Saturday, December 28, 2013

Next 10 Putting Lessons

Lesson 116-Balance is critical to a consistent stroke. Position of the feet are critical to balance. Feet move last to balance your set up.

Lesson 117-Uneven lies on the green requires an adjustment. Don't change distance from the ball. Adjust your knee flex to maintain balance.

Lesson 118-Match Lesson 117 with moving your hands up or down on the grip to maintain a consistent ball position and posture on uneven lies.

Lesson 119-It helps to fit a putter longer than needed. The game is played on uneven surfaces. More length allows you to adjust for balance.

Lesson 120-When you analyze your stroke on a perfect surface, think about the adjustments you need to make when conditions aren't perfect.Reply

Lesson 121- Is it possible that what we find works perfectly under laboratory conditions, might not produce the perfect results outdoors?

Lesson 122-Great putters adapt to different conditions. They don't recreate their method. Adapt don't overhaul is a key to improved putting.

Lesson123-Loft is your friend. It doesn't take much but you need some. Especially if your hands lead the putter and the shaft leans forward.

Lesson 124-Many golfers deloft the putter - lean the shaft forward - on longer putts. If you do, you need some loft on the putter to start.

Lesson 125-All players have preferences or favorite putts. Change strategy-not mechanics for better results on the putts where you struggle.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Putting Lessons 106-115

Lesson 106- A shift in balance during the stroke requires a reaction of the hands to compensate, otherwise you mishit the putt. Stay steady.

Lesson 107-Maintaining balance during your putting stroke requires a precise static fit. Check your impact points on the putter. Scattered?

Lesson 108-Balanced set up? Set up to the ball with your putter. Lift putter very slightly off the ground. Close your eyes. Are you stable?

Lesson 109-Balanced setup = Consistent impact on the putter. If this is true does this mean that a high moi head masks an unbalanced setup?

Lesson 110-Balance is key in putting. Body balance=stable posture. Stable posture=consistent stroke. Final piece of the puzzle? Putter Fit.

Lesson 111 - All putter fits should start without a putter. Forced postures regardless if forced by club or instructor DONT WORK.

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Lesson 112-Balance check. Video your putting stroke from down the line. Set up with eyes open. Make the stroke- eyes closed. Did you adjust?

Lesson 113-Consistency is critical in reading greens. The only way to predict where the ball will finish is to know where it will start.

Lesson 114-Consistency starts with set up. Putter first, eyes adjust, then hands, then shoulders, feet last. NOT feet first and then twist.

Lesson 115-Do you stand the same distance from the ball on right to left breaking putts as left to right? Many do not! See Lesson 114

Monday, December 9, 2013

Daily Lessons 96-105

Lesson 96-Impact other than the bottom of the arc requires compensations to maintain correct putter speed, loft, and face angle to target.

Lesson 97 -Moving impact from the bottom if the arc is often a function of fitting your stroke to the putter you use. Forward press is an example.

Lesson 98- Building stroke mechanics are about making knowledgeable choices. How many compensations can you use consistently?

Lesson 99-Dont confuse stroke plane, putter path and putter rotation. They are three separate measurements and should be analyzed separately.

Lesson 100-When the putter is in motion the only direction that counts is the direction at impact and does the face compliment the path?

Lesson 101-The better the putter stays on plane the more likely you are to match aim and impact. Impact=direction, aim is the start position.

Lesson 102- Review - Find stroke plane that works best for you. Tilt the plane to compliment your release. Match stroke length to distance.

Lesson 103-Matching stroke plane to target line does not guarantee success. Why? Putter face controls direction NOT PATH. Control the face!

Lesson 104-When you swing a putter off plane it is difficult to maintain proper rotation. Typically the face twists shut. Harder to control.

Lesson 105-Staying on plane is a matter of making a stroke while maintaining your balance. It doesn't take much movement to alter a stroke.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Next 10 Putting Lessons

Lesson 86-Stroke Plane-The putterhead moves on a plane determined by how far you are from the ball NOT by the lie angle of the putter shaft.

Lesson 87 - Staying on plane means stroke matches set up and that enhances stability. Example: ALL yips are a result of off plane strokes.

Lesson 88-Putter Design matters. If the putter is balanced to swing on a plane different than the player's stroke plane-stroke is unstable.

