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Putting. Back short, accelerate, follow through. Worst advice ever?? Read this.


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Originally Posted by miami8miami

So how would practice changing the peak velocity of the putter head from too far past the ball to just before impact?

I would assume longer backstroke shorter post impact stroke. That would be the feel. In actuality it would be symmetrical on the backstroke and downstroke.

Probably for most people, yes. Kind of the opposite of a "pop" stroke.

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Originally Posted by iacas

So to answer your question in three words: backstroke too short.

I always putted my best and felt great speed control when I felt the backstroke was long and just dropped it on the ball (not literally, but the feeling of gravity) - although was always told I was a bad putter as people said my backswing was too long and wasn't decelerating ( real reason for being a bad putter is my 5-10 ft range being poor - again, not in terms of speed but usually reading).

Would be interesting to see, if you have any, similar accelerations and decels for general chip shots. I certainly notice that the best chippers seem to sharply decelerate after impact - and have found this to work for myself too.

The graph (in my mind) would probably look like a smooth transition from backswing to downswing followed by a sharp acceleration mid way in downswing, maintaining of speed (no accel) from about 5 inches before impact and a sharp decel towards the end of the slightly shorter followthrough. But this is very difficult to put my feel into an imaginary graph.

Kinda like this

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I prefer a feeling of a slow, long backstroke and then often the feeling of just letting gravity drop the putter head on the golf ball from there. A teeny bit of float loading helps too, and adds a bit of "pop" to the ball without it being at all violent.

This has really worked well for me this year.  I got fitted over the winter and I practice a smooth relaxed backstroke, which feels slow to me but doesn't really look that slow on film.  My distance control has improved immensely.  A close friend, who is a decent golfer (7HP) has a short choppy putting stroke and has trouble with distance control.

the other benefit on the smooth, slower backstroke is control of the putter head (in my opinion of course).  The feeling works for my short game as well with pitches and chips and sand.

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

Would be interesting to see, if you have any, similar accelerations and decels for general chip shots. I certainly notice that the best chippers seem to sharply decelerate after impact - and have found this to work for myself too.

The graph (in my mind) would probably look like a smooth transition from backswing to downswing followed by a sharp acceleration mid way in downswing, maintaining of speed (no accel) from about 5 inches before impact and a sharp decel towards the end of the slightly shorter followthrough. But this is very difficult to put my feel into an imaginary graph.

Kinda like this

I have been thinking about this too recently as I have been watching the pros on TV.  It seems that with many types of chips the follow through if very abbreviated.  My dad is a poor chipper who has always taken a longer backswing and seemed to decelerated (quit) at the ball, so I have always tried to stay away from this, but the pros seem to be much more crisp through the ball than he is (while still having the abbreviated follow through he does).

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

I always putted my best and felt great speed control when I felt the backstroke was long and just dropped it on the ball (not literally, but the feeling of gravity) - although was always told I was a bad putter as people said my backswing was too long and wasn't decelerating ( real reason for being a bad putter is my 5-10 ft range being poor - again, not in terms of speed but usually reading).

Sounds about right. People's backstrokes are often much shorter than they think they are when putting (and much longer in the full swing than they think).


Originally Posted by Adam Young

Would be interesting to see, if you have any, similar accelerations and decels for general chip shots. I certainly notice that the best chippers seem to sharply decelerate after impact - and have found this to work for myself too.

I think chipping and pitching would be fairly similar (I define these specifically, and perhaps differently than you). This is a putting thread, though, so you can see my " Quickie Pitching Video " thread for more on pitching. Very much a gravity driven feeling there, though, as well. Similar to the Tiger video (he's doing a "chippitch" of sorts).

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Originally Posted by MEfree

My dad is a poor chipper who has always taken a longer backswing and seemed to decelerated (quit) at the ball, so I have always tried to stay away from this, but the pros seem to be much more crisp through the ball than he is (while still having the abbreviated follow through he does).

Even though it's a putting thread I just want to point out that the feeling of letting the clubhead "fall" is combined with a decent amount of rotation.  Look at Tiger's hips on that video, they don't stall, which is what I think of a lot of bad pitchers/chippers do.

Back to putting, I remember learning about acceleration profiles a few years ago and it made sense immediately.  Then you start to spot it when playing golf with guys that are good putters day in and day out and the guys that suck.  Like what has been said, the worst putters, or the streaky putters,  you know will add a little "hit" to the stroke (Tom Watson).  Best putters just make a "full" stroke (Faxon, Crenshaw) and can easily control their distances.

