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Long or "Broomstick" Putters - Anyone?


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I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

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32 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

@Jmikecpa I believe this is your area of expertise 😁

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9 hours ago, Tiftaaft said:

I have been curious about gaming a long putter (not arm-lock length, but full 48"+ length).  I see some advantages in my stroke (and in my back), but wondering if anyone on the forum is using, or has used a long putter?  Pro's / Con's you may have experienced?

I tried it for a season before the anchoring ban, although I really never anchored it.  The momentum of the putter head going back and coming through felt really good on short and mid-range putts, however, judging the distance on long (+20 ft.) putts was more difficult.     Putting off the fringe was harder as well.   Easier to see the line? Not really.

And I concur it was much better on the back.   

Sometimes they went in, most times not.

One thing that I remember, that there was actually less control, or less room for error, with the putter face on the long putter, even though it felt more stable. When I went back to a shorter putter, I was amazed how much more control and feel for the putter face I had.  

I use a saw grip with a 35" mallet now.   Sometimes they go in, most times not.

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9 hours ago, SlowNLow said:

I tried it for a season before the anchoring ban, although I really never anchored it.  The momentum of the putter head going back and coming through felt really good on short and mid-range putts, however, judging the distance on long (+20 ft.) putts was more difficult.     Putting off the fringe was harder as well.   Easier to see the line? Not really.

And I concur it was much better on the back.   

Sometimes they went in, most times not.

One thing that I remember, that there was actually less control, or less room for error, with the putter face on the long putter, even though it felt more stable. When I went back to a shorter putter, I was amazed how much more control and feel for the putter face I had.  

I use a saw grip with a 35" mallet now.   Sometimes they go in, most times not.

Thanks SNL, great comments there.  That would make sense that the "lag" putts would be more difficult with a longer length.  "Sometimes they go in, most times not".... best line ever!!

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I tried for a year before the ban. agree with SNL assessment. One thing I notice is that I was more conscious of the stroke motored by rocking /turning my shoulder with long putter

Short putter sometimes I would get too handsy/armsy and was not as consistent with distance control 

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I putted with a broomstick for about a year. I was having mental problems putting with a conventional putter. Now for me the broomstick putter really putted well from 5 ft in. So So on long putts and useless off the fringe. I am old school as heck and anytime if off the green I can get the putter in my hand I do so. One thing anything you do wrong with a broomstick it will be equally worse. Like say with a conventional you pull a putt 2 inches off line you will pull it 4 inches or more with a broomstick. I also during that time worked on a new method instead of my lifetime way of arc putting I went to SBST with a claw grip. Worked good for me

Now back after I had my accident in April 2000 3 weeks after I was released from the hospital I was out on our putting green back brace and crutch and putted with my old Ping B-90I broomstick. I also converted back an old Bobby Grace V-Foil that had been a broomstick to begin with back to broomstick status. I wanted to get out and move some. I putted so so with either one. But soon after I healed enough to practice some I went back to my Santa Fe. Now I did some work on it. For a tall guy 6' 2" I always bent down and used a 33" putter. Could no longer practice much that bent over. I ended up putting a 35" Fluted Bulls Eye shaft in the Scotty and changing the lie slightly. Have gotten use to it now> But seriously I will hang on to the broomhandles because you never know because of my back I may have to go back to one. 

I do know some of the "stigma" concerning the anchoring etc. We got paired up with an older gentleman one day who was putting with one on the putting green. When they  called us up he stated to my other buds that he used a long putter. My buds are like me do not give two hoots and we told him we did not give 2 hoots if he anchored or not or if he stuck it up is wazoo to putt the first tee was over there tee it up. So if you feel comfortable going to one by all means do so. IMHO if someone raises hell about that then play with someone else because they are not worth playing with anyhow. Now in stipulated events you are ok there as long as you do not anchor the top hand to your sternum. And I know there is a gray area there

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17 hours ago, BIG STU said:

anything you do wrong with a broomstick it will be equally worse.

Thanks Stu.  That is interesting, but makes sense.  I wouldn't say I have the dreaded "y" word with a conventional putter, but I can say that I have a tendency to pull a lot of putts... maybe a precursor to the "y"word.  I am just looking for ways to keep my putter face on line... maybe a long putter is the trick for me... I'll definitely do some testing with one.  Because of my lackluster approach game... I have a fair amount of fringe and long putts... so I am definitely heeding that warning from you.