Lesson 89-Signs a stroke is off plane? Grip is never comfortable-heavier putter seems to help-anxiety on short putts-Stroke is never smooth.

Lesson 90-A smooth motion appears to move slowly. Strokes on plane swing smoothly. Tempo issues often a result when putter swings off plane.

Lesson 91-Stroke Plane? Imagine a sheet of plywood from the base of your neck to the ball, tilted to your tendencies.

Lesson 92- Putter path is not defined by a line on the ground. It is a 3 dimensional, up and down back and forth. Stay on plane not on line!

Lesson 93-Very important part of staying on plane is to maintain the vertical aspect of the stroke. Don't manipulate. Maintain the arc.

Lesson 94-It is easier to stay on plane if impact is at the bottom of the arc!
Lesson 95-Good things happen at the bottom of the arc. Hard to decel a putt at the apex of the stroke. Gravity helps until putter starts up.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Putting Lessons 76-85

Lesson 76-Practice with an awareness of feel is very important. Feel is what allows us to repeat the motion. Mechanics + Timing = Feel.

Lesson 77- Hold or release-Up tempo or Slow. Long stroke or short. Identify what works for you in what combination is how you develop Feel.

Lesson 78-Practice feel. Use dry erase maker and mark the back of the ball -dime size- Hit the putt. Check the marks. Did real match feel?

Lesson79-Working on alignment is not always about perfectly parallel. In putting a little closed or open can be a good thing. Find your way!

Lesson 80-Face 82% of Direction the Path 18%. Never assume the face swings square to the path. Use path to offset the position of the face.

Lesson 81-You have to assume your stroke has some arc! The more vertical the stroke plane the straighter the appearance, but it still arcs.

Lesson 82-The idea of a diagonal alignment is as old as golf. Modern technology proves it is the most efficient way to play. Putt or Swing.

Lesson 83-A closed or open stance in putting is not something to automatically fix. It might be the best thing you do, if you know why?

Lesson 84-Use your stance to assist your release of the putter. Open stance slows rotation at impact, closed helps increase rotation/release

Lesson 85-Cant say enough-Face angle at impact is 4 times more influential than direction of path. Face position relative to path tells all!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Putting Help Continued

Lesson 66- Spend some time practicing mechanics without judging the result. Use impact tape to judge consistency.

Lesson 67-Absolute must! Make green reading part of every putt-Practice or in Play. Make the process of setting up to what you read a habit.

Lesson 68-Good aim does not guarantee accurate impact. Problem is reaction to putter balance and offset during the stroke. Blame the putter.

Lesson 69-A test to see if your putter works with you or against you. 

On a flat surface with no break AND NO TARGET, take a piece of masking tape 1 inch X 4.5 inches and put it on the green. Now take your putter and set it so the leading edge matches the long edge of the tape. Put a ball down and from this position make a stroke. Repeat the procedure 5 or more times. Try as best as you can to make the same stroke each time. Since there is no target there is no need for a correction.

Once you have a pattern, leave the golf balls on the green. Tie some string to a tee and bisect the tape on the ground  so when you extend the string it is perpendicular to the tape and on a similar line to the rolling golf balls. Where are the golf balls relative to this line? If they are predominantly left or right then you can assume there is a conflict between you stroke and the putter.

Lesson 70-Did you try the test lesson 69?  What was your result? Don't change stroke, find the right putter.

Lesson 71- When choosing putter-you get what you settle for. Discover what you need and then find a company that builds that putter for you.

Lesson 72-Preparation is visual, stroke is feel based. Best way to develop feel is to make the strokes for Lesson 69 with your eyes closed.

Lesson 73-Practice for feel. Eyes closed and focus on the movement of the toe of the putter. Never let the heel move faster than toe.

Lesson74 - Develop a feel for square at impact. Focus on the position of your hands. If it feels awkward check the grip. Is it on correctly?

Lesson 75-How much feel are you will to trade for putter forgiveness? Learning to control your hands in the stroke requires accurate feel.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lessons 56 through 65

Lesson56-Maintaining a consistent club position to the path means a consistent hand position to the path-not the target line-common mistake.

Lesson 57- Path shape of the putter swing is a delivery system to impact. Big Arc or No Arc,There is no best way! Best? Your natural stroke.

