Stacy Lewis, with help from phone app, focusing on improving putting in new year

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Stacy Lewis, with help from phone app, focusing on improving putting in new year

LPGA Tour

Stacy Lewis, with help from phone app, focusing on improving putting in new year

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – Stacy Lewis likes it here in paradise. She has finished in the top 3 at the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic three times since 2014. The forecast this week calls for strong winds, and the gritty Texan likes that too.

It feels like it’s simply a matter of time for Lewis to win at the Ocean Club, and the 32-year-old starts her 10th season on the LPGA with a clutter-free mind. The only thing she’s thinking about on the range is alignment.

“I think there are times I’ve been too focused on the golf swing,” she said, “trying to make it perfect instead of just getting the ball in the hole, which is what I do best.”

Lewis has realized that her golf swing isn’t going to dramatically change at this point in her career. She won’t magically find another 20 yards.

The area in which she now spends most of her time is short game, particularly on the greens.

Not long before Lewis snapped a three-year drought with a victory in Portland, Ore., she began working with a metronome. Husband Gerrod Chadwell, head women’s golf coach at Houston, worked on the staff at Dave Pelz Golf from 2005 to ’07 and has passed along some of that knowledge to his bride.

Every putt takes roughly the same amount of time, said Lewis. A big problem for most golfers is the timing of when they look up from a putt. If the amount of time it takes to strike a putt is the same whether the putt is 30 feet or 10, Lewis contends, then a player should look up at the same time on every stroke.

Lewis uses a metronome app on her phone and said most people are somewhere between 70 and 80 beats per minute. Her number is around 74 or 75.

“It’s something you can do under pressure,” said Lewis, “trying to focus on keeping that the same.”

The exercise helped eliminate a loop in her stroke that caused rotation in the putter face.

Lewis figures putting is her best bet to shave strokes. If she can make one more putt per round, the 12-time winner should be hoisting another trophy in 2018.

No better place to start than paradise.

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