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Originally Posted by reedf

Makes no sense at all! It's very simple, if you're MAX speed is in the 1.5" before striking the ball, then you are DECELERATING at impact. The only possible way to accelerate through the ball is for your MAX speed to come after impact. Acceleration doesn't mean 100mph, it simply means you are increasing whatever speed you are currently at. No way can you develop "feel" if you are decelerating at impact. Over-acceleration would be like going from 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. Acceleration could be going from 0-2.3 in 60 seconds.

Agreed.  I think this is important enough to repeate it.  If your peak speed is before contact, then you have to decelerate before contact.  IMO, decelerating before contact is a death move when judging putting speed.  In addition, I take a bigger backswing to hit a longer putt, similar to chipping and pitching.  I try to maintain the same tempo and rhythm no matter how long the backswing is, so that, the longer the backswing, the more acceleration.  I don't try to control my follow through.  It's longer than my backswing except for very long putts.

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Originally Posted by Limpinswinger

Agreed. I think this is important enough to repeate it.  If your peak speed is before contact, then you have to decelerate before contact. IMO, decelerating before contact is a death move when judging putting speed.

Have you read the other posts in this thread? Because, again, I'll say this: it's close to the exact opposite of the bold text.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Have you read the other posts in this thread? Because, again, I'll say this: it's close to the exact opposite of the bold text.

I have.  But, the notion of purposely accelerating and then decelerating within 1.5 inches of contact makes no sense to me.  When I don't accelerate through contact, I have very little speed/disance control.  When I accelerate through contact, I do.  By accelerate, I don't mean popping the ball or any kind of abrupt acceleration.  I try to think of the timing and tempo of all swings including my putt the same way as a full swing.  I accelerate slowly and gradually through contact.  However, I do like the idea dropping the putter on the ball, using the weight of the club to generate acceleration.  That, along with varying backswing length depending on the length of the putt seems to be a good method of regulating the amount of acceleration and speed from putt to putt.

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Originally Posted by Limpinswinger

I have.  But, the notion of purposely accelerating and then decelerating within 1.5 inches of contact makes no sense to me.  When I don't accelerate through contact, I have very little speed/disance control.  When I accelerate through contact, I do.  By accelerate, I don't mean popping the ball or any kind of abrupt acceleration.  I try to think of the timing and tempo of all swings including my putt the same way as a full swing.  I accelerate slowly and gradually through contact.  However, I do like the idea dropping the putter on the ball, using the weight of the club to generate acceleration.  That, along with varying backswing length depending on the length of the putt seems to be a good method of regulating the amount of acceleration and speed from putt to putt.

I could say it two ways and both are true:

1) You're not accelerating and decelerating within 1.5 inches.

2) You're accelerating and decelerating within about a millionth of an inch.

In the first way, I mean you're accelerating the entire length of your downstroke and decelerating the entire length of your follow-through.

In the second way, I'm being technical and saying that at one point you're going from acceleration to deceleration, and that point should be about an inch before you hit the golf ball.

That point, in the second one, occurs at some point in EVERY putting stroke, so it's best if it occurs just before the golf ball.

Your feel may not be real, and you should be careful saying that you accelerate through the shot.

The putting stroke is a lot like a pendulum. In a pure pendulum, the maximum speed is at low point. In a putting stroke, the low point is behind the ball, because we want to strike the ball on a slightly upward angle.

Your full swings don't accelerate through impact. If they do, you're not only wasting speed, you're inconsistent. Just as you likely are if you're still accelerating the putter at impact.

P.S. I could say a third thing, and that is that you're almost always accelerating the putter, because negative acceleration is still acceleration, but that's a bit too geeky for even me. Though, I did still add it, albeit in a postscript. ;)

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Originally Posted by iacas

Your feel may not be real, and you should be careful saying that you accelerate through the shot.

The putting stroke is a lot like a pendulum. In a pure pendulum, the maximum speed is at low point. In a putting stroke, the low point is behind the ball, because we want to strike the ball on a slightly upward angle.

Exactly like when player feels like they made a half backswing but when you look at the camera, it's a full backswing.    Limpinswinger, get on a SAM machine and check it out for yourself.  Even without doing it the geometry makes sense, you are hitting the ball after low point.

Good videos to watch from one of the best short game instructors in the world

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how does the acceleration rate affect the shot (I am interested in both putting and others, but as the thread is simply putting). For example, if three players hit the ball with the same speed at impact, but one has accelerated to that point, one had maintained speed and the other has decelerated to that point - what would be the effects with the result on an on centre hit (on on off centre, if it makes any differences?)

