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"Taking the Break Out of It" - Capture Speed and Aim on Shorter Putts


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Here are two graphics showing perhaps a five-foot putt.

In the green graphic, the player is playing to a spot about 1" outside the hole and playing about 3.5" of break with a speed that rolls the ball about a 1 foot past the hole.

In the red graphic, the player is playing to a spot about half a ball inside the right edge of the cup (about 1" of break) with a speed that rolls the ball about 4 feet past the hole.

In both cases, you're aiming at a SPOT, a precise, no-size point. The triangles are about the same width as the effective capture speed of the hole given the speed, so you can consider them your margin of error against one of two things:

  • A misread.
  • A mis-hit (i.e. starting the ball offline).

They're not exactly the same width as the capture size of the hole, because putts hit up into a slope more will lose speed a bit more quickly and thus break a bit more, and vice versa, but they're just for illustrative purposes and are pretty close.

capture_speed_and_aim.jpg

In both instances, you're aiming at a "point" in space somewhere, so why would you ever choose the small triangle over the big one?

P.S.

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My most common error is missing high.  I put some pace on the putt and aim outside the cup; as if there is no such thing as a relatively straight putt.  

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The green one allows your aim or start line, or some combination of the two, to be off by more because you can be wrong and hit more of the hole. @iacas this presumes pretty good speed control (on a 5' putt that's a pretty fair presumption)?

1 hour ago, Shindig said:

I want to see if I'm reading this right:  the green one is more likely to make the putt?  Or should I not be trying to read a diagram like this so late at night?

 

 

Thanks for the post. Is a really nice way of looking at this

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So, essentially, you are saying that when we decide to "take the break out of it," we are subsequently deciding to take the margin for error out of it, as well. Interesting, especially since one might think at first glance that taking the break out results in needing to be less precise because there is less of one major variable (break), but in reality you need to be more precise because you have made the capture size of the hole smaller.

This example is on a 5-foot (or relatively short) putt. Does the thinking change as you get further away from the hole and the focus, at least for higher handicaps, might be less about making the putt and more about getting into a position to make the second putt? Or is the idea relevant across almost all situations?

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12 hours ago, alleztom said:

The green one allows your aim or start line, or some combination of the two, to be off by more because you can be wrong and hit more of the hole. @iacas this presumes pretty good speed control (on a 5' putt that's a pretty fair presumption)?

Thank you.  I should work on speed -- it's one of three aspects of putting I'm not very good at. 

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8 hours ago, BC-to-MI said:

So, essentially, you are saying that when we decide to "take the break out of it," we are subsequently deciding to take the margin for error out of it, as well.

Yes, that's just a capture speed thing - you're making the hole smaller.

8 hours ago, BC-to-MI said:

Interesting, especially since one might think at first glance that taking the break out results in needing to be less precise because there is less of one major variable (break), but in reality you need to be more precise because you have made the capture size of the hole smaller.

Right, you're still hitting the ball at a point - does it matter if the "point" is inside the hole or just outside of it?

8 hours ago, BC-to-MI said:

This example is on a 5-foot (or relatively short) putt. Does the thinking change as you get further away from the hole and the focus, at least for higher handicaps, might be less about making the putt and more about getting into a position to make the second putt? Or is the idea relevant across almost all situations?

Nobody "takes the break out" of a 30-footer, so I'm not sure what you mean.

From outside of about 25 feet, hit the ball the distance of the hole.

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