THE DREADED FOUR FOOT PUTT aka THE EXPOSED PIANISSIMO ATTACK
For a golfer, a putt within a foot is a ‘tap-in’, no pressure. A twenty foot putt is also no pressure because we don’t expect to make it. It is the four foot putt that can cause the most anxiety. And so it is with the exposed pianissimo attack at the timing of the conductor with all eyes, or ears, on the performer. It is a combination of mental and emotional toughness but also confidence in basic techniques. It is a fearlessness and willingness to make a mistake discussed elsewhere but also confidence in basic technique. With a wind instrument it is the unpressurized release of air discussed under ‘PEDAGOGY’ below. For the golfer it is confidence in the reading of the line, but also confidence in the set up and the stroke. Most golf instruction teaches that the short strokes with the putter should be initiated by the largest muscles. With the eyes directly over the ball, the putter gripped like Hogan’s live bird, and the wrists and arms forming a firm but not tense triangle with the shoulders, a simple rocking of the shoulders moves the putter smoothly and straight. There are many variations to this and many styles of putters but the common principal is that the delicate little putt is executed not by the small muscles prone to over-react but by the large muscles. Mr. Jacobs would initiate the exposed pianissimo with the air, not the embouchure and certainly not the glottis.