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54 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Thanks Stu.  That is interesting, but makes sense.  I wouldn't say I have the dreaded "y" word with a conventional putter, but I can say that I have a tendency to pull a lot of putts... maybe a precursor to the "y"word.  I am just looking for ways to keep my putter face on line... maybe a long putter is the trick for me... I'll definitely do some testing with one.  Because of my lackluster approach game... I have a fair amount of fringe and long putts... so I am definitely heeding that warning from you.

Diving in a little deeper,  I am assuming face on line means you struggle with face control and starting the ball on your intended line.  Some questions/thoughts:

  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
  • do you do ok with distance control?
  • what do you do to work on face control?
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
  • how do you practice your putting?

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4 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Diving in a little deeper,

  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
    • usually where the pull comes into play... once is too many especially at 3 ft.... but if I had to put a number to it... 20% pulls.  a few more % would be the opposite, a push, by holding the face open at impact... usually as a result of a pulled putt on the previous hole.  a few more % on mis-reading a break (intended line, missed putt) and hitting it through the break.  My I am probably a 75% make at 3'.  But that would be a good metric to track, so I'll make a point of that.
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
    • est. 6 feet.
  • do you do ok with distance control?
    • Mostly, yes.  My lag is usually pretty good.
  • what do you do to work on face control?
    • Time spent on the practice green with straight short putts, and sometimes a "tee gate" drill.  practice and on-course I try to focus on the area in front of the ball (between the ball and hole) rather than focus on the ball.  I get my line, and roll it.  Less pulls when I'm outside 6 feet, if I miss a putt, it is usually a bad read at longer lengths, but I hit my intended line.
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
    • Yes, on occasion.  Drills and on course.  Also, not looking up to watch the ball on shorter putts.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
    • Middle/slightly ahead of middle.
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
    • I have tried it... I don't care for using an alignment line on the ball.  To much focus on the ball for me, and I didn't see any improvement on pulling the putt... I can close my club face across the line just as easily with or without a line.
  • how do you practice your putting?
    • noted above, also trying to take my right hand out of the stroke as much as possible.
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1 hour ago, Tiftaaft said:
  • how well do you do making 3’ putts?
    • usually where the pull comes into play... once is too many especially at 3 ft.... but if I had to put a number to it... 20% pulls.  a few more % would be the opposite, a push, by holding the face open at impact... usually as a result of a pulled putt on the previous hole.  a few more % on mis-reading a break (intended line, missed putt) and hitting it through the break.  My I am probably a 75% make at 3'.  But that would be a good metric to track, so I'll make a point of that.
  • what is you 50/50 make distance?
    • est. 6 feet.
  • do you do ok with distance control?
    • Mostly, yes.  My lag is usually pretty good.
  • what do you do to work on face control?
    • Time spent on the practice green with straight short putts, and sometimes a "tee gate" drill.  practice and on-course I try to focus on the area in front of the ball (between the ball and hole) rather than focus on the ball.  I get my line, and roll it.  Less pulls when I'm outside 6 feet, if I miss a putt, it is usually a bad read at longer lengths, but I hit my intended line.
  • Have you tried putting with your eyes closed?  Lots of people especially on shorter putts turn during the stroke to look at the hole and see the putt go in.
    • Yes, on occasion.  Drills and on course.  Also, not looking up to watch the ball on shorter putts.
  • why do you play the ball position you play and what is the ball position?
    • Middle/slightly ahead of middle.
  • do you use a line on the ball and if so does it look aligned correctly when you are over the putt?
    • I have tried it... I don't care for using an alignment line on the ball.  To much focus on the ball for me, and I didn't see any improvement on pulling the putt... I can close my club face across the line just as easily with or without a line.
  • how do you practice your putting?
    • noted above, also trying to take my right hand out of the stroke as much as possible.

Your 3’ make percentage should be 95%+ as that is the distance you want you lag putts to stop within giving you an high probability of make.  Sounds like you are trying to steer the ball into the hole and making lots of compensations when you miss one.  Those short putts can be a struggle because the stroke is so short leading to the face angle getting off.   this is one of my struggles as well and I tend to lighten the grip pressure on the shorter putts to let me make a little longer swing.   You mention that you look at the shorter putts,  which opens the shoulders, moves the path left and closes the face more…..left miss.  eyes closed, quiet eye, waiting for a time before you look up are all strategies to maintain setup.   Work on gate drills or putting down a yardstick to get those 3’ putts starting online.  You say keep the right hand out of the stroke,  do you putt left hand low or power the stroke with the left side/left arm?  

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8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

our 3’ make percentage should be 95%+

No argument here. 

8 minutes ago, cnosil said:

Sounds like you are trying to steer the ball into the hole and making lots of compensations when you miss one.

