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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Jack on Putting

Since the Tour is playing at "Jack's Place" this week, I thought a tip from Nicklaus would be appropriate...

Even if it is delivered by a very pregnant Stina Sternberg rather than the Golden Bear himself. Ah, such is the way of Golf Digest tips:

This tip is pretty much the same as the "gravity swing" I teach in my putting book. Jack's description of "letting the putter swing itself" is a really good picture to hold in your mind.

And while I agree with Jack, in that I prefer to let putts die into the hole rather than hit them to finish 18 inches past, I should point out that many really good players don't. It really is a matter of preference, and Bobby Jones noted in his writings that "hitters" and "swingers" tend to excel at different lengths of putts. "Hitters" are better at short putts and "swingers" at long ones.

I suspect Jack adopted these putting techniques because Bobby Jones used them (both the gravity swing and dying the ball into the hole), and Jack has said before that Jones was his idol. But it's interesting to note that both men are considered among the best putters of all time -- regardless of whether the putt was long or short -- even though golf greens were maintained very differently during their eras than they are today.

In any case, you could do much worse than emulate BJ and Jack. Maybe the "old ways" aren't better, but they're clearly just as good. ;-)

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