Friday, December 7, 2012

Maybe We Could Call It "Wiegeling"

Thursday night Golf Central showed some footage of the new putting technique Michelle Wie's trying over at the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. I tried to find a photo of it but, alas, no luck. However, I can show you basically what it looks like.

Diegeling

This, my friends, is Leo Diegel, a two-time major champion from the 1920s. And this unusual putting style became known as "Diegeling." This photo is from 1924 and, yes, it's an anchored stroke.

Michelle is using something very similar, although she has her elbows close to her side rather than pointed out. I don't know if she's anchoring the putter or not; it wasn't clear from the footage I saw. Charlie Rymer questioned whether she could use the style for very long without causing physical problems.

"Diegeling" is one of the more humorous putting styles that has been used over the centuries... but it's not entirely without merit. Ignoring the anchoring and "wings" for a moment, the concept isn't too far from what Dave Pelz teaches. By leaning over so much that your spine is almost parallel to the ground, it puts you in a position where the putter can swing like a pendulum -- or at least as close as a human body is likely to get. Two-time major winner Hubert Green is another pro who was quite successful using a putting style like this.

In fact, you might notice some similarities between "Diegeling" and the putting stroke of an early Jack Nicklaus. I should point out that this was not only effective, but apparently served him well for quite a number of years:

Early Jack Nicklaus putting stroke

So when everybody is laughing at Michelle Wie -- and it's already started, judging by the GC telecast -- "Bear" in mind that this isn't such a bizarre putting concept after all.

The Leo Diegel photo came from this site, and the Nicklaus photo came from this site.

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