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THE SET UP

The setup is an imperative part of good putting.  Often overlooked, it is probably one of the most flawed parts of most students I see. The irony of it is, it’s the one thing players of all levels are reluctant to change. Players seek comfort, and sometimes being comfortable doesn't lead to good golf. The setup is the driving engine of the stroke. A proper, consistent set up will give the player a better chance to create a consistent, repeatable and controllable stroke. A great stroke won’t come just because you have a great set up but it’s definitely a great place to start.

Let’s identify the 4 important things in a great set up.1- Eye line 2- Ball position 3- Stance Width and 4-Aim. All these things are interrelated, and if one is off, chances are high the others will be too.  This would diminish the chances of you making putts over the course of a round. I believe that identifying your eye-line is the first big step. By this I mean, identify where you see the line properly.  For most, their eyes fall just inside the ball; but this is definitely a trait unique to every player. From this starting point, the rest should fall into place because your body will fall where that eye-line remains unchanged.

 

One of the biggest moments this came to fruition was during The Wells Fargo Championship a few years back. Harris English had been struggling starting the ball on his intended line and was at a loss as to why. We routinely work a lot on his set up and this day he didn't know how to get back to where he needed to be. After comparing the video he sent with one of his practice videos I noticed that his stance width had gotten wider and his ball position was too far up on his stance.  This threw off his eye-line, his aim and obviously his stroke, which in turn caused him trouble starting the ball online. It was a quick fix and was back to normal in no time. At this moment, a light bulb went off in my head. I thought, how can a player stay on top of their set up when their coach is not around? Enter the “Fundamentals.” This episode with a premier PGA Tour Player was evident that everybody would benefit from having a training aid that they can rely on to make sure their set up is the same on a day-to-day basis.

Fast forward a few years, the “Fundamentals” is the one training aid that I use with all of my players and one that I know they use religiously. Some even use it in their hotel rooms or at home while working on their stroke in doors. Once you’ve identified the set up that works for you, now you have a way to be sure you start every round at that position no matter where you are.

Happy putting.

Putt like you train!
Ramon Bescansa

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