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Home Dave Stockton wants players to stop thinking

Its been argued that many times we can be our own worst enemy. More often than not it implies the human tendency to get in our own way. While this may sound illogical, more often than not there is more truth to this idea than any of us may care to recognize. Someone who has enjoyed success in golf understands this relationship where humans can under mind their best intensions. It’s why he has lent a helping hand with others and now written a book about it.

Dave Stp7ockton describes himself as someone who was never a long hitter or never even in the top half of the entire ball striking categories when he played competitively. But he’s won over 25 times between the PGA TOUR and the Champions Tour, including two PGA Championships and three majors as a senior. Not bad for someone who self admittedly made money hitting eight or nine greens in regulation. His answer was to take twenty-five or six putts each round with an approach that he learned from his father. Stockton’s techniques, often reserved for the best players in the world or at corporate outings, can now be found in UNCONSCIOUS PUTTING: Dave Stockton’s Guide to Unlocking Your Signature Stroke (Gotham Books, September 15, 2011; $27.50; Hardcover).

In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient's arousal and responsiveness, and can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, delirium, loss of meaningful communication, and finally loss of movement in response to painful stimuli. That could also describe a round of golf for many people. Stockton is the first to point out that technique in vital but his goal is to get everyone to think of putting as they would signing their name to a check. In fact that’s one of the first exercises he employs, regardless whether your name is Phil Mickelson or not. “When you sign a check, you grab a pen and just do it, with no extra attention paid to how you make the lines,” he writes. “Good putters handle this part of the game in the same way. Instead of consciously attempting to replicate a specific series of movements, the stroke is in the background.”

Over the course of the book, Stockton explains what players should focus on, what their routine should be, ways to use the putter more efficiently, meaning how to roll it, not hit it. He also covers the dreaded three putts, why it happens and what often goes wrong. He also explains how to select the right putter based on a player’s style and eye as well as loft, lie, length and optics. There is a chapter devoted to troubleshooting, which any player regardless of ability would be wise to become well versed in. The book in written, with the help of Matt Rudy of Golf Digest, in a plain an easy style.

Stockton has proven that his putting method works for him but also a lot of players. The fastest way to lower scores starts and frankly ends, with one specific club: the putter. It can rescue a round that is getting away from a player or candidly drive them into insanity. Perhaps that’s why Phil Mickelson, Yani Tseng, Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan, Morgan Pressel and Rory McIlroy each have gone to one person in particular to help them. Dave Stockton has been credited with helping each of these players at one time or another. If it works for them, how about you?