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Reviews and Topics related to The Stroke of the Future featuring Steve Elkington and Craig Foster

TOPIC: Huge improvement in an hour

Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25132

  • Alan Beall
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I have been putting terribly recently. My last 3 rounds have been 82, 83, and 82 with 5 or 6 3-putts in each round. Very frustrating. I even missed several 2-footers in those rounds and have lost all confidence.
Today, I downloaded The Stroke of the Future video and I am thrilled with my quick improvement. The video is much better than the book. On my home putting green that is 16 feet long (Birdieball) I just nailed four 12-footers in a row after watching the video. The great thing about Craig Foster's system is that you still can use the stroke and grip that you are used to. It's all in the setup, which eliminates several of the factors that can cause putts to go off line. For the first time ever, it appears that my putter is going straight back and straight through (although it probably has a bit of an arc). The impact is dead solid on the center of the face and even my distance control is better.
It's raining today, so I couldn't use it on a real green under pressure, but it looks as if it will clear up by Thursday. I can't wait. Thanks to Craig and Elk!
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25143

  • Craig Foster
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Great to hear Alan. My thanks also go to Elk plus T.O., Mike, and Jimmy for making this happen.

As you say, there is room within this technique for personal preference. Putting is very personal and as long as slack is not introduced into the set up, you can keep the grip you are comfortable with and probably a lot of the posture. I favor a configuration with a straight lead arm and shaft, and Elk has a bent lead elbow. He feels comfortable with more level shoulders where I prefer a higher lead shoulder with more spine tilt and my head a bit behind the ball.

The 45 page pdf included with the video is the putting section from the original Shotmaker Manual with my hand drawings. At the time, it was the best I could do. It is listed as the Quick Start Guide but it can be a bit of a slog to read through. I agree that the video will be an easier way to learn the technique for most people.

The pre-putt routine should become comfortable and second nature with some repetition.

Enjoy your golf!
Craig
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25144

  • Tapio Santala
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Didn't have time yesterday to watch all the video, but I get the hint of something about this few weeks ago and saw short version of it (2.0?). I directly went to test it indoors and was shocked about the result. There was no way I could miss the straight putt or make the face rotate.

First real test was in Turkey couple of weeks ago when I was playing practice round with Janne in Gloria Old Course. First 5 holes I had 5 times 2-5m putt and I made 4 of them and one just lip out. Janne started to laugh really and if someone has followed his blog Jannes blog understands why.

We didn't have time to really check this thing out together but I hope I can see him as soon as possible again and show this wide to him a and at least learn that left arm grip.

Thank you a lot Craig finding and sharing this thing with us. I hope it will save Janne's game, because I think the guy who shots 14-17 Gir each round should play on bigger tour, but not when he got 3-6 three putt greens :)

And one more thing... why the heck didn't someone tell me about this 20 years ago????
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25152

  • Craig Foster
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Tapio,

You are very welcome, it is my pleasure to hear of your good results. Your experience has allowed you to pick it up quickly and understand the advantage it has over more traditional alignment technique.

I have a good feeling that your knowledge and Janne Kaske's golfing skills will lead to more consistent putting for him. Anyone who can hit the ball and play guitar as well as him should be able to putt well too. I hope soon he will be laughing all the way to the bank.

It hasn't been 20 years, but I have been trying to tell people about this for a long time. No one wanted to hear much about it until Elk and The Dirt came along. It was worth the wait for me.

