By ED TRAVIS
One of the basic truths about golf is even when a putt is hit online with the correct speed it sometimes doesn’t go in. Don’t ask why just accept it and move on. This doesn’t mean however we can’t improve our chances by training ourselves to produce a stroke that will raise the odds.
Dave Hamilton of Putting Arc renewed our acquaintance recently and he sent me the current version of this very simple aid to teach ourselves a square-to-inside-to-square-to-inside stroke. In other words, an arc the returns the putter face to the proper line so all you must do is worry about the speed.
The principle behind the Putting Arc is the stroke is not, as many believe, straight-back and straight-through but an ellipse due to the tilt of the spine at address and rotation of the putter around the spine. Said another way, when the usual setup is used with an alignment rod pointing on the target line the putter would have to be manipulated to keep it going back on the line of the rod. That’s certainly possible to do but it is much easier to simply turn the shoulders and let the putter move naturally.
That’s the beauty of the Putting Arc. It promotes a natural motion which means with a little practice it is relatively easy to ingrain.
Notice we aren’t going at length about a particular stance or grip or other position that may not be your natural, i.e., comfortable set up. Get your eyes over the ball with shoulders parallel to the line and the Putting Arc directs you in the proper stroke. An important point is to remember the putter face is not travelling perpendicular to the target line but perpendicular to the arc.
Once your mind figures that out it it’s all just a matter of repetition.
The first session with the Putting Arc quickly showed I wasn’t always setting up parallel with my spine over the center which puts the stroke was always on the proper plane. It also caught me every time my head moved or there was a little flip in of the hands.
Marvelous but also a bit unnerving since my reputation has always been being a “good” putter. The plan is to keep working with the Putting Arc so can in fact really be a good putter consistently.
There are three basic Putting Arc models including one, the MS-3D ($69.95) that has a mirror to check alignment of the eyes and shoulders plus it can be used for the putter heel or toe. Prices start at $35.95 for the 21-inch T3 Travel Size and we especially like the MSIII ($59.95) that can be easily carried in the apparel pocket of a golf bag. Find all the details and order information at ThePuttingArc.com.