It used to be just an old-guy technique, something you might grasp at when all else failed with your putting stroke. Now young guys are using it, and winning with it, and the subject is a matter of international debate, compelling sports fans to learn words like “bifurcation.”
Gee whiz, Craig Foster says. It didn’t have to come to this.
The technique is “anchoring,” and though the word has other definitions in other life endeavors, in golf it means taking a longer-than-normal putter and jamming it firmly into your belly to negate the effects of nerves (shot) and grip (shaky) on the strike-through.
Bifurcation, in this discussion, refers to the real possibility that the USGA and the Royal and Ancient might, for the first time, establish different rules for amateurs and professionals. Pros, including 26-year-old Keegan Bradley, who won the 2011 PGA Championship, would be barred from anchoring if the golf governing bodies’ joint proposal is implemented.
Foster is an Olympia, Wash., golf club technician, musician and inventor.
He doesn’t like to be a grump, generally, but anchoring isn’t fair, he says, and furthermore, it’s unnecessary.
Try this, he says. Try DynAlign, a “dynamic alignment” technique that uses the natural angles of the skeleton to keep a putter firmed up and on target.
To help us get an idea about DynAlign, Foster made an edit for YouTube of a recent interview with Danielle Tucker on The Golf Club radio show from Hawaii. While you’re at YouTube, you’ll find several other short videos about DynAlign.
DynAlign’s main professional advocate is Steve Elkington, a newly minted 50-year-old, who has taken his refreshed putting stroke (thanks to DynAlign) to the Champions Tour.
Elkington is a founder of Secret in the Dirt, a Website where the game of golf, the long and short of it, is obsessed over, dissected, and bi- and trifurcated. All of Foster’s full-length videos are available at Secret in the Dirt.
It’s certainly possible to think too much about golf, and there is much of biomechanical science in the DynAlign technique. Foster has done all the thinking so you don’t have to.
“Anchoring,” as defined in the field of psychology, is a common cognitive bias whereby a person clings to an initial judgment or belief despite new information that contradicts it.
Craig Foster would say, “Get over it.”
His putting technique is simple – to learn and to use – and it will always be legal. The debate over anchoring will be somebody else’s problem.