Craig
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25156

  • Alan Beall
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I've been fooling around with ball position and foot position and the best for me so far is a very open stance (about 45 degrees) and the ball under my right eye. I use a baseball grip with palms facing. I use my right hand as the motor. I take a few practice strokes to make sure my grip produces a nice arc before I go through the new setup movements. I keep stroking back and forth as I follow Craig's method. Once I am in position, I take a little practice stroke behind the ball to make sure the takeaway is perfect and to activate everything. Then back and through. The instant I make contact, I can tell whether it is in or not. I am sinking about 50% from 12 feet and the misses are very close. Very happy.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25161

  • Burk McDuff
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Craig Foster wrote:

As you say, there is room within this technique for personal preference. Putting is very personal and as long as slack is not introduced into the set up, you can keep the grip you are comfortable with and probably a lot of the posture.
Craig

The BEST part of my DynAlign Experience is this...Once I found my "personal preference", a gratifying new, very narrow, world of expectations opened for me. Now, no matter the distance or complexity of a putt, I EXPECT a good outcome...and on the rare occasion when that doesn't occur, it does NOT erode that expection.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25176

  • Craig Foster
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Alan,

Good work. The combination of your ball position and open stance makes sense with this system. Since the clubface likes to remain square to the arc from a reduced potential for face rotation, it means the ball position can be at a point on the arc that is comfortable both visually and physically to you.

When the ball is positioned farther back in the arc, a more open stance allows you to align the face on the target line while keeping the CW-CCW torque feeling between the upper and lower body.

There is a point in the video where Elk asks about this very issue. I exaggerated a rearward ball position and my stance opened up without me thinking about it. If I had tried a back ball position with a more square stance I would have immediately felt slack between my torso and legs. In that case the clubface could easily open up during a stroke. I missed that putt from lack of speed but it was right on line.

I am used to a bit of tautness, not tightness, from my feet all the way up through my torso. If that feeling goes away during my pre-shot routine, and it sometimes does, I just repeat the routine until the slack is removed.

My right hand is the motor as well because that hand has long been sensing mass and applying force to cause mass to travel to a target. Stability in the system allows right hand force application to the shaft, even fairly aggressive force application, without fear of an alignment change through impact.

Overall it is important to remember that this system gets a golfer and the club aligned with one another before the clubface is aligned on a target line. It is the opposite of first setting the putter square to the line and then gripping and aligning the body. Although that technique can work well for some, it allows too much slack in the system for me.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25208

Craig,

Your video has helped me tremendously. I use Dave Pelz's putting tutor to practice and I've worked my way up to consistently (8 or 9 out of 10) passing on the most difficult setting. Cant believe it because I've put in just a few hours of practice.

A few of my personal preferences are a 45 degrees open stance, slightly bent left arm and a completely uncocked left wrist. From there I just need to have passive hands (no hitting, just free flowing) and i'm dead on the line every time. The only thing that kills me is when I try to add to the stroke and hit the ball.

Thanks for this because it will be a part of my game for many years to come.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25213

  • Craig Foster
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Hello Cedric,
Great to hear of your good putting, and that your preferences adapted quickly. The Pelz putting tutor looks like a stern test for face alignment. DynAlign sets up alignment of golfer/clubface/target line and helps with a square face at impact so you can focus on proper speed. Add in some good green reading skills and you are ready to go on the attack.

A 45 deg open stance works well in this system and can add stability to the base. It's also an easy way to keep the slight amount of CW-CCW tautness between the legs and the torso. That will help keep the slack out and keep you connected throughout the stroke.

Free flowing on the stroke is good. It is also possible to apply more stability to the lead arm/hand via the last three fingers of the lead hand so that increased force can be applied to the shaft with minimal if any affect on alignment. That is for people who like to have an active rolling or tossing action with the trailing hand. Some people even prefer to use the lead side to regulate force application. It's a personal preference.

With a bit more use, the pre-putt routine should be as comfortable as an old pair of jeans.
Enjoy your golf,
Craig
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25934

I downloaded the dynalign two days ago. It did take me some time to get the new feel for this system. Went to the range to see if it would cure my pull and pull hooks that I'm been stuck on for a while. My shots were so straight. Going to see I get the same results tomorrow in a round at Diablo Grande the Legends Course.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #25938

  • Craig Foster
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Good digging Sean! Glad to hear that you are seeing full shot improvement just from studying the putting technique shown in the video. The pre-putt routine is the core and related to a full shot routine. Putting is the easiest way to learn and to feel comfortable with this system, that's why it was presented first. A lot of people want to apply it to full shots right away, and I would probably do the same.