Lesson 58-Most putting problems come when we try to match a method that doesn't suit our tendencies. Don't always fight what seems natural.

Lesson 59-Review-Stroke mechanics-Eyes tell you where to stand. Fit putter to that set up. Identify a source of motion, use it consistently.

Lesson 60-Target location and set up is a visual process. The stroke is a mechanical process. You can't aim a moving object-swing not steer

Lesson 61-We react to what we see, but it takes 200ms to process. Average forward swing to impact takes 350ms. Can't fix a stroke in motion.

Lesson 62-Visual interference or reacting to what we think we see will ruin your putting stroke. Practice mechanics with eyes closed helps.

Lesson 63-Narrow focus can create anxiety and tension. Observe all, focus on nothing. Blank stare and a still head enhances feel of the putt.

Lesson 64-Many missed putts due to unnecessary correction of an anticipated miss. Learn your stroke then make that stroke with confidence.

Lesson 65-Confidence comes from practice. Best practice focuses on consistent setup and source of motion. Practice "how" to conquer "where".

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daily Putting Lessons 46 - 55

Lesson 46-Relate length of stroke to time. Practice. Count 1-2-3 at your natural pace. Start putter first and then count-Hit the ball on 3.

Lesson 47-Putter loft at impact influences ball speed off the putter, which determines how far the ball rolls. Focus on where more than how.

Lesson 48-Our research with Puttlab shows better players deloft ( forward shaft lean) the putter on longer putts. Less loft = more speed.

Lesson 49-Better to control loft of putter at impact than force acceleration looking for correct speed. Forced strokes = random results.

Lesson 50-Better to tilt posture than move hands to control loft at impact. Weight on Back foot = More loft. Front foot = Less loft.

Lesson 51 - When you understand and use a single source of motion consistently, you are better prepared to adapt to changing conditions.

Lesson 52- You can't change how a ball rolls! You can influence when and where it starts to roll, but that is all the influence you have.

Lesson53-Once a ball begins to roll, where it goes is out of your control! Gravity and friction take over. You control the start not finish.

Lesson 54-Focus your efforts on hitting the ball in the middle of the clubface.  Path direction is only an issue with off center strikes!

Lesson 55-The desired result of a consistent path is to hit the ball on a consistent point on the clubface. Not to control direction!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Putting Lessons Continued...

Lesson 36-Body alignment when putting is only important as it pertains to delivery of the putter at impact. Match alignment to your release.

Lesson 37-Match alignment to release? Closing the putter at impact? Set up closed. Hold the finish with the putter face up? Open your stance.

Lesson 38-You don't putt with your feet. Position your feet to balance your stroke NOT to determine direction the ball will leave the putter

Lesson 39-Great putters control impact. Poor putters worry about aim/alignment. Best Lesson? Teach yourself the feel of square at impact.

Lesson 40-Source of motion moves the hands. Hands control the putter. Controlling direction requires a knowledge of this relationship

Lesson41-Active or passive, the hands control the putter at impact=control direction ball leaves. #Consistent position to relative to path

Lesson 42-Putting stroke will work better if the hands only have one job-position of the clubface. Never accelerate putter with your hands.

Lesson 43-Source of motion swing the hands and hands control where face is pointed. Source of motion controls speed!! Never hands.

Lesson 44-Key to speed control is the ability to make the proper length stroke, for the distance required, without changing tempo or timing.

Lesson 45-Valuable knowledge-How long does it take from the start of your putting stroke until impact? Devices can measure this for you.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Daily Putting Lesson Continued

Lesson 26-You can't judge random. If every stroke is a little different the results will be as well. The best way is the most consistent way

Lesson 27-Looking for a consistent stroke? Starts with distance from the ball. Putter is a yardstick. Putter first, then build your stance.

Lesson 28-Track your results. A consistent miss is easier to fix than random make. Never change your mechanics based on inconsistent results!

Lesson 29-Dont separate stroke mechanics and green reading. Mechanics and tendencies influence the read. Example? ball speed and break.

Lesson 30-If the stroke is consistent the results will be consistent. Consistency eliminates guess work. Random fixes always fail.

Lesson 31-4 sources of motion. Left side/arm, right side/arm, rotate shoulders with passive arms, swing arms with passive shoulders. Choose!

