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Sunday, 26 July 2015

It Ain't the Fiddle

Putting is the one part of the game that continues to mystify me.  How I can go out one day and make just about everything in the "makeable" range, only to go out the next day and be lost?  I've experimented over the years with virtually every kind of putter on the market, including the belly putter.  

I've tried every kind of grip, and stance.  I've putted looking at top of the ball, the back of the ball, the hole; I've even putted with my eyes closed.  I've tried the rap stroke, the pendulum stroke, putting with my left hand low, putting with my right hand only, the saw grip; you name it, and I've tried it.  And still, I find myself wondering why my putting is so inconsistent.  The only thing consistent about my putting is its inconsistency.

In part, I suppose I've provided a good part of the answer to my putting woes in what I've already stated.  How can you putt consistently if you change your method and your equipment on a regular basis?  Talking about choosing a putter, and speaking to characters like me, Bobby Jones, who was by all accounts a pretty good putter, wrote:

"Nine times out of ten, a change from one type of putter to another will effect no lasting good.  The new one may work better at first or on occasions, but consistency would be better served sticking to the old one and making friends with it.  It is, of course, up to the individual to choose the kind of putter he wants.  The design makes little difference so long as the balance is good, the club is easily handled, and the face is true."

I did a quick count of the putters I currently have within easy reach, and found, over and above the ones that have come and gone, I still have nineteen putters.  On any given day, probably every one of them might work just fine.  And yet, most of them are collecting dust, just in case I decide to call them off the bench in desperation.  I have been pretty much resolved lately to stick with my old faithful, a Bullseye I found in a bin and bought years ago for five dollars.  It has been my best putter, or should I say, I seem to have putted my best with it.  But while I call it my old faithful, I haven't been all that faithful to it.  As recently as yesterday, I left it in the trunk and tried a PING instead.  I putted horribly.

Bobby Jones stuck with his Calamity Jane.  Ben Crenshaw stuck with Little Ben.  They were faithful to their putters, and, by all accounts, those putters were faithful right back.  By sticking to their fiddle, they really demonstrated their trust in the simple fact that, at the end of the day, you can buy all the putters you want, because it ain't the fiddle, it's the fiddler.