The Foreword to the Long View of Improved Putting


Foreword by David Feherty

The two authors' backgrounds vary to gener-ate a complete text for the long putter. Glenn Apple is an exceptional player with years of experience with the long putter. Chip Heyl is a professional analyst who was a competitive amateur golfer. Each brought nearly unique talents to an analysis and technical report never before attempted.

Most manuals are written when there is an audience interested in, and looking for, a text on a particular topic. That was not true with the writing of this text on the long putter. When this manual was initiated, the use of the long putter seemed to be on the decline. The authors proceeded believing that the reason for the decline was that little information existed on the use of this relatively new tool. The analysis is not only conclusive, but the relevant data can be easily verified by the unique referencing system. Anyone with access to the World Wide Web can accomplished this task through their personal computer, as the addresses of WWW sites are included in the Bibliography, along with the most successful search engines.

The long putter is alive and well on the European PGA Tour, due to the success of Sam Torrance and his disciples (Bernhard Langer, Mark James, Philip Walton, Gordon Brand, Jr., and myself) who have used the long putter for either short or long term benefit. In the same manner Peter Senior has influenced the Australasian Tour. This cannot be said of the US PGA Tour, as there has not been any player so successful to influence other good players to employ the long putter. That could change if either Scott McCarron or Grant Waite wins a major championship, or several players on the US Ryder Cup (or President's Cup) Team play with the long putter. Perhaps if Johnny Miller (or Tom Watson) would have read this book a decade ago there would have been such an example.

The regular US Tour has not embraced the long putter, but the Senior PGA Tour has. This was not a blessing for the growth of long putter use, as some younger players were reluctant to try using one, thinking that it was a crutch useful only to the elderly.

Certainly this text dispels that conjecture! Taylor Smith, Dan Bateman, Jonathan Lomas, David Carter, Stewart Cronin, Santiago Luna, Desvonde Botes, Hennie Walters, Paul Devenport, Chris Gray, Nick O'Hern, and Craig Spence are all fine young players who continue to im-prove with the broomhandle putter. The young amateur Tim Clark, already a great putter, improved more as a professional using the long putter. The last theory it dismisses is how difficult it is to learn how to use the long putter. Knowing the proper techniques and theory of employing the long putter stroke makes it relatively easy. Especially if the learner has an athletic background with one-sided activities such as throwing balls, racquet games, or bowling. Any activity requiring the development of touch with a concentration on one side, such as pocket billiards, makes a golfer a good candidate for the long putter.

------------------------- Publisher's Note: David Feherty is an ex-Ryder Cup player from Ireland and currently a Golf Commenta-tor for CBS Sports. He uses the long putter.

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