of feel. Even a putting robot machine cannot make a putt if it is not aimed correctly by a human being who looks down the line of the putt and considers variable factors like the speed and undulation of a green.

Returning to my techniques as a feel putter, I am once again seeing the line and stroking putts to the hole, and I am seeing improvement in my putting, especially on long putts.

I am hopeful that this work on my putting will serve as one of the keys in my quest to play on the PGA Tour. For sure, hot putting can be the perfect remedy for cold ball striking.

If you are interested, Phil Mickelson’s Secrets of the Short Game is available as a two-disc DVD set or as a 224-page hardcover book.

Until next time, enjoy golf, America!

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to Phil Bundy by Email