As you said it can take a bit of time to get the feel for the routine, but you went from zero to full shot in 2 days...Gold Star for you. Just make certain that you do not feel strain anywhere from over doing any of the slack removal motion.

You are likely seeing improved straightness in your shots because variation in club path and clubface angle in relation to the path have been minimized by the pre-shot slack removal.

Enjoy your golf tomorrow!
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26123

Well I'm back to report my findings. Well as for me I will need more time with this method with putting. I felt a little to rigid. I went back to my old method after nine. For the full swing. It was the most fairways I've hit in one round. My playing partners were impressed with the consistence of hitting fairways. The only thing I need to do with my set up is aim more to the left then I'm use to. With my old swing of pulls and hooks it took me a lot to aim more left. Can wait to get back out there and see more results.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26135

  • Craig Foster
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I'm glad something worked. Sounds like you are getting the harder full swing part down first. A putting change can be tough because people have strong putting preferences. Hopefully you can adapt at least part of this technique to your preferences.

For putting, try adding a minimum amount of torque to the throw motion and forward winding during the pre-shot routine. It can be easy to over-do the moves and get too rigid. More reps should help make you feel like you can set up and stroke smoothly. Taut but not tight is a good way to think of the feeling you get.

As far as the left aim feeling... I think that's good because you are getting the left side out of the way at address. A more square traditional address position contains slack. By opening up the left side during the pre-shot and address, a lot of the slack is removed.

If you are getting hooks or pulls, weaken your left hand grip a bit.

My go to choice off the tee is to tee up on the right side, aim left and cut it. My lead thumb is slightly left of the shaft center-line as established by the club's impact attitude. If the lead thumb is placed to the right of the shaft center-line, the face can become closed more easily.

Great feedback...Thanks.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26421

  • Kurt B
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This has been fun trying to learn, and I did see significant improvement in the one round I've managed to get in since receiving your instruction, Craig. Spent more time with it here in the house practicing on the carpet, and it's becoming quite comfortable after a couple of weeks of toying with it.

I kept thinking Dynalign...where have I heard that before? Sure enough, after a little search I stumbled into the manual you used to sell and was sure I had added that to the collection at one time or another. Found it in a box of books and have been looking at it again. Pretty sure it went right over my head when I first looked at it a few years ago, but thanks to your video the old bulb went off this time.

One thing from the manual that doesn't seem to be in the notebook though is the one hand putting drills. I've found these to be pretty helpful in my case to make the setup comfortable and repeatable. I use my free hand to measure shoulder tilt along my leg and give it a stroke. Seem to be fairly good with the lead hand, and deadly with the trail hand. Anyway, it seems to be going well and I'm truly looking forward to a little more play when the weather improves.

Thanks again for the great instruction,
kb
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26481

  • Tapio Santala
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Don't really know what to say. Three rounds now made and 26, 26 and 28 putts. Have missed one 1,5m put but everything else inside of 2m middle of the hole.

So maybe just say: Thank You
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26484

  • Craig Foster
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You are most welcome Tapio, I enjoy your success as well. Those numbers show remarkable consistency. Gold star for you... Well done!!

My Thanks go to our generous hosts. Hats off to all at SITD for making it possible.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26506

Back with more info on my new swing. Went to a golf store to get more golf ball for my next golf outing. Decided I would hit a couple of shots on the launch monitor with one of the drivers sitting there. I had to take a double take. I had increased my swing speed by 13 mph. I went from 104 to 117. At the course my buddy could not believe that I could pick up that much mph in my swing speed. After a couple 300 yard drives he now wants to learn the system.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26531

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Hi Craig et al,

I thought this passage may interest you, in relation to the DynAlign concept of bracing & torque..

