The Putting Laboratory – Golf Lab Update – June 20, 2011
We’re getting close to announcing the “New Golf Lab” – a vision that goes beyond our 2001 concept of “scientific club fitting” and “precision clubmaking”.
For the last year, we have combined expert clubfitting and golf instruction to help players get better at golf.
The first step was bringing together a “Golf Digest Top 100 Clubfitter” – Leith Anderson and a “PGA Teacher of the Year” – David Balbi to collaborate and create a state-of-the-art teaching and training environment.
We chose to concentrate on putting with the same level of intensity that we devoted to mastering clubfitting and full swing instruction. We built the world’s first engineered indoor putting surface. It is unique.
The Golf Lab indoor putting surface is just one aspect of the “Complete Putting Laboratory” – now finished after a year in development. Along the way, we’ve created professional relationships with some of the top putting theorists in the world. There’s a worldwide fraternity working on solving the multiple mysteries of putting.
A Complete Putting Analysis and Improvement Program
We got off to a fast start over a year ago by conducting a series of AimPoint green reading clinics. We learned a lot. The main thing we learned is that there are no easy answers to getting better at putting.
In the last year we have spent hundreds of hours gaining experience with golfers while we perfected our fitting and coaching methods with the latest electronic tools. There was one big surprise.
The Focus Band
Competitive golfers know that their mental game is just as important as their ball striking and putting. An important skill is developing a pre-shot routine that maintains focus from “visualization” through “finish”. That is “getting in the zone”. Good players talk about maintaining focus as one of their major goals.
The Focus Band is an electronic gizmo that measures a player’s brainwaves. Wearing the Focus Band during play reveals the cause of random distractions that interrupt a player’s ability to “stay in the shot”.
The Focus Band is truly a “bleeding edge” invention. Graham Boulton, an Australian entrepreneur, invented the Focus Band to help coach aspiring Tour players. There are fewer than twenty Focus Bands in the world.
John Ruark has spent thousands of hours working on his own game – winning the senior championship at San Geronimo in Marin – and flirting with shooting his age – at 77. In hundreds of hours of work with dozens of good players, John has become one of a handful of Focus Band experts in the world. He is our mental game expert and Focus Band specialist. At the Golf Lab, John is the “Putting Professor”.
Credibility comes from PGA Tour professionals that adopt a new idea with success. Rod Pampling has enjoyed resurgence in his career. His wife is a professional psychologist. She has been working as her husband’s mental game trainer using the Focus Band for the last six months. She credits Pampling’s rise in the World Rankings to their work on his mental game – with help from the Focus Band.
The importance of the mental game is not lost on Bay Area golf coaches. John Ruark was recently named “Mental Game Coach” for a major collegiate golf program in the Bay Area.
John is available for Focus Band work and mental coaching at the Golf Lab on Saturdays and Wednesdays. He offers several program options – from a two-hour “Get Acquainted Special” – to a comprehensive, seven hour, month-long program that guarantees results.
Just so you know, John is also a “True Believer” in “Face On” (used to be called “side-saddle”) putting. There are plenty of good, scientific reasons why standing up and looking straight at the hole and making your stroke with a natural motion from a comfortable position could improve your putting. John will be happy to explain the virtues of Face On putting during your session.
Call the Golf Lab for an appointment. Dian Terova is available in person weekdays from 10-12. (650) 654-1770.