No question.

9 minutes ago, cnosil said:

You mention that you look at the shorter putts

Might have been a slightly misleading comment.  What I meant was I get my line, then set over the ball, look at the hole a few times, but then make my stroke looking down at the ball... not that I make my stroke looking at the hole, or ahead of the ball.  

I putt conventional grip.  right hand low.

 

Thank you for taking the time to dig in to my faulty stroke... all good suggestions and advice CNosil!  I will keep working at it.  

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11 minutes ago, Tiftaaft said:

Might have been a slightly misleading comment.  What I meant was I get my line, then set over the ball, look at the hole a few times, but then make my stroke looking down at the ball... not that I make my stroke looking at the hole, or ahead of the ball.  

I putt conventional grip.  right hand low.

 

Thank you for taking the time to dig in to my faulty stroke... all good suggestions and advice CNosil!  I will keep working at it.  

Wasn’t misleading, I am guessing that you are peeking at the hole early which opens everything up and creates a pull. Right hand probably isn’t the problem unless you are really trying to rotate it thorough the stroke.  
 

no problem, we are all here to try and help each other.  I‘D personally start with gate drills or the yardstick and make different length strokes to work on face angle.   Can do this at home on carpet or a putting mat.   Don’t putt at a hole,  just work on getting the ball through the gate or down the yardstick; I put a pillow or something to stop the ball just after the gate/ruler.  

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I used a 50" years ago and never putted that good since.  I just didn't like that huge thing sticking out of my bag.

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@Tiftaaft Here's another drill to use for consistent start line on short putts. 

 

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I've tried :broom-stick" putters, but couldn't keep them steady. I also had belly putters but eventually cut them down and adjusted the lie & loft to a 36".

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I've tried them on and off for a number of years with limited success. It has only been within the last couple of months that I had an epiphany. It was actually the wife that noticed how I was sweeping off the front steps with a broom and she said, why don't you putt that way? What way I said and she referenced that my stance was open (left foot toe facing forward) which I then realized that it cleared my left side out and I was looking directly down the sweeping path. So I did changed 2 things. The first of course was the stance and the second was cutting down the shaft from 48" to 41". This allowed me to bend over the ball instead of standing to upright, which unto itself created stroke problems. My putting has greatly improved and even my playing companions have remarked accordingly. Now it also took some testing to find the right grip for myself and that was the Langer grip, with the shaft between the first 2 fingers and the palm facing the target. I've tried all the different grips, full right hand, claw, pencil, thumb and palm and that was the most comfortable and controlled. Back problems forced the necessity to change, but it now seems it's for the best.

Now one additional thing I also due is that I carry 2 putters. A 35" bullseye, for those Texas wedge shots and any really long putts on the green. The 2 actually compliment each other well and my scoring has improved around the green. Now if I could only find the cure for the needed extra distance of the tee. At 78 though, I think I'm just going to have to suck it up and take lots more club into the greens.   

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Agree that the one thing I find difficult  with the broomstick was as it was not reliable from the fringe putting

Also I had a hard time with long uphill putts with a broomstick  ( I have a hard time with short stick  for long uphill putts and left them short but seem to twice as worse leaving short with the broomstick )

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There are a couple of regular tour players and senior tour players that use the long putter, but the LPGA does not have any players, at least to my knowledge, that use one. Anyone care to offer an opinion as to why............ 

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Sorry I am late to the party but better late than never. I have used the long putter most of the time for the last 20 or so years with a lot of success. Main plus for me is that it is an easier stroke for me than using a shot putter and it also keeps the demons in my head quiet. Cons are it is not really a natural way to putt and takes some time to develop feel with the long putter.  I have also found that it is better for me these days if I use a 45” putter as opposed to 48” to get over the line of the putt a little more. 

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I have been playing a broomstick putter for the last 6 years since having the dreaded yips from my old spider. I had usually 36 to 39 putts per round for a few years before getting a Ping B90 broomstick 

I have now become a very good putter with it and my average in the last 2 years is 31.2 putts per round which is what I was hoping for so I am very happy.Very very good on long putts and quite good with shorter ones under 10 feet

I have been working in golf for the past 20 years and I consider myself a master fitter also I write reviews for a music web magazine 

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I have been using the long putter for 30 years and it has been a blessing to me. It cured my putting yips and also allowed me to practice my putting for as long as I want with my dicey back. I was really pissed off at the USGA for banning the anchoring of it, unnecessarily, and it took me a while to get use to using it unanchored. But now I can't tell the difference. TRY IT AND DON'T GIVE UP ON IT. Just remember to putt with your shoulders only and stand tall like Bernhard Langer , not bent over like Adam Scott.

