In 2011, LPGA professional Sue Vreeland decided to become a Certified Putting Instructor (CPI). Based at Red Wing Lake Golf Course in Virginia, Vreeland had been a professional for over a decade and had a great deal of knowledge, but was curious to learn more.
“I took the CPI Course to gain knowledge and understanding so I could become a better teacher. I was not sure what I would find. I went into it with an open mind, but was perhaps a little skeptical.
What I found was a validation of what I had been teaching and so much more.”
Certified Putting Instructor Sue Vreeland
Now, 7 years on, Vreeland speaks with enthusiasm and assurance about her CPI qualification and how the knowledge she has gleaned has helped her and her students.
“The CPI Course gave me confidence as an instructor. I know I am teaching the right thing. I gained a lot more knowledge and have absolute confidence I can help anyone with their putting. I can look at a Tour player now and I know that I can help them. I did not have that confidence before.
“I got a LOT out of the CPI Course. I refer back to the materials frequently. My students are amazed by the results, it makes putting so much easier for them. It has also made it easier to teach a good stroke and it has given me more focus because I can help someone improve their putting and improve their score.”
Vreeland believes that the keys to the success of the CPI Course lie in a few elements that it provides.
“I loved the simplicity of the movement, especially the Lock and Rock. It keeps the thought process out of it, and it is just simple. I understood the plane better and how this is related to setup and posture.”
“I also love the structured approach of the twelve fundamentals. Each one builds on the other, and you can move onto what is most important for the student, who doesn’t need to know all the details. It is simple but based on these extremely important fundamentals.”
As someone who became hooked on the game at 35 years of age, after hitting a “magical” shot on an afternoon trip to the driving range with a friend and deciding to join the LPGA a few years later, Vreeland herself worked on her scoring to fulfil her dream of becoming a professional.
“Most people don’t understand the importance of putting. As you move closer to the hole, there is a smaller margin of error. If you are good on the greens you score well. Putting is the smallest and simplest motion, if you let it be.
She has also experienced first hand how knowledge of the fundamentals combined with outstanding putter design work together.
“The CPI Course also helped me understand putter design. I ordered an Original Frog, and when I put it in my hands I fell in love. Its center shaft and the white lines just fit my eye. The entire CPI process has enhanced my own ability to putt. My putting was OK before, but now it’s really good,” said Vreeland.
CPI Vreeland puts her Frankly Frog Putter through its paces
Frank Thomas, founder of Frankly Golf and the CPI Course, former longtime USGA Technical Director and inventor of the graphite shaft said,
“Sue has recognized that the CPI Course has reinforced some of what she knew before but added so much more. This is inevitable because the fundamentals teach the student how to swing the putter naturally rather than allowing the mind to manipulate the stroke. Through the CPI Course Sue has developed absolute confidence that she can recognize swing flaws and even help Tour players. Well done, Sue, we are very proud and with your successes you will continue to build your confidence and hone your own stroke.”