RICKIE FOWLER – HOW I READ GREENS | ME AND MY GOLF


– Hello everybody,
welcome to the Floridian. Thanks for joining us and we have a fantastic guest with us today, one of the best players
and most importantly one of the best putters in the world, to talk us through how
he putts and share with you guys some really useful tips. Rickie Fowler, thank you for joining us, welcome to the show. – Yeah, thanks very much.
– Thanks so much. – Okay, well what we’d love to do today is to spend a bit of time and putting is just so key, especially for
the amateurs watching this, who really struggle with this. We’d love to talk about
your, first of all your process of how you read greens, some of the things that you do, and then really look at, I suppose, things that you do to control pace. Distance control is so key. And then maybe we might
actually challenge you at the end, just to finish off, on those, on maybe some six footers. I don’t know why, but
we’ll have a go anyway. – Okay. – So we’ve got probably, maybe just over 20 feet, maybe 25 feet here. We’d love you to talk
through your process of actually how you would read this putt and what you would do. – Yeah so, depending on
where we’re coming in, say we’re walking up the green, this is a back-right pin. I mean, I would start
looking at what’s going on with the green as soon
as I’m getting up to it and walking up to where my ball is. Just so you have an understanding, this idea of where we’re
at, what’s going on, and then from there I’d try
and, the most that I can, I’ll stay underneath the
putt, on the low side and really start from behind the hole. Get a good picture of where I think that the ball should enter the hole. For me, from there, based on that I can then match up speed-wise and
start drawing lines of, ultimately, where I
want this ball to roll. Which then gives me kind of a start point and then after that, all
you’re focusing on is hit it solid first, but speed to really try and match up those lines. – It’s interesting Pierce,
that he talks about sort of building it back from how the ball is entering the hole. It’s sort of mapped
out from there and then drawing it back to really getting the attention on this area. – Yeah, just trying to take care of all that first, and then get rid of it because we already know what
we’re trying to do there and then focus, okay, what do we need to do here to make it do that. – Yeah, okay. – But okay, so just how,
what is this putt then? We’ll actually get you hitting this putt. So if you just go
through that process now. – Go all around it? – Yeah absolutely.
– Yeah, let’s do it. – Okay. – Do you use your feet, Rickie? As you’re walking around, is that a big part for you? Or.. – Yeah it’d be, I mean feet and eyes. You wanna get an idea of, okay, this is coming back at me, it
is a little bit downhill. Start getting an idea of
where I’m seeing the ball, kinda where it would enter the hole. I do a version of plumb bob but people think that I just hold it up. I kinda, I swing it in a
way to where I’m getting the point where I see
it coming in the hole. So it’s just a version. So from here, I’d be looking at… I don’t know if I’m gonna
be reading it right or not but the end of the putt,
roughly being there. It looks maybe a little
flatter up there but from that line I’d then figure out what the other half would be doing. But ultimately, seeing that ball kinda going in at that point. – Makes total sense, makes
total sense when you see that. – So basically, the center of the hole is obviously just a little more
left on this one basically? – Yeah, I mean, you hear
people talk about like a clock. It’s going in at seven
o’clock or seven-thirty. Yeah, and then there’s
the aimpoint and vector and all kinds of different
ways to read greens. I’ve never necessarily got into that, I’ve always had good feet, good eyes. And a lot of times, when I set, if I’ve gone through my checklist before tournaments, before the round and my set up on the mirror is good and I know my eyes are matching with my line, if I step up over a putt and my line just doesn’t feel right, I’m probably going to adjust it. And then there’s other days where my set-up is a little bit off, the line doesn’t quite look right and then I just have to trust the line, and just make good strokes from there. So, you just have to sometimes commit to one or the other, depending
on where you’re at because you’re not always
gonna be dead on perfect. – Of course not.
