12/11/2011 2:42 PM
The last presenter at the Dallas Teaching Summit in October 2010, was the short game guru Stan Utley. Author of The Art of Putting, and The Art of the Short Game, Utley has become one of the top short game teachers on the PGA Tour.
Utley was doing the demonstrating during the previous presentation on green reading, and HE MADE EVERYTHING! Sixty foot putts were lagged to gimmies, and he was pretty much routine inside fifteen feet.
The presentation by Mr. Utley gave:
· He started with the grip, his preference is the reverse overlap, with the handle very much in the lifeline of both hands. No finger grip here, strictly in the palms, with the golfers fingers pointing down.
· Narrow stance, bent forward from the hips. Not much knee flex.
· His putter was 36 inches long.
· The stroke; he prefers a more wristy backswing than most instructors. He tells his students to be wristy without looking wristy. When you swing back, the right elbow softens; soft joints=more wristy.
· He teaches golfers how to use their hands in putting, definitely a departure from instruction of the past.
· His take on the `yips’: he feels this malady is from the golfers hands swinging left (righty), with the face open. The cure?: THROW THE HEAD OF THE CLUB ON PURPOSE, WITH THE TOE PASSING THE HEEL. HOOK IT. A drill for yips; right hand only, take it back with right wrist, then let the putter head drop down, then pass by you, closing.
· Leaving a lot of putts short? The energy is in the wrong place, and you are actually over accelerating the handle. If there was a theme in the private lessons he did during the presentation, it was this. He put his one hand 4 inches targetward from the golfers hands, and one hand 4 inches targetward of the shaft, near the clubhead. The players had to strike the putt, then stop abruptly after impact.
· `The best putters have the shortest follow through’, Stan Utley. I recently had a conversation with Jeff MacDonald, the CPGA teaching professional at Ashburn. He sat next to the Tomi Putting training device inverter, Marius Filmalter at dinner. Filmalter said to Jeff that in the years of testing golfers, he never saw a golfer decelerate on a putt.
· So, be more wristy going back, then use `dead strength’ down; some acceleration during the transition, then no acceleration coming down. Don’t accelerate; CRASH. (Drill: two tees that your putter head crashes into after impact). A crisp, short finish.
· He teaches tempo remaining the same on all putts. A long putt would have a faster and longer backswing.
· The biggest fault he saw with tour players? The handle moving away too far- in the through swing; no CRASH