Lesson 32- Combine sources of motion? NO Example, Left arm starts then stops as shoulders take over. Putter gets stuck and right hand flips.

Lesson 33-Conflicts in mechanics=missed putts. If you cant identify single motion source you are using more than one! Easy to fix. Pick ONE!

Lesson 34-Missed putts are easy to analyze. It is either speed or direction. When you judge the reason KNOW why dont ASSUME why.

Lesson 35-Analyzing misses. NEVER FORGET the ball goes where the face is pointed. Path Direction has minor effect! Control face not path.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Robot Testing for Putter Accuracy.

Twice in the same day I read where someone used a robot to test the accuracy of putters. I don't know if this post is necessary but it will contribute to my own mental health and so I write.

Using a robot, when a ball is struck on the sweetspot and all other launch conditions are the same,  regardless of putter design the ball will react in a consistent manner as far as direction. So a high moi mallet and bullseye type blade will show the same results as far as direction the ball starts. Whether the robot swings on an arc like the Iron Archie robot developed by The Putting Arc people or on a vertical plane as developed by Dave Pelz's Perfy. Once the robot is calibrated to position the face correctly and each putter is positioned in the same manner the results will be the same. Consistent path direction, face angle and strike location = a consistent start direction. So any claims must start with the qualifier that results are based on your stroke never changing. 

So for testers to assume that putter design is not a factor in a human's ability to start the ball online is not applicable!!!! Why? Because robots make the same motion regardless of the implement attached and the balance has no influence. So once the robot is calibrated to make a stroke it wouldn't matter what you used as long as the face angle at impact remained the same. 

Humans will react to feel. I have miles of measurements that show over a short period of time how humans react to putter balance. The stroke changes based on what the player feels during the motion.

I spent some time recently with a very high level player. He has always struggled with his putting. After spending some time discussing his stroke, I made the suggestion to change putters to match the rotational requirement of his stroke. Feel now matched consistent mechanics. From the last conversation it sounds like it is going to work.

I guess my point is this. Don't let a marketing pitch or "experts opinion" keep you from being the best player you can be. The only testing that truly counts is the testing you do for yourself. 

Every putting stroke has a rotational requirement to control the face of the putter. Every putter has a rotational value. These values are measurable and predictable and when they match it is easier to swing the putter in a consistent manner. 

Every putting stroke as a directional bias that helps the player match the arc of the stroke to the target line at impact in a different manner. This mesh point of path, target line and face position is influenced by the offset of the putter and then fine tuned by the weight. Overall and distribution.

Get them all to match YOUR stroke and you are on your way to success.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Daily Putting Lesson Continued....

Lesson 16 Knowledge is power. Understanding the mechanics of your stroke is how you eliminate the mechanical thoughts during the stroke.

Lesson 17-Use your source of motion as the trigger to start your stroke. It takes the stroke out of your hands and enhances consistency.

Lesson 18-Build your putting routine based on the elements of your mechanics. Use your putter as the yardstick to build a consistent set up.

Lesson 19-You will have more success if you fit the putter to your posture and mechanics. Harder to change your mechanics to match a putter.

Lesson 20-Find the right putter! Fit shaft placement to the size of the arc, offset to release, weight to tempo.

Lesson 21-Easy to show how players react to different styles of putters. Better to find the correct one than mask the feel with "technology"

Lesson 22-Find the putter weight you can control for putts of all lengths. Heavy=slower Lighter=faster. What do you need?

Lesson 23-Match weight to timing and tempo. Looking for even paced stroke and a consistent amount of time. Too slow just as bad as too fast.

Lesson 24-Putter MOI is a function of more than how the weight is distributed in the putter head. Grip weight, shaft weight, all play a role.

Lesson 25-As with all things in putting, too much is as bad as not enough. High MOI putters do not rotate easily. Match MOI to your stroke.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Putting Advice continued...