It's from Percy Boomer's book, "On Learning Golf", and the story relates to the concept of "the brace" in the golf swing. I believe the word "profiled", as used below, means at a slight angle to/braced against/offset against.
"I remember a lady whose game had been largely messed up because to "cure" a somewhat persistent slice someone had told her to draw her right foot back a bit and hold her right hip back.

Well, I squared up her stance and showed her how to brace and she began sweeping the ball away so perfectly that she could hardly believe her eyes!

The next day she came back and told me she had thought over what I had told her and had found a curious resemblance between my "hip brace" and something that Miss Irene Castle the dancer had said to her some years before. "Do you know," she said, "that while studying the dancing of Egyptians from old illustrations, Miss Castle found that they did not dance with their feet and hips and shoulders square, but with the hips profiled to the other two lines, and Miss Castle put down much of her success as a dancer to the fact that she adopted this idea?"

Now that was exceedingly interesting to me, even if it did upset some of the reasons I had worked out for the hips being "profiled" at golf. Like most of those who had been lucky enough to see Miss Castle dance, I had wondered how she did it - and here was part of the answer.

I am more than ever convinced that the correct bracing of the body in this way is essential to good golf as it is helpful to good dancing and that it is something that we should all seek whatever our caliber."
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26538

  • Craig Foster
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Sean,

It could be that your alignment allows for more efficient motion, but that is a major increase in speed. Glad you are hitting it big. Just make sure your buddy knows that the video is about putting.

Enjoy your golf.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26540

  • Kenny
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Okay...are you guys saying that you are doing this on full shots also....not just putting.....
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26541

  • Craig Foster
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Dan,

That is an interesting connection. It makes sense that preparation for various types of physical motion would include combinations of torquing and/or bracing. It discourages random or wasted motion so less can go wrong.

One Percy Boomer quote keeps coming back to me is.... "taut not tight".

Good story, thanks.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26542

  • Craig Foster
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Kenny,

Some Diggers have adapted it to full swings. I would be doing the same thing. My stuff so far is limited to putting pre-shot alignment because that's the easiest way to become comfortable with the pre-shot motion, and to be able to see its advantage. There are more choices to prepare for a full shot and some people might not have success as easily as with putting. I prefer to begin simply and work back from the hole. If you feel comfortable with putting, maybe try some chipping next.

Good digging to you.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26545

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Glad you enjoyed the story, Craig.

Good point about the "taut not tight" expression. Percy definitely had a way with words.

Speaking of which, here's one of the images from the book - his brother Aubrey Boomer at address. I'm sure you'll see some torque and brace happening here!


1242319.jpg
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26563

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Craig Foster wrote:

One Percy Boomer quote keeps coming back to me is.... "taut not tight".

Craig, How about Percy's three braces at address or "I putt as I drive, and drive as I putt"?

Congratulations to you for the fact that your method is apparently working well not only in putting but also in the full swing. Thank you for your great and simple instructions.
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Re: Huge improvement in an hour 2 years 9 months ago #26567

  • Craig Foster
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Kurt,

Thanks for getting the manual way back when. The printed page is not the easiest way to learn this system, so glad to finally get it into video format. I encourage carpet putting in the beginning to become familiar with the pre-shot routine, especially the orientation technique where the golfer's back is facing the target. People can feel too self conscious doing that in public. Good that you are getting comfortable with the routine, it should become second nature eventually.

There is one short demo video way down the wall in the Dynamic Pre-Shot Alignment group (private) of one arm putting with the trailing arm. The stroke is quite stable once the elbow is moved forward more towards the center of the body, similar to a pre-release position when a ball is thrown.

One arm putting with the trailing arm can also be helpful to those who use a long putter. There is a lot of potential for motion in the trailing arm that can cause stroke variation even when the putter is anchored with the lead hand.

Thanks for your report. Hope you are enjoying your golf.
Craig
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