– No, definitely not. – [Andy] With putting, the
first thing is you have to commit no matter what
you’ve got, I suppose. – Yeah, pick one and commit. – [Andy] Yeah, okay so… – Let’s see. – [Andy] And do you
use a line on the ball? That really helps you, yeah? – I do use a line. I started doing that I’d say six years ago. For most, I would say, a lot of people that don’t use a line,
they don’t use a line because when they put
it down it looks like it’s going somewhere else. – Yep. – For me that took two to
three months to train my eyes. And it’s not necessarily that you’re eyes have to be dead square to the line. Finding your set-up position
is what it’s all about and keeping it consistent. I mean, you look at Jordan Speith, good buddy of mine, his head’s always a little bit back. I try and get pretty
square but the thing is you can train your eyes from wherever to see where that line is going. It’s really just finding
straight-ish putts or just being able to
look from the ball and and the line to the
point that it’s aimed at. And you can really get things dialed in, but like I said, it takes time. – [Andy] Yep, yep, we know that. – And then the thing
is, the reason I check on the mirror every day at tournaments and maybe not every day at home but there’s checkpoints here and there, but it’s to make sure that
your set-up is consistent. As soon as anything
changes in your set-up, it changes your head position. As soon as your feet change,
your hips are gonna change and kinda counteract, either go with what your feet are doing or counteract. And then your shoulders, and so you end up in a different spot. You always want your head and eyes to be in that same spot so you
get the same feedback. – [Pierce] So the mirror
for you is kind of like a default, like
reset, making sure that you are in the right place, then you can work from there? – Yeah, that’s just a great check-off especially before the round. Like I said, for me, either to know that “Hey, trust your eyes today.” or “Hey, eyes are a little off.” If there’s a question, trust the line and hopefully it works. – Okay, I like it. – Let’s see. – This is going in obviously, we know it’s going in now. – We’ll actually let focus
on the putt again now Pierce. – Yeah you get into that. – I’ll say it’s a, from what I’m feeling feet-wise, it’s
not moving as much early, and then just gonna drift
a little right at then end. So, I mean, I’d like to
think I’m gonna be right but, or at least somewhat close. – Yeah, this is the first putt. This is the first putt. – Well he’s got a pretty good record. – It was a little firm, it
went in the left-center. (laughing) – Good putt.
– Superb. – And it’s an interesting
ball that you’re using at the moment, so I
haven’t seen these yet, we’ve got a lot of different
sort of shapes on there, is that something that you’ve
had some input in? Or… – Yeah, so Taylormade came out
with the pix ball last year and there were, kind of an
X with graphics in them, and the pix logo’s were
a bit bigger than these. And they wanted me to help come up with the second version of them. And they, when we first
looked at some stuff, early this year, so nearly,
say, ten months ago. Looked at a bunch of
different shapes, designs, and I wanted to try and keep
it as simple as possible and the orange kind of
helped create the lines outside of the main line
which was great feedback, liked seeing that. So, like I said, there’s
some design in there but I wanted to keep it
as simple as possible and then just have the
orange pop for the lines. – Certainly interesting. – It gives you a great
indicator as to when you are obviously, you know, striking it well as well, obviously. So, okay, next question for us is definitely, we spoke
about this off camera, as soon as amateurs get
outside of this range here, they get outside of 20
feet, they really do go into 3-putt territory. How do you work on your pace control? – Well, the biggest thing
is hitting the ball solidly. That is probably, for me, the number one thing to controlling speed. If you don’t hit it solid, you’re going to get a
pretty big dispersion on, if you think you hit one too hard and then you try and lay off and you miss-hit that one, it’s a big gap. Or if you thought you hit one too soft but it was actually the right
stroke, you hit it thin. The next one, you hit it harder and you hit it solid and it’s gone. So, solid contact is what
it comes down to, for me, and really when it comes to a long putt, I’m really trying to think
about just staying still and finding a way just to
hit the center of the face. Because then there’s
less dispersion there. – And you can see that
when you’re putting. – There’s not movement is there? – There’s not a lot of
movement going is there, it actually is very solid. Yeah, I love that. I think
anybody who’s watching this know, getting that strike is obviously massively important. – Yeah. I mean there’s other
stuff you can think about. You know, sometimes the longer pause, some people might go to a little more grip pressure to help with that. For me, I would say one of the things that I’m not a fan of, or when I see people, is they try and accelerate the putter. I’m a big believer in taking
it back as far as you need to, to then have the speed created and then kinda short follow through. So, yeah, it goes back as
hard as it comes through, nothing ever increases or decreases. – Okay well let’s see
you knock this one in. We’ll see this nice positive stroke. – So it’s obviously myself and
Andy versus you then Rickie, so it’ll be, if you hole
and one of us holes then we advance back another pace,
so go to nine feet, maybe. – Do you know what Rickie’s
percentage make is from 6 feet? – I don’t wanna know because it’s probably gonna be really good. – Do you know what your percentage make is from 6 feet Rickie? – Eh, I don’t. – 76% Pierce. – Okay, so one in four is missing, that’s what I like to hear. – Mine’s 15. (laughing) – [Pierce] All right. – Let’s see. – Let’s see what you got. – That should be about there. Yeah, that looks right. Should just drift a little right on us. – Greens are beautiful
here as well aren’t they? – Ah, pushed it. – Oh wow, okay. We have a chance then. – That one has a little more movement. – Yeah. So, hear the knees go then Andy? – I heard the knees go Pierce. – [Pierce] That was my knees,
it wasn’t anything else. – It’s gotta be a little outside-left. – Yeah, going second is
is definitely gonna help. – What I love about your
stroke as well, Rickie, is that it doesn’t look mechanical, it looks like there’s
a flow, it looks like there’s a bit of wrist
movement in there as well. It’s fairly soft. – Right in the middle. – Right in the middle.