Lesson 6 Poor putters fight their natural tendencies-Great putters use them and learn from them. Perfection comes from consistency!
Lesson 7. The putter arcs on a plane. The plane tilts in two directions-upright to flat & left or right. Best way is your way. #consistency
Lesson 8-All strokes have some directional bias or stroke plane tilt to the left or the right. Go with it! Swing the putter-don't steer it!
Lesson 8-Directional path of your golf stroke is a function of lateral spine tilt and source of motion. Tomorrow-effect of spine tilt.
Lesson 9-Spine tilt influences the path direction of your stroke. Spine toward the target-putter goes left-spine away putter swings right.
Lesson 10 Source of motion tilts the plane. 4 basic sources-lead arm, rear arm, shoulders rotate around spine, arms swing minimal shoulders.
Lesson 11 shoulder driven strokes and arm swing (S. Utley) around the spine strokes are direction neutral-putter should follow shoulder line

Lesson 12-Lead arm dominant (Stockton)tilts the stroke toward the player. Trail arm stroke (TWoods and others) tilts the path away.

Lesson 12-Lessons 7-12 determine path tilt. Inside out, outside in or something in between. All greats have it. Don't try to fix it. USE IT!

Lesson 13- Distance from the ball+spine tilt+source of motion=Your Putting Stroke. Solution to all problems is in that equation.

Lesson 14-Three ways to learn to putt. Copy a forced method. Copy another player or build your own method. The best always built their own.

Lesson 15-Learn your tendency, face position to path. Are you closed or open? Path tilt+/-face to path= square to the target? 

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Daily Lesson

Posting a Lesson a Day on Twitter @burntedgeputts. tell your friends and follow along.

Putting Lesson 1 Let your eyes tell you where to stand. Recommended postures only work if they allow accurate perception of the target line.

Lesson 2. Fit the putter to the player NOT player to the putter. Off the rack rarely fits.

Lesson 3 - Path Shape-Arc or straight? It is not a choice but a function of ball position and posture. Don't fight yourself.

Lesson 4 Learn how the relationship of putter face to path often differs from relationship of putter face to target.

Lesson 5! Every putting stroke has a rotational requirement and every putter has a rotational value. It helps when they match.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Finding the Correct Putter to Improve Ball Roll.

I have spent more time than I should thinking about the concept of the ball rolling "better" or many of the other invented terms to get you to think you have a problem with your putting. 

I once saw an advertisement for a new golf club that stated "we don't swing the golf clubs in the manner they were designed". In a subtle way I think that is true. A perfect example of this would be a player moving to a flatter one plane move with clubs that are bent upright. Sorry but Jack Nicklaus could not use Ben Hogan's clubs.

Bruce Blades by Byron Morgan
In a way, a similar comparison can be made in putting. Anyone who has seen our research sees immediately that the design features of a putter can influence how you swing the putter. In very simple terms if the shaft and position of the putter head relative to the shaft do not fit the plane of the stroke the putter becomes unbalanced in motion. The reaction of the player is to tense up or attempt to steer the putter to make it go where the player wishes. This tug of war, however subtle result in burnt edges at best and the yips at worst. 

As I continue to teach and preach about the mechanics of putting, it is very apparent that when the technique matches the putter the ball leaves the putter in the most efficient manner. Giving the player that good roll impression. When the putter is unbalanced to the stroke and the steers and tension sets in,  the ball no longer comes off the putter cleanly. Example, Ben Crenshaw would not get the "roll" he desires with a face balanced mallet. Neither would Tiger with a heel shaft mallet. The putter does not match the arc plane of the stroke!

When I have a discussion with the manufacturers about this, they readily admit they cannot build putters specifically for each golfers tendencies. Their solution is to create extreme design features of loft and weight to counter the steer. In effect they numb the feel of the stroke to the player and the putter swings the player. Or they create an artificial launch condition based on the most common problems.  Here is an example. The most common problem we see in stroke mechanics is what is called an "add loft" situation. The player increases the loft of the putter at impact -hands behind the ball-to the point the ball jumps up or bounces before it begins to roll. So some smart putter designers build a putter with reduced loft to counter the the added loft situation. It improves speed and how the ball comes off the putter, but did the player get any better? I am not sure that better results from a complicated stroke is a reliable way to improve. It surely limits the ability to improve.  

I understand from a players point of view that this might make the game easier but there is a limit to your success. So much of putting is feel and touch that to numb that feel has to limit your opportunity to find out how good you can be. With good players I call this the wall. 

So my contention is too find a putter that matches your stroke and ENHANCES THE FEEL rather than limiting it and the ball roll will take care of itself.