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I'm fairly sure that most folks know why the USGA banned the putter and for those that don't, it wasen't for the so called "good of the game". But that's another discussion on it't own.

Unlike Golfdad12, as I've stated prior, I cut down my putter and putt similar to the way Adam Scott does. I just found that I have more control and see the line much better. Plus, if it's windy, I don't get buffeted around like I did when I stood tall. That's what makes the game different for all of us, we all do something a little different that seemingly suits us in particular. 

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I used one for a year. Accuracy improved but found the same issues others have noted regarding distance control.  I did find it helpful as a training tool most as it really does help you learn to putt with the bigger muscles and become less "handsy".  Don't expect it to solve all your problems as Adam Scott continues to show how to flounder with the broom flat stick. I'd recommend a putting mirror instead. Much cheaper and useful regardless of what type of putter or grip you experiment with going forward.

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On 3/7/2022 at 7:13 PM, ballhawk said:

I'm fairly sure that most folks know why the USGA banned the putter and for those that don't, it wasen't for the so called "good of the game". But that's another discussion on it't own.

Unlike Golfdad12, as I've stated prior, I cut down my putter and putt similar to the way Adam Scott does. I just found that I have more control and see the line much better. Plus, if it's windy, I don't get buffeted around like I did when I stood tall. That's what makes the game different for all of us, we all do something a little different that seemingly suits us in particular. 

IMHO that last sentence says it all as far as I am concerned. And that translates through out the game too. I have always said this There is no one etched in stone way to properly play this game whether it be in swing, method or equipment. Yep it all has to do with the way we go about doing things and being comfortable in the way we do it

Yeah on the anchoring debate and the USGA if you start the thread I will darn sure contribute. Anyone who has known me for any time knows I am the biggest detractor of the USGA on this and any other site. Yeah the USGA states "for the betterment of the game" I call BS on that because it is for the betterment of their pocketbook and nothing else. 

Yep as far as I am concerned I do not give two rips how someone plays the game or what equipment they use---- I say tee it up and lets go

Driver ---- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha  Speeder 565 R flex- 5W TM V-Steel Fubuki 60r--- 7W TM V-Steel UST Pro Force Gold 65R----- 9 W TM V Steel TM MAS stiff---- Irons 2015 TM TP CB Steel Fiber 95 R--- GW Callaway Mack Daddy 2 52* shaft unknown junk pile refugee. SW Callaway PM Grind 56*  Modified sole grind--- KBS Tour Wedge-- LW Vokey 58* SM5 L grind--- Putter Ping B90I Broom Stick 

 

 

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5 hours ago, FmrCaddie13 said:

I used one for a year. Accuracy improved but found the same issues others have noted regarding distance control.  I did find it helpful as a training tool most as it really does help you learn to putt with the bigger muscles and become less "handsy".  Don't expect it to solve all your problems as Adam Scott continues to show how to flounder with the broom flat stick. I'd recommend a putting mirror instead. Much cheaper and useful regardless of what type of putter or grip you experiment with going forward.

Good post--- As I stated above one has to develop their own style or method that they are comfortable with. Then practice it and gain faith and confidence with it. And over time you may have to change up some as you age or if you get like me with a permanent traumatic injury. I had to totally revamp my swing after breaking my back 2 years ago in an accident. I had to totally revamp my swing to be able to play pain free. Mine also came at what I call a transition period of me going into my Golden Years age wise. Yes I literally scrapped my swing of darn near 50 years and built back from the ground up. I will tell you how drastic it is. It would be about like Matthew Wolfe suddenly going to swing like Adam Scott. I had to revamp my equipment some too. I was always a good long iron player even when I was getting older. I was losing SS anyhow pre accident. I can still hit a long iron decent (even a 1 iron) but can not elevate it like I used to. Honestly now I have to push the issue and it causes pain. Something else for me I will admit is mentally. Basically I had to put the Man card away as I call it and I was silly thinking that way. Yeah I now have 4 headcovers in the bag. Even when I was in my heyday I carried some kind of trick wood in the bag. Back in the day it was a little Northwestern 6 wood which in the mainstream of things was odd with me bagging a 1 iron. Now days I am bagging the 7 wood and 9 wood. The 7 wood I have carried for some 15 years now. LOL as recently as 5 years ago I could bang that little 7 wood 185 or so. Now days it is 150 155. I also had to learn to revamp my whole game. Maybe I will do a thread one day on rebuilding my total game from the ground up physically , mentally and equipment wise. 

