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Unconscious Putting: Dave Stockton's Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke Hardcover – September 15, 2011
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I couldn't seem to find the center of the putter face. I generally don't read instructional books. I started reading this book and that same night I was in the basement practicing Stocktons techniques. It was like a switch flipped on!
I was cautiously optimistic, but I know the test was going to be out on the course.
Well, in my last three rounds I have had 28,27,and 28 putts. No three putts, probably have maybe four putts that I wouldn't consider solid.
This book is awesome!
This book teaches you that putting is about feeling the greens out and seeing the line, not over complicating it with mechanics; which I now whole heartedly agree with. It's about trusting what you see and going with it. You cannot go up to a putt, see the line then determine the pace based on calculations and degrees of break like a computer. It's about truly trying to read greens and doing so by constantly changing your practice routine up to get a feel for the greens and understanding undulations, not by "banging 400 balls" in a row on the same put
I understood the concept of practicing with a purpose (from Ed Feeney and Appliedgolf.com) but not in the context of putting. I changed my full swing practice routine from banging balls to practicing with a purpose years ago and went from a 18-20hdcp to a 10-12hdcp in a year or so.
Since then I had spent a few years on putting greens still focused on mechanics. I was attempting to find the perfect angle of press and arc vs. straight back-straight through which resulted in maintaining a 10-12 hdcp and maybe breaking 80 once a year. I struggled for years trying to get better with the perfect stroke and perfect swing until finding this book.
It honestly changed my mindset on the course, tee to green.
After working on the points Dave has enumerated in this book I am now trending to a 4.8 hdcp with much more consistency on the greens.
My main take-away is to trust your gut, when you read a green or choose a shot to hit, or club selection, it's usually correct. I take a lot less time over a ball and in my pre-shot routine.
I take a 1/2-3/4 easy swing to feel my forearms rotate between 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock (a consistent problem I have), I pick a spot in front of the ball in line with the target (not necessarily the flag) and set up to make sure my club face is set to the spot on the ground in front of the ball I take one look at the target, then back at the spot and finally the back of the ball and swing away.
I am absolutely recommending this book to all my (non-competitive) playing partners.
The book showed me a different perspective on putting and I went to practice
at my local green. Immediately on the first hole I saw my putting improve. I
made 10 one putts using Mr. Stockton's advice. I have taken lessons this year
in putting and am a student of Aim Point. As Mr. Stockton suggests I was concentrating
on the putting routine too much instead of the line and the pace. I used his advice
and shot an excellent round of 83. I would have broke 80 but it was not because of
my putting. I really enjoyed the round and understand what Mr. Stockton was trying
to convey. His advice might not be for everyone but it was what I needed to put me
at the next level!
However, controlling the required speed in a putt just based on feeling is extremely hard. You can throw a baseball to somebody, without thinking of of speed, but the will a glove stoping that ball regardless of how far back it would've gone if not stopped! In putting there is nothing stoping the ball behind the hole!
Any miss beyond 18 inches, could easily represent an extra shot, and I didn't find a clear instruction In this book on how to control that!