Loren Roberts ... Golf's greatest putter?
Roberts is almost the definition of a great putter. With four major championship
victories on the Champions Tour, the "boss of the moss" has maintained his
putting touch well into the latter part of his career.
Renowned for his deft touch from both long and short range as well as his
ability to read a green, it was inevitable that Roberts would have a successful
record on the greens.
Fact file :-
Date of birth: June 24, 1955.
Claims to putting fame: Made an 18-hole playoff for the 1994 US Open with
Colin Montgomerie and eventual winner Ernie Els at Oakmont - home to some of the
fastest putting surfaces in the world.
Putters used: Cobra Greg Norman
on Loren Roberts' putter...
What we can learn from Loren Roberts' putting ?
Roberts says that you must always remember that the golf
swing and the putting stroke are two different actions that stem from the same
family. The elements that bring them together are 1) the necessity to control
the speed of the clubhead; and 2) the visualisation of the shot itself and what
you want the ball to do. Roberts' philosophy therefore is that "control is the
key to putting."
One key factor that you will see in Roberts' three practice putting strokes is
the way his arms hang loose and free to swing. He has done this ever since he
was given a tip in the early days of his career to practice putting with a
heavier putter than his own. The 36.5 inch shaft and heavy-headed design meant
that the putter would swing with less effort from the player - almost like a
grandfather clock. Some critics even claim that his belief in heavy putters is
why he has such a smooth and consistent rhythm!
Roberts' mental approach:
In terms of the mental side of things, Roberts focuses
only on pace and line and has a very simple, no-nonsense routine. He has a
customary two looks at the hole when over the ball and pulls the trigger with
virtually unrivalled results.
Oh, and one last thing: he keeps the butt of the grip pointing at his belt
buckle throughout the stroke to help promote the natural swinging motion that
helps him get that control he believes is so important.
Loren Roberts' top tips:
Pace putting is something that you could improve by watching Loren Roberts. A
drill that he is an exponent of for this part of putting is the "one arm drill."
Here's how you should do it:
1) Take your normal address position behind the ball and get comfortable - as if
you are just about to take the putter back.
2) Place your opposite hand into your trouser pocket (the left hand for the
right-handed player and vice versa) while maintaining your normal address
3) Hit a series of putts from around 25-30 feet from the hole. This will help
you to "swing the putter like you should" according to Roberts. The science
behind it all is that it makes the wrists hinge the correct amount, otherwise
you couldn't generate enough power to get the ball to the hole!
by Murray Rose
Wikipedia on Loren Roberts
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