David Perry is the author of No 3 Putts: What The Pros Really Want You to Know to Improve Your Putting, a new book that features wide-ranging interviews with a variety of golf instructors, such as Mike Shannon, Chris Foley and Becky Dengler. David is an avid golfer with a background in engineering and marketing. Fascinated by the process of improving his own putting, and inspired by a meeting with Brian Schwartz, founder of the 50 Interviews series of books, David embarked on his own entry into the series. We connected with David to learn more about his book. Following is our exclusive interview:
What sets No 3 Putts apart from other books on putting?
No 3 Putts is not a traditional book on putting where the author is describing a given technique or process. Rather, it is a collection of the best-in-class techniques and tips from top-rated intructors and club fitters giving proven guidance to the reader. The interviewees commented they had not seen a book like it, so they agreed to participate. I received feedback, “great tips and right to the point”
We liked this line in the book from John Hughes:
“Everyone sets up differently for a putt. If you look at Palmer and Nicklaus, they are complete opposites as to how they set up. You’ve got Chi Chi Rodriguez who jabs at it. There is Loren Roberts who has one of the more rhythmic strokes ever. All four are exceptional putters. There’s tons and tons and tons of ways of putting. But if you are not set up correctly, if you are not hitting the sweet spot most often (if not all the time), and being able to control your distances, those are really the three most basic skill sets one can learn.”
What are your thoughts on that?
This is true, and it’s the reason for getting different views, yet all are based on years of teaching a wide range of students. As John points out, there are some key point that all golfers need to follow, yet most take for granted. Not all golfers are the same, so they can make use of different points from different tips.
What surprised you most about putting after interviewing such a range of putting
The biggest items were that golfers take putting for granted and that most golfers do not set up well on even six-foot putts. These are two big items!
After interviewing all of these putting experts, what’s one word of wisdom that really stuck with you?
Can you elaborate?
Sure. In my observations, golfers do not practice putting to the level required to really gain an advantage in thier game. This was one of the items I focused on for the book and got validated in my interviews.
One of the reasons golfers do not practice is they don’t feel they need to, the putt is only three, six or nine feet – no problem. They will miss simple putts and feel they were really close. In reality, they won’t ever make these putts consistently. Another reason is that golfers do not put a higher priority on putting is they do not understand the stats for putting. At three feet people are making 90 percent, which drops to 50 percent at 10 feet. They also do not record putts, so there is no benchmark.
Finally, working with Andy Thompson at Totally Driven Golf, a club fitter who runs putting clinics, I learned that most people cannot line up a putt from six feet away as measured with a laser. I will be doing an article with him on two clinics he ran recently.
The observations and data indicate golfers will not practice putting and the key reasons are improper expectations and skill level. Golfers under rate the putt difficulty and over rate their putting abilities!
Thank you, David!