I certainly feel with my pitch shots that if I take a bigger backswing and decel into the ball, the flight is lower with more spin - although I am sure this is more down to an impact mechanics change resulted from the feeling of dropping  the club. Would be interested if there is another 'ball flight law' dealing with acceleration, or if it is a non-influencer. I once had a debate with another pro who said you MUST accelerate into the putt as it keeps the ball more online - I was at a loss to explain why this would/wouldn't be the case

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The putting stroke is a lot like a pendulum. In a pure pendulum, the maximum speed is at low point. In a putting stroke, the low point is behind the ball, because we want to strike the ball on a slightly upward angle.

That is the best explanation for your graphical data.

One thing that may make some use shorter back strokes is watching pros hit on really fast greens.  They alway appear to be making tiny backstrokes.  Our greens are usually slower and require longer backstrokes, but some still use the short backstroke and need to compensate.

Quote:
P.S. I could say a third thing, and that is that you're almost always accelerating the putter, because negative acceleration is still acceleration, but that's a bit too geeky for even me. Though, I did still add it, albeit in a postscript. ;)

Nerd alert!  Acceleration is a change in velocity.  The only time it is zero is at constant velocity.  Velocity is a vector.  If you have constant speed on a curve, the vector is changing direction and therefor you still have acceleration.  There, I said it!  I am a Nerd I admit!!  You feel this in a car as you go around a bend (centripetal acceleration).  So the question really is, are the graphs measuring a change in speed or velocity?  I think they are probably measuring velocity but normalizing the data to eliminate the direction change.  We feel the centripetal acceleration as the putter goes through the low point.  It would be interesting to see where the centripetal acceleration is at it's peak.

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Originally Posted by Adam Young

how does the acceleration rate affect the shot (I am interested in both putting and others, but as the thread is simply putting). For example, if three players hit the ball with the same speed at impact, but one has accelerated to that point, one had maintained speed and the other has decelerated to that point - what would be the effects with the result on an on centre hit (on on off centre, if it makes any differences?)

No change.

Science has pretty clearly shown that at impact the clubhead basically acts like a free-floating clubhead. Only the last few inches of the shaft even matter at all, and nothing above it (most of the shaft, the grip, and YOU, the guy holding on) don't matter at all. It's basically two objects colliding. Force cannot be added to the system during impact by someone holding on to the grip.


Originally Posted by Adam Young

I certainly feel with my pitch shots that if I take a bigger backswing and decel into the ball, the flight is lower with more spin - although I am sure this is more down to an impact mechanics change resulted from the feeling of dropping  the club. Would be interested if there is another 'ball flight law' dealing with acceleration, or if it is a non-influencer. I once had a debate with another pro who said you MUST accelerate into the putt as it keeps the ball more online - I was at a loss to explain why this would/wouldn't be the case

The bold part is why. You don't arrive at the ball the same.

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Originally Posted by iacas

No change.

Science has pretty clearly shown that at impact the clubhead basically acts like a free-floating clubhead. Only the last few inches of the shaft even matter at all, and nothing above it (most of the shaft, the grip, and YOU, the guy holding on) don't matter at all. It's basically two objects colliding. Force cannot be added to the system during impact by someone holding on to the grip.

This seems to make sense, especially for the full swing when you see photos like insl06_power_garrigus.jpg

or

insl14_power_lincicome.jpg

but has this been proven for slower swing shots like putting and chipping?  I ask because it seems possible that if the club is accelerating enough at impact that the ball would stay on the clubface slightly longer while it would stay on it slightly shorter if you decelerated.

I`m not a physics guy, but intuitively it would seem like the acceleration/deceleration cause would have to be added at the moment of impact to make a difference.  While this seems practically impossible on a normal full swing with a flexible shaft, I am not 100% convinced that it is impossible on a shorter/slower swing where you, for example tried to either completely stop at impact or tried to drastically speed up at the moment of impact.  If the clubhead is 100% free floating, how does a double hit happen?  Seems like acceleration after impact to me.

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Originally Posted by MEfree

This seems to make sense, especially for the full swing when you see photos like

or

but has this been proven for slower swing shots like putting and chipping?  I ask because it seems possible that if the club is accelerating enough at impact that the ball would stay on the clubface slightly longer while it would stay on it slightly shorter if you decelerated.

