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A New Feel

Greetings Golfers,

The other day a guy was in our shop looking at putters. He was sure that he needed a new putter. So I asked him why … and he gave me a litany of reasons … I’m sure you’ve heard or thought most of them yourself.

I recommended that what he needed was a different putter … not necessarily a new putter. He needed a fresh feel.

Lee Trevino said that you putt better when your hands haven’t gotten too comfortable with a putter … that the newness increased your hands’ sensitivity. 


Most of my best putting rounds were with a new or different putter. I probably was more aware.

I know that sounds counter-intuitive. You’d think that being more comfortable with a putter is what you want.

Arnold Palmer used to bring a bunch of putters to the practice green before a tournament … and try to find one that was “working”.

Of course this isn’t right for everyone. Ben Crenshaw used the same putter forever … and was as good as it gets on the green.

But perfectionism is not a good thing … and especially with putting. Nobody makes everything. Not in anything. Look at NBA free-throw stats … they’re about the same as college and even high school player stats. Seriously. 

In fact, the guy who makes a tough shot with a hand in his face is also the same guy who misses a free-throw with no one guarding him.

A lot of people think that when they hit a bad shot, that it means they’ve lost their swing. They think that a good swing means the end of bad shots.

When I used to give lessons … sometimes I’d purposefully trip and make sure they saw it. Then, wipe my brow and say “Oh no, I can’t walk anymore. I better start fresh … lift my right foot, bend my knee, step forward while I shift my weight …”

We’d laugh (sometimes) … and I’d say that would make walking really difficult … and would make running impossible. 

Good golfers hit bad shots. Normal people sometimes trip when walking. I worry about patterns. If I’m tripping every time I walk … I’ve got a problem. If I shank 5 shots in a row … I’ve got a problem.

Just because I love working and experimenting with my golf swing … doesn’t mean I’m trying to become a perfect-robot. I’m trying to learn more about what works … and different ways to hit golf shots. 

The learning never ends.

And … trying new golf clubs is part of it. Sometimes a new feel is a good thing.

I love the search for knowledge. But I don’t love the search for perfection.

We’re humans - not robots. We have feel and they don’t. Keep working on your feel. Sometimes you just need a new feel.



Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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