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Senior Golfer - On The Green


The art, err, SCIENCE of Putting

The Putting Green

If youíve read my columns over the years, you know that my weaknesses revolve around the short game, i.e. hitting shots from 100 yards or less, chipping, and putting. My putting problems really got to me in late June, when I played a match against my friend John and lost two of the last three holes by three-putting. This prompted me to get a lesson. I went to Ben Mutz, whose name I got from a friend and who gives putting lessons, or more accurately, offers a putting system.

I met Ben at the putting green at George Dunne, and he told me that he was going to introduce me to a scientific method of putting. It would require me to understand his system and then work at executing it. There are no deviations in this system. It is based on the human body and mind. Besides concentrating on his words and actions for 90 minutes, Ben said that I would have to spend five minutes every day in front of a full-length mirror, practicing his system.

Now, Iím a skeptic by nature, consider myself knowledgeable about the game, and have honed my putting skills by reading Dave Pelz and Dave Stockton, practicing on putting greens, and discussing the art of putting with ďgoodĒ putters. So, what Ben was proposing required an open mind and a willingness to listen to his explanations and try his system.

Itís not really fair for me to try to paraphrase what Ben teaches in his 90-minute putting clinic. Suffice it to say that Iíll try to give you some of his ideas, a website to visit, and then you can make your own mind if you to visit him and learn more about his putting method.

Ben offers private golf lessons and holds group clinics, as well as individual sessions. He charges $25 for the group putting sessions, which you can learn more about by visiting the website: ultimategolfputtingclinic.com. He also offers individual one-on-one sessions.

The first thing Ben told me was that he was going to help me take the guesswork out of putting. Instead of trying to determine how hard to hit the ball, at what speed and on what line, Ben was going to teach me a method of putting that would determine these goals before I hit the stroke.

The first step in the Mutz Method of Golf Instruction is to measure the distance from the ball to the hole. Itís done in yards, not feet, and thereís a specific reason for using this measurement.

The next step is to talk about the putting grip. Ben teaches a right-palm-dominant method of putting, meaning the putter sits in the golferís right hand and is the trigger point pulling the putter back and through. The golferís weight is distributed about 60-40, with more weight on the forward foot.

The setup is to have the golfer place his putter in the right palm and place it in a line that points to the left inner thigh. This is the starting point for the putting stroke, and the distance one wants to hit the ball is based on moving the club from the left inner thigh to a specific body part thatís determined by walking off the yards of the putt, determining whether itís uphill or downhill, and how much.

For a 30-foot-putt, the golfer begins by stepping off the distance, examining the putt from the sides and behind the hole to determine whether itís uphill or downhill, and then calculating in your mind whether to add or subtract distance from the distance for of a 10-yard putt. Simply stated, a flat 30-foot putt required me to say out loud as a drill, ďPutter started on the left inner thigh, moved back to the right inner thigh, back and through to the hole.Ē

Ben noticed that I was pulling my putts left of the target in my practice drills, and said this is normal. He corrected the problem by having me move the right palm address slightly to the right so that itís a 45 degree angle.

Due to space constraints, I have to stop now. I hope that Iíve given Ben his due, and that if youíre interested in the Mutz Method of Golf Instruction, you will visit his website: benmutzgolf.com, or call him at 815-715-3708.


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