FIVE FAXON FUNDAMENTALS
Here are a few putting pointers from one of the world's best. For more of what makes Faxon play like Faxon, get a copy of Putt to Win, a video lesson Brad taped with Dr. Bob Rotella. It includes drills, games and techniques to aid your greensmanship. For a copy ($39.95, which includes shipping and handling), call ProActive Group at 770-649-1221.
1. Favor orthodoxy.
High handicappers, Faxon says, often look amateurish. They have odd stances, grips and putters. They can't break ninety, but all swear that their grip or putter is the secret to success. But Faxon thinks you should have a standard grip and setup. As for clubs, "If you don't see players using something like it on Tour, you probably shouldn't use it, either."
2. Have a routine.
Most amateurs Faxon plays with have no routine. His isn't robotic. It can vary as he reads a green. Then he may or may not take a practice stroke, depending on how he feels. But once he steps up to the ball, his movements are always the same, and he strives to think the same way on every putt. That breeds consistency.
3. Once you have good fundamentals, be persistent.
Amateurs and pros alike too often begin to fiddle with something as soon as they miss a few putts—a different grip, perhaps, or setup, or putter. Faxon believes that good putting comes from deciding on a sound method and sticking with it.
4. Don't get hung up on perfecting your stroke.
Faxon has seen too many players with kinks in their putting strokes win tournaments to believe there is one perfect stroke that everyone must attain. It's more important, he says, to "trust your ability as an athlete, trust your instincts."
5. Always think like you're on a hot streak.
It's easy to be loose and confident on the day when you've just made a few birdie putts and think you're on a hot streak. The challenge, Faxon says, is to think like that all the time, regardless of what the past few putts have done.