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Golf: The "Arc" Of Putting

Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

"This next statistic is so off the-charts good that you might want to be sitting comfortably before reading it. Over the past five years, Luke Donald has had precisely 1,600 putts of three feet or less on the PGA Tour. How many has he holed? 1,599. No, that's not a misprint. One missed short putt in five years. OK, you can stand up again now - and practise your putting."

In a footnote to Derek Lawrenson's comments on the possibility of "The Mechanic" winning a spot in the European Ryder Cup team, "World's most interesting golfer Miguel Angel Jimenez still brings so much to the party".
There was the above mentioned statistic on Luke Donald's putting.

Searching for the secret to Luke's success I observed lots of interesting comments and theories about Luke's putting method however I was attracted to thoughts of the principles of putting.

Coaches Corner at City Boston Golf offered an interesting article, "Battle of the Putters: Crenshaw v. Pelz"

Most experts agree that Ben Crenshaw is one of the very best putters and Dave Peltz one of the very best teachers. And yet there methodology is poles apart when it comes to putting.

Essentially it comes down to putting Arc versus Pendulum.
"Crenshaw popularized a putting stroke called the “Arc” stroke or inside – square – inside putting motion."
Whereas Dave Pelz, "…believes that the putter should be taken back perfectly straight and stay perfectly straight on the way through. His engineering tests have concluded that the only way to really putt straight is to use a “pendulum” motion where the club stays on a direct line with the target throughout the stroke.

Ben's putting stroke is poetry in motion and as much as I've tried to emulate his putting methodology it's never worked for me. Consequently in spite of the fact that, "Pelz’ pendulum stroke often leads to upper cuts at impact." I've persisted with the pendulum methodology and accepted the fact that I'll never have an aesthetically pleasing putting stroke.

And the moral of the story is? Take your pick Arc or Pendulum and stick with your pick even when suffering from poor putting.

 Here's the link toDerek  and Coaches Corner

Quote of the Day
"It's all in the set-up. You must have your eyes directly above the ball and your hands should fall straight below your shoulders because the arc of a putting stroke is determined by where your hands are." - Luke Donald as quoted at Golf Magic



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