shortened version—more later
Putting: a particular way to putt: (but it’s the best)
For address, bend over as far as possible without causing long term back pain. Let the putter-arm system hang by gravity in such a way that the club head is on a vertical plane through the eyes. Keep the wrists fixed in relation to the arms. Keep the elbow angles fixed. Position the ball under the leading eye. Practice aiming and stroking separately as well as together. Let your head turn with your torso (we know this is unusual, but it reduces the difficulty of the swing). Watch the clubhead during the stroke (give it a try); your eyes should move a little in their sockets to do this, (if you are using shoulder movement to swing the club, as is normal). Watching the clubhead during the stroke will provide cues to your nervous system and keep the stroke smooth. It also shows you the direction and length of your stroke, which is a continuous monitoring that can only improve your stroke.
Use the same brand of ball at all times, or use balls tested for bounce height so they all bounce to the same height. Test balls by dropping them on the same spot on the same floor from the same height and compare to one ball kept as a reference.
Swinging: We point out something missing from most swing programs:
1. Our little “secret:” Let your body move forward on the backswing and then backward on the downswing. (Forward means the direction you would go if you were to start walking from the address position.) Don’t resist this movement. It is a natural reaction to swinging a club around you, and if you resist it you will be in a very difficult position from which to get back on balance by impact. Rory McIlroy makes this movement. You can see it on video here; the first example is about 35 seconds in, and another at one minute 40 seconds, among others. The head moves forward on the backswing, backward on the downswing, and forward again on the followthrough (very quickly on the downswing so it is a little hard to see).
2. Don’t “move off the ball” (to the trailing side) on the backswing. Moving to the trailing side makes it very difficult to get back into the hitting position, requiring a lot of difficult leg work and excellent timing. If you don’t move off the ball, less physical effort and physical coordination is required, so the swing is more consistent. To learn to stay centered, put your feet together and pose and go through different positions of the swing, keeping the weight on each foot the same. The theory or physics behind this is that the torso is actually moving toward the target on the backswing and away from the target on the downswing, in opposition to the mass of the arms and club, thus maintaining a central balance.
3. Check to make sure that the backswing starts tangent to the target line.