by Jeff Skinner
Living in the northeast this time of year is so tough for golfers. With snow and cold and closed courses preventing us from playing there are few releases for our “golfing Jones.” Last weekend I found a bit of a respite at the New Jersey Golf Show.
It is normally one of the better shows that come to the tri-state area and is full of vendors hawking a million different items and anything remotely golf related. I spent the afternoon milling through booth after booth and thousands of hackers had the same idea I did. It was as crowded as it could be, maybe because of the featured guest they had this year, Michael Breed of The Golf Channel.
We watch the hyper Breed each week on The Golf Fix as he tries desperately to solve all of our hooks and slices. And he does it all with a energy that makes the Energizer Bunny look like Kevin Na on the tee.
I was interested to see if Breed had that same liveliness in person. And I have to give it to Breed it was obvious he wasn’t up to par as he was battling a cold or maybe the flue but he was just as advertised. He spoke for 45 minutes, all at a frenetic pace and answered questions for another 15 minutes and yes, he’s just as hyper in person as he is on The Golf Fix.
He spoke about putting and tried to get us to comprehend some technical aspects of putting and did an excellent job. And it wasn’t just him regurgitating facts it was a very interactive production as he got plenty of his eager fans involved in the putting discussion.
A few facts that stuck with me: the average first putt for an amateur is 26 feet and less loft on a putter will give us a better chance of getting the ball to the hole.
He used Bobby Locke and Dave Stockton as references for his recommended technique of putting that favors speed or pace as more important than the direction of the ball. It seems that Breed and Stockton come from the same school of putting as much of what Breed said echoes Stockton’s recent book.
It was quite an entertaining and informative hour and well worth the trip. He was a real trooper for going on while he was feeling less than his best. It is easy to see that Breed loves what he does whether it is on The Golf Channel or in person.
On a side note, I spent a good portion of time at a booth that carries some amazing stuff. Gifts Fore the Golfer specializes in hickory clubs, art, photos, books, antique balls and plenty more. I have a weakness for most of what Mike Daniels, the owner, sells and I was able to get a copy of The Complete Golfer by Herbert Warren Wind. It capped off a good day, even if it wasn’t on the course.