I`m not a physics guy, but intuitively it would seem like the acceleration/deceleration cause would have to be added at the moment of impact to make a difference.  While this seems practically impossible on a normal full swing with a flexible shaft, I am not 100% convinced that it is impossible on a shorter/slower swing where you, for example tried to either completely stop at impact or tried to drastically speed up at the moment of impact.  If the clubhead is 100% free floating, how does a double hit happen?  Seems like acceleration after impact to me.

I'm not sure if your comment is based on the shaft bend in those photos, but that shaft isn't really bent.  It appears bent in the photo because of the way the camera records the image vertically, so that it's recording different parts of the image at different points in time.

A double hit I don't think has anything to do with acceleration.  It's two objects moving on individual arcs, and the arcs happen to collide with each other at two different points.  (The objects also have to reach that second common point in the arcs at exactly the same time, which is why double-hits are extremely rare.)

And the ball never "stays on the face at impact."  If you think about the difference between clubhead speed and ball speed (clubhead speed * smash factor = ball speed), ball speed is always 1.25 * clubhead speed at least.  Separate conversation is what is it about the clubface and ball characteristics that cause this "jump" in speed as energy is transferred from one object to the other.  However, the bottom line is this:  your "acceleration" through "impact" would have to increase your clubhead speed by like 40% in a span of 1/8 of an inch for the ball to "stay on the face" for any length of time.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I could say it two ways and both are true:

1) You're not accelerating and decelerating within 1.5 inches.

2) You're accelerating and decelerating within about a millionth of an inch.

In the first way, I mean you're accelerating the entire length of your downstroke and decelerating the entire length of your follow-through.

In the second way, I'm being technical and saying that at one point you're going from acceleration to deceleration, and that point should be about an inch before you hit the golf ball.

That point, in the second one, occurs at some point in EVERY putting stroke, so it's best if it occurs just before the golf ball.

Your feel may not be real, and you should be careful saying that you accelerate through the shot.

The putting stroke is a lot like a pendulum. In a pure pendulum, the maximum speed is at low point. In a putting stroke, the low point is behind the ball, because we want to strike the ball on a slightly upward angle.

Your full swings don't accelerate through impact. If they do, you're not only wasting speed, you're inconsistent. Just as you likely are if you're still accelerating the putter at impact.

P.S. I could say a third thing, and that is that you're almost always accelerating the putter, because negative acceleration is still acceleration, but that's a bit too geeky for even me. Though, I did still add it, albeit in a postscript. ;)

If I understand/interpret correctly, you are saying that it is my perception that I am accelerating through contact, and that, because contact occurs on the upswing (against gravity), there is a reduction of acceleration before contact.  Yes?  If so, then is it also correct that this reduction in acceleration is not something that is purposely executed, but rather, the natural result of a proper putting stroke?

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Originally Posted by MEfree

but has this been proven for slower swing shots like putting and chipping?  I ask because it seems possible that if the club is accelerating enough at impact that the ball would stay on the clubface slightly longer while it would stay on it slightly shorter if you decelerated.

The ball is on the face about 400 to 450 microseconds regardless of whether you're putting or driving. At putting speeds the "part" that matters extends a bit farther up but no, in no way are you going to influence the ball by "accelerating" at impact. Not in a normal golf stroke at all, not even putts from 40 yards away.

Originally Posted by MEfree

I`m not a physics guy, but intuitively it would seem like the acceleration/deceleration cause would have to be added at the moment of impact to make a difference.  While this seems practically impossible on a normal full swing with a flexible shaft, I am not 100% convinced that it is impossible on a shorter/slower swing where you, for example tried to either completely stop at impact or tried to drastically speed up at the moment of impact.  If the clubhead is 100% free floating, how does a double hit happen?  Seems like acceleration after impact to me.

That's acceleration after impact and it's irrelevant. I'm talking about accelerating THROUGH impact. It doesn't happen, not in the way you're suggesting. Double-hits occur because the ball isn't sent away with much speed, the club grabs, then springs out as the golfer continues the follow-through.

Originally Posted by Limpinswinger

If I understand/interpret correctly, you are saying that it is my perception that I am accelerating through contact, and that, because contact occurs on the upswing (against gravity), there is a reduction of acceleration before contact.  Yes?  If so, then is it also correct that this reduction in acceleration is not something that is purposely executed, but rather, the natural result of a proper putting stroke?

Your perception might be right. You might be accelerating after impact. But you're not putting like most good to great putters if so.

A good putting stroke reaches peak speed at or in the inch or so before the golf ball - at the low point of the putting arc. That's all I'm saying. I got there with a follow-through that was longer than my backstroke. That's rare. Most people with a good putting stroke will be closer to matching.

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