Interestingly Gotham Books has just issued two books on putting: Dave Stockton’s “Unconscious Putting” which I enjoyed and has already benefitted me (see my review – http://theaposition.com/robertfagan/golf/product-reviews/5451/book-review-unconscious-putting) and now Michael Breed’s “The 3-Degree Putting Solution.” The two Gotham Books offerings couldn’t be more different.
Michael Breed’s piece is an analytical examination in which he essentially feels that you should de-loft your putter with a hands-ahead or forward press position to get your ball rolling on the ground quicker which leads to a truer roll and more consistent speed. This can significantly improve your putting accuracy and consistency. Many putters are set up with loft to pop the ball up in the air before it lands in a skidding fashion. Breed offers much detail about this and then shows you how you might accomplish this correction. Breed uses some of the game’s great putters as proof and goes into considerable detail on the mechanics of the putt. In contrast, Dave Stockton’s offering, “Unconscious Putting” is much more simple and is all about feel and establishing a consistent approach to putting in which analytic types may likely feel cheated. It depends upon your personality and learning style as to which book you prefer.
Breed may not have Stockton’s credentials as a player, but he has proven himself to be a respectable club pro player and an animated teacher as demonstrated by his following at the prestigious private clubs he has worked for. You may also recognize him for his high energy show, “The Golf Fix” on The Golf Channel. He has invested thousands of dollars and countless hours in putting research and “The 3-Degree Solution” sums up his conclusions. It is a well-presented documentation that could be easily explained on one or two paragraphs, but this book’s depth will satisfy the most analytical of putting students, especially those preoccupied with mechanics. The only errors I spotted were that some photographs and messages/captions were repeated at different points in the text as if they needed to meet a page minimum.
I agree with Michael Breed’s analysis, but I benefitted more from the Dave Stockton presentation. Interestingly Breed uses Stockton as an example several times. One nice feature that I enjoyed is that Breed offers several putting practice drills though many have been borrowed from other’s works. I am fairly sure that a personal lesson with Michael Breed would be a very beneficial experience, but I am not as certain that his written presentation succeeds as a game improvement piece. It is interesting to be sure and will appeal nicely to those analytical types who love to gather information. If we have learned anything, however, information does not equate to better golf. If it did, we would all be far better.
My verdict is that “The 3-Degree Solution” is an interesting piece. Both Gotham Books putting works are worthwhile, and your preference will likely depend upon your personality and learning style. For me, “The 3-Degree Putting Solution” is like many other putting books; it’s is hard to translate the written word into anything more than nice information. You will still need Michael Breed at your side if you really want to putt better.