Marius Filmalter: Changing putters is a short-term-only fix
On Wednesday I was at the Transitions Championship at the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club near Tampa. The tournament is played on the Copperhead Course, which many of the players on Tour consider to be the best course in the Florida swing. The greens are Tiff Eagle Bermuda grass, which by Thursday will be running somewhere between 11 and 12 on the Stimpmeter. Some of the greens at Copperhead have very severe slopes and it has been my experience that anything faster than 12 on the Stimpmeter could make it almost impossible to putt on, especially if you are putting down-grain from above the cup.
I received a few e-mails last week asking about my thoughts on Adam Scott’s change to a long putter [above right]. I actually spoke with him on the putting green at Doral. I strongly believe Adam has the ability to be one of the top three or four players in the world if he could make a few more putts. Last week, Adam did have some success with the broom handle, but I think it is too early to say that this change is for the better. It has been my experience that players who switch to the long putter after struggling with the short putter see some near-term success, but not long-term improvement. I attribute this short-term success not to a drastic improvement in technique but rather to a change in the player’s mindset. The player hasn’t putted long enough with the new putter to have many negative thoughts or experiences. An equipment change helps them refocus on what is most important—making the putt rather than how the putter works to make the putt. I hope Adam is one of the exceptions to this. The Lesson: When the putts aren’t falling, don’t hesitate to try a long-putter or change to a different style putter to mix it up. Just understand that any improvement is likely to be short-term unless you have actually improved your technique.
It will be a busy weekend for me as I am heading back to Dallas on Friday, where I will spend time teaching 2008 Senior British Open Champ Bruce Vaughn before heading back to Orlando on Sunday to help Ernie Els prepare to defend at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
I want to thank the readers who took the time to share their comments and questions following my first blog last week. Please keep them coming by emailing me at email@example.com. Apparently someone likes what I am writing, as Golf Magazine has asked me to contribute on a weekly basis rather than every other week.
You can also check out my website at www.mariusgolf.com and sign-up for the free member section. In the coming months I will be launching a new upload section that will allow you to send me video of your putting stroke for analysis.
Until next time…cheers! [Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images]