Johnny Miller

Hi Johnny!

Johnny Miller's Reply to Switch Putting LetterMy name is Tim Holman and I'm a teaching professional from Lake Tahoe Country Club. My partner, Brian Stack, and I were in your gallery at the Frankie Avalon Birdie Shootout at De La Vega and the following morning at Cypress Point. While walking with you and my friend, Willie McCovey, you showed me an impressive array of one-handed shots with your left hand. You also said you had a smooth lefthanded putting stroke. While on the eighth green at Cypress Point, I told you that I putted the left to right putts lefthanded and the right to left putts righthanded. I told you that I'm a switch putter.

My partner Brian Stack and I own a research and development company which has been studying switch putting for three years. We have written and copyrighted the Stack and Holman Theory of Switch putting, a copy of which 'I have enclosed with this letter. We have also applied for and been granted the official U.S. trademark for the name "Switch putter". We have designed and built three putters with Prototype III, a beautiful two-sided blade putter, which we have been successfully marketing in the Lake Tahoe area.

I have also been teaching all levels of golfers how to switch putt, from some local pros to high handicappers, and have had success with anyone who is willing to switch putt for at least one month. We have also been testing switch putting under tournament pressure, with an average of two less putts per round for switch putters.

I had won a few small local tournaments, but I wasn't competitive in my section until I started to switchputt at age thirty-seven. My handicap and my anxiety level dropped from a 5 to a 1 in the first two years of switchputting. We really knew we were on to something when, in my second tournament as a switchputter, I qualified to play in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Tournament in 1985 in Kauai.

When you borrowed John, Jr.'s putter on the 5th green at Cypress Point, I saw how solid your left-handed set-up was and I knew you had already visualized yourself putting under the pressure of the tour left-handed. This is a very exciting concept for someone who is in the process of educating the world in the fine art of switch putting. Later that same day, we had the opportunity to chat with Tom Watson, who was familiar with the Stack and Holman Theory of Switch putting through correspondence with Mr. Stack. Like all right-handed putters, Tom stated his preference for the right to left putt. After discussing certain aspects of switchputting with us, Tom thought there was a lot of validity to our theory of switchputting. Although switchputting wasn't right for him at this stage of his career, he recommended we talk to Johnny Miller, because you had told him that you were considering putting lefthanded.

Brian and I were very pleased that Tom brought up your name, as we both think you would be a prime prospect to be the first switchputter in a tour event. We both feel (after following you around for two days), that you are a human being with character. Character is one of the crucial ingredients we feel is necessary. You still hit it pure, but your main problem is getting it in the hole, especially on the left to right putt, and specifically on the downhill left to righters. We feel that we have a solution to your problem.

In all sports, there is a reoccurring theme of ambidexterity. Baseball with switch hitting and tennis with forehand/backhand are two prime examples. One must be very talented to hit a moving ball with a bat or a racket, but anyone can roll a stationary golf ball backhanded or left-handed. I teach "backhanded" because right- minded people seem to have an aversion to anything beginning with the word "left", but they all have a "backhand" in tennis.

There are many technical reasons for switchputting. Many are contained in the theory. The other most important ones are swing path, centrifugal force, gravity and the knock back theory. To achieve the correct swing path, you must always stand inside the arc. This is easily demonstrated with a math compass, where the base of the compass is equivalent to your feet. The pencil represents the swing path. The swing path of the left-handers putting stroke closely resembles the arc of the left to right putt. You can also see why the crossputt is so difficult. Then you add in centrifugal force, gravity and the knock back theory, which are all working the ball away from the right-hander on the left to right putt. Switch putters are in harmony with true gravity. Switch putting brings the fun back into the game.

We feel there is tremendous historical significance in our discovery. The person who introduces switch putting on the PGA tour will have a secure spot as one of golf's greatest innovators. The greatest names in golf history have always given something back to the game of golf more than just their abilities as a player. Gene Sarazen - the sand wedge; Harry Vardon - the Vardon grip; Bobby Jones - the Masters; Jack Nicklaus - the Memorial and his many courses. This centennial year of golf in America would be the perfect year for the introduction of switch- putting.

We fully realize the market potential in replacing single-sided putters with switch putters and that is why we secured the trade- mark "Switch putter". We feel there is excellent financial potential in switch putting, both in prize money and from sales.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for your time and say that I would like an opportunity to meet with you at your convenience. I would like a couple of hours on a putting green with reasonable privacy, break and pace to show you in person the Art of Switchputtingl Thanks again. 

 

Respectfully,

 

TIM HOLMAN

Post Office Box 4207 S

Stateline, NV 89449

(702) 588-5462 (home) Best time - evenings (4-7) 

(916) 577-0788 (Lake Tahoe Country Club)

 

TH:jd 

Enclosures

 

P. S. I thought you might appreciate this Golf Digest article with conventional wisdoms typical "band aid cure" to the persisting mystery of the left to right putt.

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