Scottie Scheffler is top dog in nearly every statistical department on the PGA Tour, apart fom one. I watched him on the putting green at The Open and I was treated to a fascinating look behind the curtain
It’s a topic Scottie Scheffler has discussed more than ever in recent weeks. While he cruises at World No.1, there is one niggling issue in his game.
While being ranked first in strokes gained off the tee, from tee to green, and approaching the green, he ranks 137th for strokes gained in putting. What could be if he improved with the flat stick by a shot or two?
“I’m not going to let what you guys think about my golf game affect how I think of my golf game. I believe that I’m a very good putter, and everything returns to the average,” he said at the Genesis Scottish Open.
In the midst of this debate, I stumbled across Scheffler on the putting green in front of the Royal Liverpool clubhouse at The Open. What I saw was absolutely fascinating.
The American began by using a standard training aid that used a small arch. He was putting his ball through this arch from about six feet with repeated success. But what followed was quite extraordinary.
From the same length, Scheffler began to deliberately over-hit his putts at the hole. In fact, ‘over-hit’ is an understatement.
He was smashing his putts at the hole so much so, they were bouncing off the back of the cup and finishing about seven feet past.
I’ve provided a before-and-after split-screen image (sorry for the hyphens) above for you all to see how far his golf ball was stopping. It was quite something – but how does this help with your putting?
NCG’s resident PGA professional Jack Backhouse has since shed some light on the logic behind Scheffler’s drill.
Jack tells me as Scheffler could get in a groove by holing every putt with relative ease, this could effectively make the drill pointless. Hitting harder putts can give you some feedback on your start line and stroke on long putts as well as short putts.
I watched Scheffler putt for about 20 minutes while Dustin Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Justin Rose covered the other corners of the putting green. A ‘who’s who’ practice session you could say.
His caddie Ted Scott, with whom he became a major champion at the Masters, eventually took away the training aid and allowed his man to putt freely across the green.
After nonchalantly rolling in a 25-footer across the surface, he rushed some by from the same length and lined up every single one coming back as spectators peered through the glass of the Hoylake clubhouse and joined in my fixation on the world’s best player.
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Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?