I teach a class two days a week here at Core Golf Orlando. One day the class is theory, the next day is performance. This past Monday the class was on putting. What I really enjoy is the feedback from the mostly young students who attend, ages 20 to 30.
The first thing I need is their attention. The class is probably getting better because they never know what I am going to say next. I seldom follow the considered norm of conventional golf structure, and apparently, I have very different views on how we should go about improving.
#1 - I think we rely too much on drills and the belief that improvement is all about repetition and time spent in the normal golf-ish kind of way.
This week I led off with having a few of the students open their laptops and go to the stats section in pgatour.com. I told them that we are falling too much in the direction of letting new machines and equipment take control of our learning, how we instead need to rely more on our knowledge in order to lower our scores.
We discussed what putters were like in the 90s and what they are like now. We talked about how perfectly balanced they are and the wonderful tooling that goes into the making of a modern and very expensive putter. We also talked about how well manicured the putting surfaces are today versus what they were 25 years ago.
I then asked the students with their laptops opened to the stats page, to go to the putting average in 1990- 1.747 and in 2015- 1.699.
In over 25 years the putting average has moved less than 0.5 of a shot. Given the quality of the putting surfaces, the advanced tooling of putters, the countless putting training tools and the fairly new green reading gurus, I find 0.5 of a shot shockingly low.
I’d love to hear your take on this stat.