Wednesday, February 21, 2018

A Discussion on Ball Roll off a Putter.

The diagram above is meant to depict two different ball launch conditions off a putter. The top shows a putter with 0 degrees shaft lean and 2 degrees of loft. The bottom diagram shows the same putter with 4 degrees of shaft lean and -2 degrees loft at impact. The difference to the player? At the top the grip might be pointed at your belt buckle, while the forward lean would be trending toward your lead pocket.

This is a simple example of two common schools of thought on how to launch a ball off the putter to get the ball rolling as soon as possible. But before we discuss the two methods lets clarify a couple of things.

1. Ball roll is a function of the forward momentum of the ball combined with the friction from the ground. so as the ball moves toward the target the ground resists, causing a forward rotation of the ball. Eventually as the forward momentum dissipates the ball rolls continuously along the ground. At this point we have reached what many of my colleagues refer to as true roll. So the theory is that the lower you launch the ball the sooner the ground reacts to the ball and true roll happens quicker. Depending on the launch angle this happens at anywhere from 10 -20 percent of the distance of the putt. This skid phase is essential in having a putt roll.

2. There is a fine line between skid and bounce. If you launch the ball at a greater angle, say more than 3 degrees, the ball literally lands and bounces up. This minimizes the time on the ground in the early phase of the putt and reduces the friction between the ball and the ground. This delays the influence of friction and when the ball begins to roll.

In the next post we will begin to discuss the differences between the two.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Recent Thoughts

So, you want to be a putting instructor? Start with this. The mechanical players have no sense of feel and the feel guys have no sense of reliable mechanics. The ones with a little of both? They don’t need you.

The start of a plan to improve putting. Define YOUR stroke. Fit putter to definition. Develop a feel for the combination. Spend the rest if your time to develop YOUR strategy. Organization develops mental toughness. Need help? Contact Burnt Edges Consulting or Golf School of Indiana.

One of these strokes requires some precise manipulation. The other none at all. Guesses? Been doing this long enough to know square to the arc is much more efficient than trying to be square to the target line. No timing required. When arc matches target line the putter will be square to both.

Even with a minimal arc and low rotation pattern, the farther you play the ball forward in your stance, the more you must manipulate the face to stay square to the target line. #leftmiss

The most important words in golf are the words a player uses to describe the task and develop a feel. A coaches job is to help them find the right words and make sure the clubs enhance the feel.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Finding help for your Golf Game.

I was recently asked what to look for in an golf instructor.

I am not sure I have an answer, but I do have some suggestions.

1. Find someone who will help you define your stroke or swing sequence. Technology has allowed us to move past paying for generic instruction. Specific help is available.

2. Are you looking for a coach or swing technician? The search for perfect mechanics is beneficial but doesn't always improve scores. It is easy to nit pick and say you don't have a good stroke or swing. Most players don't get what they can out of what they have, so you have to figure out what you need.

3. Make sure the conversation includes finding the right equipment for you and the movement you have defined. Club Fitting is more than just equipment specifications. Set make up is just as important. 

4. Avoid what I call the Best Way Syndrome. There is a big difference between the best way for you and an instructor's personal preference. ALL  of the arguments you might read on social media are a result of not knowing the difference.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Burnt Edges Consulting - Taking on New Clients

Ten years ago, I was part of the team that brought the PuttLab technology to the United States. At that time, I began saving all data accumulated. For the past 5 years I have offered an online consultation based on the data, primarily on the 9 Profiles we discovered. We study how putting mechanics influence each Profile and the importance of the proper putter fit, within each Profile, to maintain consistency.  We believe without these considerations; any putting strategy is doomed to fail. This program is unique as it deals with your personal requirements and tendencies as opposed to a fixed method or “best” way. The consultation is a one-time fee with no time limit. I have clients in their fourth and fifth year of exploration. I also have a number of teaching professionals as clients who work with tour level players. During our time, I document all our work, creating a guideline of our progress. Changes are inevitable, but always more successful when based on accurate information.  The following is a time line of how the program works.

1. We show you how to find the appropriate distance from the ball for you, where your perception of target is most accurate. this is unique to every player.
2. This position, relative to the golf ball, will influence alignment and posture.
3. Your set up will dictate the path shape or stroke plane of your stroke.
4. We will then choose or discover the source and sequence of motion of your stroke. Our goal is to create consistency, not look for perfection. There is no perfect. Only proficiency within the method you use.
5. Then we will match the proper putter design, weight and balance to the stroke you have built. My research shows this to be very important and second only to finding the setup where you see the line of the putt best as keys for your success.
6. Once these decisions are made we can now begin to discuss strategy and how your mechanics influence how you create the appropriate speed and how that will influence how you read greens.
7. From that point forward, the direction we go will be influenced on your decisions as we fine tune the process. Therefore, the agreement is long term. Once you get started questions will present themselves and I will be a source of information to walk you through the process.

