Monday, April 6, 2009
I came across a putting tip that I think beginners of golf should avoid. It's shown in this picture of Camilo Villegas (Click on the Image to Enlarge it). I had to take a second look because I couldn't believe my eyes. Take a look at what he is doing to the surface of the green with his putter head. Am I dreaming or is he putting a dent in the green? I'm assuming that this is a result of him balancing his body weight on his putter to be able to read the slope of the green, while not getting his outfit dirty. The green must be very soft because it looks like he is sinking down about a half inch.
Camilo Villagas and Putting
Please don't think that I am not a fan of Camilo. He is a tremendous golfer and he has made a big name for himself in golf since coming off the Nationwide Tour and joining the PGA Tour. His record is outstanding and the way he finished the 2008 season was remarkable. I have seen him play in person and I have seen his fan base. The crowd, or should I say the crowd of girls, that follows him is impressive! I love his outfits, I respect his attitude, and I admire his golf skills. But this photo bothers me.
I played golf with a golf course superintendent once who counseled me not to lean on my putter while on the green because it can leave dents in the green. He told me that even slight dents on the surface of the green will damage it. You may not be able to see it, but within a few days it can become visible. And if you dent it enough, it can take weeks for it to repair itself. He also pointed out to me not to lean on my putter when I bend over to get my golf ball out of the hole. This leaves minor impressions on the green that can mess up other peoples putts. This can cause the ball to bounce or to change its course just enough to miss the hole.
I have never forgotten that advice or tip and when I see other people doing it I try to nicely inform them. I am going to pay attention real close when Camilo plays to see if this is actually what is happening, and I would like to know what he does if does leave a dent on the green. Does he fix it with a divot repair tool, or does he just leave it?
Beginners-Don't Do It!
So beginners take this advice and remember it and pass it on to others. The putting surface is very delicate and we want to do everything we can to protect it. Try to copy Camilos golf game, but don't copy his 'on the green slope reading trick'. I'm sure it's not good for the green and besides, most of us are not anywhere near his physical conditioning to even try this for ourselves. I know I'm not! That is my golf putting tip for beginners today.