‘What your eyes can’t see, your feet will feel’
Like many experienced golf professionals and elite amateurs I believed I was a great putter.
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ike many experienced golf professionals and elite amateurs I believed I was a great putter.  In the three years I played professionally I never averaged over 30 putts per round, in fact I once remember taking just 20 putts to get through a pro-am event.  In my junior days I used to find a way to break 80 by hitting 4 & 5 greens a round and putting like Faxon on a bad day coming in with 25 putts or 26 putts per round.

Aaron Baddeley and Brad Faxon were my role models.  I remember watching ‘Putt to Win’ over and over again until the VHS tape wore out, and I love the K.I.S.S method of Arron Baddeley’s routine which I instantly adopted in my early years as a professional.  As far as role models, well, you can’t get too many better than these guys, right?  My colleagues would always comment on my stroke and my ability to hole constant bombs, there’s no question I was a blade god!

I possessed a pure stroke and have always found it easy to roll my ball over my intended line, loving the challenge of fast greens on the Melbourne sand-belt. With a borderline “don’t care miss-or-make” attitude, I found this freed me up enough to be able to roll the rock with the best of them.  My greatest asset by far was my ability to read greens, being able to see the intricate slopes and undulations.  Being great at green reading was the gel the kept everything together.

Things started to change for me, or should I say, doubts started to creep into my putting game as I started on the journey of becoming an accomplished golf coach.  As I worked with a variety of players I found it tough to teach what came so naturally to me.  Many times I put this down to the student’s lack of ability, certainly not my coaching skills!  As I began to work more and more with elite amateurs at state and national level, I still found it difficult for these top ranked national players to see and do what I could do.  This became a little frustrating!

Within the first 5 minutes I realised what I already new ‘I was a great putter’ and ‘I had no idea how to convey the message of green reading’

In January 2011 I traveled around the globe to spend a few days with Mark Sweeney, the CEO and founder of AimPoint.  Along with Jamie Donaldson, they took me through 2 half day sessions just on green reading.  Within the first 5 minutes of our session I confirmed what I’d already known – I was a great putter, but I had no idea how to share my skill of how to read greens – even with my students who were clearly more talented than me.  Whilst on the topic, a special mention here about John Graham, for John was one who encouraged me to get involved in AimPoint, and who has written some really informative articles on AimPoint.

Very simply, my students were unable to see what I was able to see.  Recently, I had my eyes tested as I figured this was one of the reasons for my ability to read greens, and the results showed that I possess 20/20 vision or 6/6 here in Australia.  Speaking to my optometrist she mentioned that everyone has contrast sensitivity meaning that some people are better able to pick-up variations in contrast than others, and if you’re working with less than 20/20 this variation can certainly become more difficult.

Very simply, my students were unable to see what I was able to see

Well I certainly can’t hand over my vision to my students, nor can I hand over my years of experience or stroke.  However, I can educate them on how to better get in touch with their other senses such as feel, and how the feet can better provide feedback to your brain to determine subtle variations in the degree of slope.  I can also educate my students on how to gain a basic understanding of the principals that govern proper green reading and help them to identify the three primary green shapes.  AimPoint Green-Reading technology for me, is on par or exceeds the bio-mechanical technology and force plate technology we now have, along with flight scope and SAMPutt lab technology, and may be the most cutting edge technology to unmask one of the most misunderstood and miss-taught areas of the golf game for over a hundred years.

In August this year CEO Mark Sweeney and Jamie Donaldson will head to Australia to certify Australian PGA members and also host clinics for anyone interested in learning the green reading skills of AimPoint.

4 Comments


  1. Apr 24, 2011
    1:11 am

    Giusep

    Great insight into the world of the flat stick! Short of realizing my feet have spider senses, where do I start with AimPoint? What’s my next step to learn to ‘walk’ greens mate?


    • Apr 24, 2011
      4:57 am

      steven

      Thanks for the comment! AimPoint is heading to Australia in August, clinics will be hosted in various states, Victoria, Queensland and Sydney so far. In the meantime we can get you started in a 1:1 session with myself I will email you the deatils. Cheers SG


  2. May 4, 2011
    2:02 pm

    Andrew Norrby

    For any Irish readers, John Graham and Jamie Donaldson will be hosting an AimPoint Fundamentals clinic in Belfast on July 5th 2011


    • May 4, 2011
      9:23 pm

      steven

      Thanks for the info Andrew, looks like the AimPoint guys will be making their way down to Australia in late August also

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