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Scotty Cameron on Center- and Heel-Shafted Putters

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Not to beat a dead horse, but, on the link you provided I went to an area in which Mr. Cameron talked about the idea that the most natural putter path is in to square, etc. However, I'm a little confused about why he makes both heel shafted as well as center shafted putters (Detours or otherwise). I have been under the impression, perhaps mistakenly, that heel shafted putters promote more of an in to square to in path, while a center shafted, face balanced putter promotes more of a pendulum stroke. Is he merely accomodating those of us who think we want a pendulum stroke by making a center shafted putter or, if the center shafted putter is not face balanced, does he believe that placing the shaft in or near the center has nothing to do with encouraging a pendulum stroke?

Well, I told you I'd ask Scotty what he thought, and here are his thoughts. Bear in mind he is mostly talking about the Detour, but this pertains to all putters, too. His definition of "heel shafted" and "center-shafted" is a bit more precise than our own.

You're on track, but we don't put the shaft in the center because we don't want to promote the square-to-square path. You say 'center shaft', but ours is actually a straight shaft, and it's about a shaft-and-a-half back toward the heel from center. We do this to create toe-hang, to create more of the proper path. You're correct to say that if it were 'center-shafted' it would be closer to face-balanced, which would promote a more square-to-square path (pendulum stroke).

In other words, all of our definitions of heel-shafted and center-shafted aren't quite precise enough - the Red X or Detour aren't heel-shafted versions and the Red X 2 and Detour 2 aren't center-shafted.

And, in the end, it's not the insertion point of the shaft that makes the inside-square-inside stroke the "best" stroke, but rather the simple fact that the shaft is not vertical. That 71° lie angle is what creates the arc. Here's my own example... Imagine a toe-shafted putter. You wouldn't swing it on an outside-square-outside arc - you'd still swing it inside-square-inside because of the lie angle. Face balance is another thing entirely. I reviewed the GM2-HM from Never Compromise, a "heel-shafted" (in our less precise definition) mallet. It didn't have any toe-hang.
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Scotty Cameron is my hero. Give me the choice of a day on the range with Tiger or a day in the Studio with Scotty, well, I'd be on a plane to California tomorrow. I am always impressed. Thanks.
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First, Erik, thank you for providing an explanation from Mr. Cameron about these issues. It is particularily difficult for those of us who are not writers to put into words and describe with some accuracy physical actions. Being able to parse and understand the meaning of heel and center shafts and their respective effects on putters helps me understand the idea of a swing path better.

Now, here's my next question: Is Mr. Cameron saying that there is no, or should be no, square to square path, even with face balanced mallet putters because the only way to achieve square to square is to putt with the ball between one's legs? If this is so, what is the difference between the path that the face balanced almost center shafted putters promotes and the path the heel toe weighted plumbers neck ( for lack of a better term - like the Cameron Newport or Newport Two ) putters promote? Is he saying that all swing paths are really in to square to in?

I 've struggled with this because as I've mentioned before, I find myself, especially on long putts, naturally taking more of an in to square to in stroke with my face balanced, almost center shafted putter I purchased directly from Bobby Grace's factory a couple of years ago. I bought this putter with the idea it was to be used with a back and through pendulum stroke.

Thanks, again for helping me to better get a grasp of putter mechanics.
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Now, here's my next question: Is Mr. Cameron saying that there is no, or should be no, square to square path, even with face balanced mallet putters because the only way to achieve square to square is to putt with the ball between one's legs?

I don't presume to speak for Scotty himself, but I will say this: I think Scotty Cameron believes very strongly that the "inside-square-inside" putting stroke, like Stan Utley teaches and unlike the one Dave Pelz teaches (square to square) is quite literally the "only" putting stroke that makes sense. I've read Cameron stuff in the past that points out that the shaft is at an angle - and his quote above gets into that too - that I don't think he believes at all that square-to-square even make sense.

So I think that Scotty could make a heel-hang putter and tell you that the best way to use it would be inside-square-inside. The orientation of the putter face's balance (balanced, toe-hang, quarter toe hang, etc.) can't change the fact that the shaft is set into it at an angle.
If this is so, what is the difference between the path that the face balanced almost center shafted putters promotes and the path the heel toe weighted plumbers neck ( for lack of a better term - like the Cameron Newport or Newport Two ) putters promote? Is he saying that all swing paths are really in to square to in?

I believe so, yes. Again, I don't wish to speak for Scotty, but in everything I've read, he's only ever advocated one swing path - inside-square-inside. He's NEVER - to my knowledge - said "square-to-square" is good or proper.

