Switch putter Notah Begay at 2001 AT&T


Notah Begay III Celebrates Bogey to Tie for FourthFewest putts for the week 105.  5 fewer putts than the 2nd best

For the last 25 years, I have been watching the golf tournament from Pebble Beach. Traditionally on the final round, the pin on the 18th green has been tucked directly behind the front bunker. Each year the announcers proclaim “no one has made the putt from behind the hole again this year.” With the pin tucked behind the front bunker, the prudent play is to hit your ball past the pin to the middle of the green. This leaves the players a downhill left to right putt. The right-handed players invariably leave this putt short and to the right of the hole. This year was no exception. Numerous putts by the finest right-handed putters in the world missed short and to the right of the hole.

Switch Putting was invented for courses with steep breaking greens such as Pebble Beach. This year was Notah Begay`s first chance to win at Pebble Beach. His drive into the ocean on eighteen finished his chances to win. But he did make the tricky downhill left to right putt on the 18th green. He made the 20 foot left to right putt left-handed for a hard working bogey 6. [see picture] He started the tournament with a beautiful left-handed putt for birdie from 12 ft. at Poppy Hills, and he finished with another beautiful left-handed putt on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach. He had the fewest putts of the week, 105.  5 fewer putts than the 2nd best putter for the week, which was Jeff Sluman with 110.

With his two consecutive wins in 2000, giving him four tour wins in his first two years on the PGA Tour, Notah has proven Switch putting is a viable option for any golfer wanting to improve their putting. If your weakness is those little putts that break away, please consider stepping below the ball and inside the arc of the putt, and learn to putt those from the other side. Remember that 43% of the game is putting, and half of those are putts that break away from the conventional putters. Approximately 1/5 of all your strokes in any golf round are low percentage slice putts. Any improvement in that aspect of your golf game will be directly reflected on your scorecard. Switch putting has worked for Notah Begay and many others, and it can help you too.

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