Golf Monthly Editor's Letter August 2013 Issue

Editor’s Letter August 2013 Issue 

No element of the game has the ability to prompt joy and despair in such equal measure as putting. The sense of elation you get from watching a long putt track across the green and drop into the hole is one of the game’s greatest feelings.

On the flip side, the frustration you feel leaving a long putt woefully short, or the despair (and sometimes rage) that accompanies the missed tiddler is enough to make you want to take up crown green bowls.

However, the good news is that no matter how technically correct or otherwise your full swing is, any golfer – regardless of age or handicap – can become a good putter.

In addition, putting is probably the easiest department of the game to improve and, as such, it’s a proven shortcut to shaving shots off your handicap.

To help you become a ‘boss of the moss’, we’ve dedicated 36 pages of this issue to all things putting.

To improve your technique, there’s a collection of tips and drills to help hone your stroke and develop that all-important feel.

For those who struggle with the mental side of putting, there’s some fascinating insight from renowned mind coach, Karl Morris, that will help those with the yips to overcome their putting demons.

While grooving a better technique on the greens is the quickest route to fewer putts, we also know it’s crucial that the putter you hold in your hands inspires confidence and works well with your stroke, so we’ve put more than 100 of the latest models through their paces.

There’s an almost overwhelming range of putters on the market these days, from classic blades to futuristic designs that incorporate more technology than your driver.

Testing the current crop of putters was an eye-opening experience, and if you’re looking for a new flat stick that might help change your fortune on the greens, you’ll be glad to hear that there’s something out there to suit your eye, stroke and budget.

What better example to underline the importance of good putting than Justin Rose’s magnificent win at Merion in the US Open.

Justin has always had one of the strongest tee-to-green games in world golf, but on a number of occasions his less-than-perfect putting has let him down – most recently at this year’s Masters.

However, a recent change of putter and a more confident stroke saw him average an impressive 30 putts a round on the treacherous Merion greens, only three-putting a handful times.

Rose has always been one of the most popular players with his peers, fans and the media, and his maiden Major victory was greeted with universal delight.

His fantastic play was a delight to watch, as was the way in which he carried himself during the four days and delivered his winner’s speech. To me, he really did embody everything that’s good about our game.

Golf Monthly’s editor-at-large, Bill Elliott, who once beat a teenage Rose over nine holes at North Hants, winning £1 off him in the process, has written a wonderful piece on Justin’s career and his marvellous US Open win.

Fortunate timing means that this issue also features the newest Major champion answering reader questions in our popular Question Time feature.

We spoke to Justin a few weeks before the US Open, but his answers, particularly on the topics of nerves and dealing with pressure, give a great insight into why he coped so well in the final round and, ultimately, outlasted all his opponents to win what I’m sure will be the first of a number of Majors.

Twitter: @MikeHarrisGolf