By Warren J. Rebholz
has it that concert pianists and safe crackers have hands so sensitive they feel
sensations that mere mortals cannot comprehend. It would seem too much to hope for that a
formally trained classical pianist would attempt to unlock the secrets of putting by
designing a putter that automatically achieves Horton Smith's putting technique. Horton
Smith is to putting the same as Horowitz is to the piano. The fact that Allan Strand, the
designer of the putter, is a native of Minneapolis with his Dandy Golf Company located
right here, reinforces the known ingenuity of people from Minnesota.
Strand was born in Minneapolis in 1949. At an early age his mother, a piano teacher, saw that Strand had a great talent for the piano. His father was a physics teacher at Southwest High School, which is where Strand's interest in science was nurtured. Strand attended St. Louis Park High School while earnestly studying the piano. His height, 6'2" tall at that time, earned him a spot on the school basketball team and an All-District selection in his senior year. After graduation he attended Hamline University and then the University of Minnesota, where he studied under Bernhard Weiser, Head of the Piano Department. Looking at the long, long road to prominence in the classical piano field, he decided he needed to make a living sooner and turned to playing popular music. After a stint in Hollywood in various facets of the movie and TV industry, he became fascinated with the art of
Minneapolis native Allan Strand has created the 'Dandy' putter. It features a unique grip, creating an arched-wrist position, and a slightly-hooded putter face.
putting and the challenge of creating a putter that would, through an innovative grip design, release the tension in the hands, which in turn would release the tension in the forearms and shoulders.
He designed and built his putter using the scientific background learned from his father. Upon reading Horton Smith's book on putting he discovered that his putter design achieved the arched wrists and slightly-hooded putter face that were the keys to Horton Smith's putting success. To put it bluntly, this putter is replete with design innovations all of which result in a putter that automatically and naturally rolls the ball as smoothly with overspin as the best professional putters on the current tour. How did he accomplish this sought after result?
First he took the pistol grip of the putter and rotated it clockwise 90 degrees so that
the top of the grip conforms to the inside of your left wrist right in the life line of
your hand. The putter is slightly longer to accommodate this choked putter grip which
results in increased stability. The unique grip puts your wrists in the Horton Smith
"Arched Wrist" position and slightly hoods the putter to produce the ground
hugging roll all putters desire. With conventional putters, the player has to create the
position with resulting tension, while it comes automatically with the Dandy Putter absent
An innovative design, the Dandy's entire putter face is visible at address because the offset hozzle is located near the middle of the putter body behind the putter surface.
Thirdly, the putter is perfectly balanced to the optimum ball striking position with a
zero degree loft, and the shaft is angled at four degrees forward. This ensures that the
ball is struck at the bottom of the pendulum arc or at the beginning of the upswing while
the putter face remains perpendicular to the putting green.
Personally, I have been "road testing" the Dandy for a number of rounds with much improved putting results. A confirmed split grip, cross-handed putter, I had absolutely no trouble going back to the conventional grip because of the comfort and confidence of the rotated grip resting lightly up against my left wrist. I had no hint of a yip or left-wrist breakdown.
Further, the Horton Smith arched wrists were well in evidence and produced solid ball striking. The unrestricted view of the putter face made it easy to align and the smooth grass hugging roll was the best I have ever attained. I noticed no tension but rather a tendency to be too loose at times.
But best of all, I had no need to get my hands and arms in a set position. Once I gripped the club using the exact same grip I used on every club, I was in position. If I read the putt correctly, aimed it correctly, I made many more putts than in the past. While I don't have the sensitive feel of a concert pianist or a safe cracker, I just might pick a few pockets with the combination of improvements built into one real "Dandy" of a putter.
You can put it in your bag for $150 - probably the best money you ever spent on your golf game. For information on how to obtain the putter, call 1-800-DANDY-19
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