One requirement is a camera that can take stills and video, (most any phone) along with a friend or tri-pod to help the process.  

The one time fee for the course is $250.00 payable by credit card, debit card, or PayPal. If you are interested you can reach me directly by the email posted in the contact section.

I have space for 16 new clients. If you are interested I look forward to hearing from you.

The 9 Profiles - Which one are you?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Jordan Spieth’s Putting Strategy

I am sure you are like me and watched in amazement as Jordan Spieth finished the British Open. Remarkable is the only word that comes to mind as he found a way to make those critical putts. A week later, I watched him make back to back 50 footers. How does he do it?
If you listen to his interviews he is very forthcoming about some concepts he uses that could provide answers for all of us.

Build a posture and set up that creates a one-way miss. One of the secrets to lower scores is to try and have a swing or stroke that if you miss it is always in a consistent direction. You hear Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo talk about this every weekend. With this in mind, Jordan has said he could eliminate the left miss with his set up. He did not say how specifically, but if you think about it, you can make a pretty good guess. If your feet are parallel to the target line and you bend straight forward from the hips with your left-hand lower than the right, you will find that your shoulders align to the right of your feet. So, if his stroke path is influenced by his shoulder alignment, it would tilt his stroke path to the right. He has talked recently about not trying to be so perfect in his stroke. I think he is allowing the shoulders to close naturally and using this alignment to swing away from a pull. In addition, by tilting the path to the right, the arc better matches the target line with his forward ball position.

This diagram is intended to show Jordan’s set up. Notice the shoulders (red) aligned slightly right of his toe line. In our stroke model, this would move the stroke path (black). Even with this tilt the path matches target line (grey) at the last second, making a miss right more likely than a miss left. It is my opinion, eliminating the fear of a left miss keeps him from steering the putter at impact, allows him to maintain the momentum in his stroke, and gives him an improved feel for speed.

Read Mid and Long-Range Putts in 3 Sections. The second aspect of Jordan’s strategy that I believe to be very important, is his concept of reading a putt in thirds. He comments that it gives him a better sense of speed. This strategy allows you to more easily see the putt in real time. For many of us the idea of the ball losing momentum as we look at the break is foreign. As he looks at each section, he can imagine the ball losing momentum and at the last section he can feel the putt closer to real time. It also gives him a more specific look at the putt. For example, the first third will never break as much as the final third. When we experimented with this concept we found it allows a player to take a linear approach to the first third of the putt and a non-linear approach to the final third.  

Regardless of my theory, when you can combine an enhanced feel for distance, with a no fear release, you can build a very successful strategy for making putts of all lengths.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Linear Non-Linear Part 3

3 reasons you miss a putt.

1. You chose the wrong line.
2. You miss your start line.
3. You roll the ball the wrong distance.

You can do these things singularly or in combination.

If you define target by where you aim the putter. Then the "target" is rarely the hole. Most golfers tend to swing to the target. So if aim and target are two different things then you miss.

For linear players, aim is critical. For non-linear players not so much. 

Give non linear thinkers a putter with no lines and they immediately putt better.

Take away the lines for a linear player and panic sets in. 

Linear players seem to like Aimpoint.
Non-Linear players seem to struggle with the concept.

All of the people I work with come to me to make more putts. 66 with no 3 putts in a one day qualifier doesn't cut it anymore. There is no room for error, and the idea of lag putting is going away. You only have so many chances, so you have to try to make every putt. The discipline required to chose the correct start line and feel the proper speed in combination at the mid range distances, 10-30 feet, is not simple or easy. It is however, very important.

Jordan Spieth is the example of why. He beats people because he makes more mid range putts.

When working with competitive players we have found that a linear view of the task lends itself to different choices than a non-linear view. The goal is to find which is more accurate. 

Finally, while I agree that we are talking about a single line. Th linear player sees it as a straight line away from the hole, the Pelz concept of every putt is a straight putt,  while the non linear player sees it as a curved line to the hole.

Example, If you are a non linear thinker, then the concept of a read verbalized like "two cups out on the right" is tough to process. You are better looking at a spot within 20% of the distance of the putt.

With most golfers I talk to, I hear linear thoughts and non linear thoughts. The question I am trying to answer is, "Would a player be better if he did not mix the message." We have seen enough at this point to think it might be true.