Driver ---- Callaway Big Bertha Alpha  Speeder 565 R flex- 5W TM V-Steel Fubuki 60r--- 7W TM V-Steel UST Pro Force Gold 65R----- 9 W TM V Steel TM MAS stiff---- Irons 2015 TM TP CB Steel Fiber 95 R--- GW Callaway Mack Daddy 2 52* shaft unknown junk pile refugee. SW Callaway PM Grind 56*  Modified sole grind--- KBS Tour Wedge-- LW Vokey 58* SM5 L grind--- Putter Ping B90I Broom Stick 

 

 

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Well, we're gonna find out!

I just bought a 46" GP Face-on putter from Patrice Dionne because my back just can't take bending over to putt.  It took a long time to make such a radical decision, but I'm committed to putting this way for the upcoming season.  Living in the Boston area, I hope to get on a real putting green within the next few weeks; but if putting on my bedroom carpet is any indication, I think I'm going to like it.

It does take a little getting used to because it different than anything else I've done in golf.  I get my line from directly behind the ball, then move to the left one step and facing the hole. (It's not legal to putt by straddling the ball, but putting from the side and facing the hole is totally legal.)  Then it's just a simple pendulum swing along my line.  I'm sure it'll take practice to get my distances down but it's very comfortable on my back.  Let's see what the year brings! 😅

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The "long" putter is by far the best way to put.  Why do you think they changed the rules about using them, and not being able to 'anchor' them to your upper body.  The "long" putter, cultivates the best notion of a pendulum stroke.  I should know, I used the "long" putter for 25 years, and it was by far the best way to put.  Use the 'claw' type grip in your right hand on the lower grip.  It will further stabilize the putter face.  Everyone thinks that they are a much better putter, than they actually are.  Forget the double anchoring rule, unless you play in sanctioned tournaments, and just putt with it, Bernard Langer style.  Personally I would choose a mallet type long putter, as it will help with the longer lag type putts.  My final thoughts about the "long" putter, is that it makes the putts magically half their actually length.  A 10 footer will feel like a 5 footer.  A 20 footer, like a 10 footer, etc, etc.  You will definitely enjoy the way a long putter feels and especially how much smoother it rools the ball.  And you will especially enjoy draining more putts!

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Contact LAB golf they make the broomstick putter Adam Scott is using now. I feel like they know what’s up with the broomstick. Before you buy a broomstick make sure the putter will fit in your car.
 

As far as LAB golf the tec on the lie angle balance is definitely legit. I can also attest to the fact you can hit it anywhere on the Directed Force face and it goes straight. LAB recommend putting with your thumbs off the grip in practice to prevent pulls with their model since it takes a little bit to get used to the putter not fighting you. You can try this without buying their putter. 

TS2 9/5  Even Flow Black HC 65 6.0

G425 17.5 Diamana Thump 85x

G425 19, 21 KBS Tour Prototype Hybrid 75S

P790 5-PW MMT 105S

Vokey SM8 50, 54, 58

LAB DF2.1

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To clarify my initial post of trying the long putter on and off was because of the greens I was playing on. I primarily play on a military course, which does/did not have the necessary crew or equipment or expertise to do justice to bent grass greens. It is only recently that we hired a new greens superintendent, who not only has the expertise, but also the desire to do an "old fashion" determination to do it right. We thought we were going to lose the greens, but he came in just in time and turned everything around. The greens are back and when they are being rolled, (which was something we never did prior to his arrival) during the warm months, they stimp between 11 and 12. Before then, they ran about an 8 or possibly a 9 at their best and they were bumpy. Now I found that when the greens were slow, the long putter was an exercise in frustration. You had to bully the stroke to get the ball to the hole and that just lent itself to all sorts of problems. Now that the greens are smooth and much faster, the stroke with the long putter has become fluid and smooth, there's no "hit" in the stroke and that has made the world of difference and my stats are showing it. On average, it's 30 strokes per round, with a few that came in at 26/27. The most I've had for an 18 for the past few months has been 34 and that was primarily due to wet and uncut greens that particular round. 

I played in our state open many, many moons ago, beside a gaggle of tour pros and learned a valuable lesson, which crushed my delusions of grandeur. From tee to green I did more than hold my own, but once on the greens, that ran 12-13, well you can imagine the carnage that ensued. I wish I would have had a long putter back then, but back in 1980, I don't think anyone played or even knew about them.  

Total Callaway bag - except putter

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