Last month, ATS had a customer Zoom discussion focused on remote worker strategies – what they are doing, what they are planning, and what the options out there are. We had Ed Cichone, Sales Director at VMware, discuss these topics followed by Stuart Appleby to give us and our customers some pointers on putting. Stuart began with a quote that I think many of our customers can relate to.
“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated”, quoted by Arnold Palmer. So, from Stuart’s perspective what it’s all about for us amateurs is finding “the simplest way to play golf.” And putting is an area where amateurs can get relatively good if you take the time to do it right.
First, you have to warm up and loosen up your body, but not just before putting. One of the biggest struggles we have as office workers is that our hips and glutes are tight all the time. Stuart gave us some simple exercises that incorporate stretching and balancing to loosen up those areas. One of the most critical reasons for loosening up in these areas is because they are the primary source of back pain, which will heavily affect your swing.
Second, you need to ensure your alignment and posture are correct. Most amateurs believe they understand these terms but you need to practice and have some tools to ensure you do that and, even if you do understand it, that you are doing it properly. So, to make sure your posture is correct, stand backwards behind a chair and act like your handing someone half your size a piece of paper. Your bottom should be out, not tucked under, and you should continue until you touch the back of the chair. To ensure alignment, while in this stance, hang your arms down and ensure it’s comfortable for your hands to touch.
There are two reasons your posture and alignment are so critically important. The first is that if you are out of balance, your brain will correct your body and it will happen during your swing. All day long, our brains are ensuring that we don’t fall and that we stay balanced. If it happens during your golf swing, you won’t hit the ball as you expect to. The second reason is that you’re shooting sideways. It’s a very unnatural motion if you aren’t set up properly.
Third, ensure you understand how the face of the club is connecting with the ball. The face of the club is the most influential to the direction the ball will take. Do practice drills using a credit card or other straight edge surface to check the direction at connection.
Fourth, keep hour head down. The head is detrimental to many amateur’s swings, particularly on the putting green. You can take away apprehension in your swing by employing discipline when you look at the putt. Stuart uses a hit-hold-hold-look strategy. He also doesn’t look at any putts under 10 feet. This might seem easy but it actually requires a lot of practice and discipline so definitely work on it.
Fifth, tell your caddy or your fellow golfers to abuse you. You’ll never get better if you think you’re already there. Make every round a practice round. Tell them to check you for lifting your head early or many of the other gotchas.
We loved getting to listen to tips from Stuart Appleby and asking any and all questions that came to mind, and we’re positive our customers loved it too. We look forward to doing more interactive and fun virtual events in the future!