You Still Have to Putt
The other morning on the golf radio station, they were talking about how in most sports the athletes are getting “bigger-faster-stronger” … but that it hasn’t affected the scoring in golf. One the show’s radio hosts - John Cook - said it’s because you still have to get the ball in the hole.
He’s right … you still have to be a great putter … but that’s not the whole story. You also need to be in control of the ball.
I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on understanding spin and how to control the ball.
Even the most basic ping-pong player is aware of putting spin on the ball.
All ball-stick sports are about control … and about using spin.
Too many golfers are victims of spin. They slice and don’t know how to correct it. If they knew how to hook-it … they could then fix their slice.
Power without control is worthless.
We host a lot of charity golf events. Before each one, our practice range is packed with guys only using their driver. And swinging like crazy people. They are not “warming-up” … they’re trying to vaporize the range balls.
A million years ago, I used to pitch in high school. Before the game, I used to warm-up slowly and loosen my arm with easy tosses … and then try to find some control and see if I could spin the ball. I didn’t wear myself out. I “warmed-up”.
If I’d warmed-up like the golfers I see at our charity events … I’d have just closed my eyes and thrown the ball at the backstop as hard as I could. For half an hour. Wouldn’t have learned a thing and probably thrown out my arm.
These guys should come out to the practice range with a wedge and 7 iron … and try to find some rhythm … and find some control hitting the ball at some targets. And maybe even try to spin it different ways. Then, hit a few drivers.
Let’s make the same analogy with tennis. Would you warm-up by trying to hit every shot as hard as you can? They’d go flying all over the court. Might be better to try to find some rhythm and control … and fool around with some spin.
I know … I can read your mind … I’m just mad because I’m old and can’t hit it far anymore. Wrong. Even when I could hit it … I didn’t warm-up like that. Hmmmm. It’s called … warm-up. Not … go crazy.
The object of the game is still to get the ball in the hole. Bigger-stronger-faster is helpful if you are already in control. Otherwise … not so much.
And … you still have to putt.
GM/Head PGA Professional
Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386