Getting comfortable with the putter | On the course with Brian Mogg

The Reporter opens its series with local prep golf standout Brian Mogg by taking a look at how to keep it under control on the green.

Brian Mogg is one of the state’s top prep golfers and is entering his second year in the Bellevue College Running Start program. A member of the Skyline High School golf team, Mogg has made three trips to the state tournament during his time as a prep, finishing in a tie for third place in 2012 and 2013 after a sixth place finish as a freshman.

He picked up his first non-junior win in the Bellevue Classic and also captured the title at the Bill Egbers Memorial.

Mogg agreed to spend some time with reporter Josh Suman to break down the game, offer some easy-to-follow tips and provide some insight during this series, which will run throughout the summer.

Rather than starting on the tee like on the course, this series begins on the green.

Everyone loves to grab their driver and launch balls downrange, but the work near the pin often plays the most critical role on the scorecard.

“Putting is the biggest part of the game,” Mogg said. “If you’re hitting it bad or chipping bad, but you’re making putts, you can save yourself.”

Read and react- Whether on Amen Corner at Augusta National with a green jacket on the line, or at your local Par-3 with some old friends, over-thinking and second-guessing are two of the arch nemeses of putting.

“Read the putt and go,” Mogg says. “Don’t complicate things.”

Spending too much time trying to find the perfect line on a putt rarely results in anything over than a cluttered mind and convoluted plan, two things that won’t play on any green.

Stay in rhythm- Especially true on longer putts, finding a dependable, repeatable rhythm is crucial to finding the cup. After forming a plan of action, the internal metronome is the next step to becoming a consistent player on the green.

“I don’t want to be too jerky with it,” Mogg said. “Just have a nice, smooth stroke, and go from there.”

Put in the time- Working on eight-foot putts will never be as exciting as firing off a bucket with your driver, but it will show up far more often on the scorecard. Instead of showing up to the course looking to win an imaginary long-drive contest, get on the green and put some extra time into that short game.

“You can turn a bad round into an okay round, or an okay round into a great round with putting,” Mogg said. “It is the most important part of the game.”

Choosing a putter

Mogg plays a Ping Anser II putter when he is on the green, and said he picked up his current flat stick after his last Anser series putter ran its course six months ago. There are any number of factors golfers can look to when picking a putter, but Mogg said not to underestimate your own sense of comfort.

“I look for how it looks when I set up over it,” he said. “And how it feels coming off.”