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Original Issue

Getting behind the putt

Putting styles vary from player to player. There's no reason why they shouldn't, for putting is a personal thing. In my own case, about a year and a half ago after a stretch of in-and-out work on the greens, I adopted a slight change in my usual method of putting which did me a world of good. I altered my stance so that my body and arms were more behind the ball.

Getting more behind the putt enabled me to be much surer about many of the elements that make or break you on the greens. It gave me a better line to the hole. It was much easier on my timing. I could hit the ball more solidly—right below the equator. To sum it up, this new position produced the picture in my mind that I could roll the ball smoothly and accurately toward the target, not unlike the way Buddy Bomar does in bowling.

When a player talks about rolling the ball toward the cup, I realize he is going against the present-day fashion which would have you rap the ball with a sharp, jabby hit. I don't think these pop strokes and bop strokes are here to stay. The game's top players could always stroke their putts, and that's the soundest method in the long run, I believe. In any event, getting behind the putt is easy for anyone to adapt to, and it has produced such good results for me that I recommend it to all golfers who are not natural tappers. You see that hole so much better.

TOMMY BOLT, Paradise CC, Crystal River, Fla.



NEXT TIP: Herman Peery on pulling down and through