– Oh dear. – Pierce, we need to have
another pace back I think. – Yeah, we gotta pace back. One-nil. – One-nil. Okay. I’ve got the line here. – So interested when
you were talking about, it took you a couple of months
to get used to that line. What did you see? Did
you see left or right? – For me… – That’s a pull. – If it was a right-to-lefter
and I put the line down, it didn’t look like it had enough, like it wasn’t high
enough, so it looked left. – Yeah. – And then left-to-righters,
I would say looked okay. It was more the right-to-lefters
because if anything, I kinda pushed putts out
and so when the line, it just looked, depending
on how long the putt was, it looked maybe two balls off. So when you’re up close to the hole, two balls is a lot. – Yeah, okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So two months of literally,
of conditioning like, “I have to understand that
is how it should look.” – Yep, yep. And it’s just, over and over, be like if you’re hitting a right-to-left putt and just putting the line
down and say there was a tee right here so that every time you looked up, you just
looked at that tee. – So that’s interesting. For anyone who’s tried a
line and it didn’t work, you’ve probably tried it
three times, try two months. And from one of the best
players in the world. Okay let’s see if we can
knock another one in then. – Okay let’s have one more putt each then. – One more putt each. – Pierce you…
– Oh, didn’t come. – Oh, that one didn’t move.
– Didn’t did it? – That was a good putt. – C’mon Rickie, you can go. – Go on then, Rickie, you jump in there. Maybe I should go to this ball though, because I liked that first one. I thought Rickie Fowler
watched me hit a putt there, and I’m like, well I knocked it in so, there’s something in this golf ball. – [Andy] So you can
tell everybody that bit. – [Pierce] Yeah, I will be, yeah. – All right, we’ll go out here. We’ll see if we can go a little bit more of a dive for the people at home who think we just rip ’em in. (laughing) – Yeah, they’ll see this and they’ll go, “Oh, Rickie Fowler’s a dead pace putter.” – Looks nice. – Yeah, very nice. Very nice.
– Yeah, beautiful. – So soft.
– Go on then Andy. We need this for the draw. – Okay. – Yeah nice. But it does, it looks… It’s gonna sound a weird thing to say, your putting stroke looks like a more traditional style putting stroke, if that makes sense, you know, think about all when the
science came out about maybe wider stance and really, sort of, aggressive in the shoulders but yours looks like it’s a feel stroke. – Yeah, I’m very, hang on… – Oh. – I’m very much more like little feel, – Little soft on pace. – I feel my arms are,
you would think kind of your inside of your arms here. I feel them, mainly my right one, but they’re against my torso and kind of connected, in a way. So you’d think like
people with arm lock but that’s a way, for me, then it takes away any of this movement. If those are kinda, they’re not locked, I’m not putting a bunch of pressure, there’s just enough there that arm’s not leaving the torso, so then
as your shoulders rock, and you’re gonna have a
little bit of movement, you try and limit it. I would say that, some of the other things is people think of like,
the putter releasing. I would say one of the biggest
kinda misconceptions is the weaker your left hand gets, the easier it gets to release the putter. Soon as your hand gets over here it has to, your hands have to change, so I would say that was something. Confirmation through video would be like, looking at Tiger, old school and still obviously today but he’s always had a really weak left hand. But also that helps this
stay in at the side. – Pinning in, almost, in a
controlled comfortable way. Rickie, thank you so much. – Yeah.
– Yeah. – Really enjoyed that. – Loads of great stuff there. – It’s great spending some time with you. – Thank you Rickie. – Thanks so much for your time. Look, I hope you enjoyed that. If you did enjoy that, don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe and good luck this year, this
is going at 2020 so this good luck for this year. – Yeah, thank you.
– Cheers.

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