Now, he's not dumb, so he wouldn't ever say that you can't putt well using square-to-square. But I do feel that he believes 100% that inside-square-inside is the best, most reliable, most scientifically "makes sense" putting stroke you can have. Again, regardless of putter design (so long as it's not the croquet-style mallet he mentions, which are illegal).
I 've struggled with this because as I've mentioned before, I find myself, especially on long putts, naturally taking more of an in to square to in stroke with my face balanced, almost center shafted putter I purchased directly from Bobby Grace's factory a couple of years ago. I bought this putter with the idea it was to be used with a back and through pendulum stroke.

Perhaps your path on the shorter putts isn't long enough for you to begin to see that you're naturally moving slightly inside the line on the backswing and follow through. In other words, the curve is so short on short putts it is nearly straight-back and through.

It's a pretty broad circle, really - take a look at the Detour and you'll see too that the back portion doesn't curve that much. It's not like he's preaching a 34" radius to your swing arc. I'm totally guessing here, but it's more like a 20 foot radius, and that gives you a very gentle curve over a short distance.
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In regard to your comment about shorter putts, I have a Bettinardi BB1 SS. I sometimes putt with it just for practice, just for fun. When I read your comments, it ocurred to me that when I make relatively short putts with it I do not notice that I swing in to square to in; it seems as if I'm making more of a pendulum stroke. However, the nature of its design is such that I do feel on longer putts that swinging gate a bit more.

Am I corect in assumming that you follow Cameron's suggestion of in to square to in?

Thanks for all your time on this subject. It's been most helpful.
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Am I corect in assumming that you follow Cameron's suggestion of in to square to in?

I've putted that say since before I knew there was a Scotty Cameron... so I putt the way he suggests, but I don't follow his suggestion.

I, like Scotty, believe inside-square-inside is the best way to putt. Square-to-square always makes me feel like I must manipulate my wrists to keep the putterface square and on the target line.
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so is mr cameron saying since the only way to do square to square putting is between the legs, the only way one can put is in square in? like I think of my putting stroke as a pendulum, but i guess my stroke goes in on the backswing and the follow through even though i think of my swing as a pendulum. or am i wrong in my assumption and there are two different putting styles. I am not quite sure how large the difference is between the two styles and I'm pretty sure my swing is pendulum since thats how I think about it. My father bought me a two ball putter with a center shaft as a gift so i never really put any thought to the difference between center shaft and the hooked type.
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so is mr cameron saying since the only way to do square to square putting is between the legs, the only way one can put is in square in? like I think of my putting stroke as a pendulum, but i guess my stroke goes in on the backswing and the follow through even though i think of my swing as a pendulum. or am i wrong in my assumption and there are two different putting styles. I am not quite sure how large the difference is between the two styles and I'm pretty sure my swing is pendulum since thats how I think about it. My father bought me a two ball putter with a center shaft as a gift so i never really put any thought to the difference between center shaft and the hooked type.

The two common putting styles are:

  1. Utley/Cameron: "inside to square to inside," during which the face opens on the backswing and closes on the follow through, and
  2. Pelz: "square to square," during which the putter face both travels straight back and through and the face stays square to the line the entire time.
Cameron is saying that the only way to swing like the second is between your legs. Dave Pelz disagrees and pushes the second method (even though his main student, Phil Mickelson, doesn't really putt that way). Personally, I've always felt that Dave Pelz's method requires a lot of wrist manipulation to keep both the face square and the putterhead itself online. To you, I would say this: you can't putt like a pendulum unless the ball is directly beneath your shoulders... which is what Scotty says, too. The lie of the shaft necessitates that in/square/in nature - an arc.
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soo is that saying that a square to square putting style is essentially in square in because you arent putting with the ball directly beneath the shoulders.
or is mr cameron saying that the only way to putt is with the in to in putting style because the shaft requires it.
do u have a picture or can u describe the in sqaure in putting style? i'm very curious because I've lately been playing around with my putting to get it more consistent and I have found that pendulum swinging has worked with my center shafted putter, but i do feel a bit of wrist movement ever so slightly. i am guessing that pendulum is more lifted off the ground than the in square in style. with the pendulum i feel like i lift the club off the ground a bit and i guess the in square in is more of a swing
would a center shafted putter work with a in square in style if i were to change?
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soo is that saying that a square to square putting style is essentially in square in because you arent putting with the ball directly beneath the shoulders.

No.

or is mr cameron saying that the only way to putt is with the in to in putting style because the shaft requires it.

Yes.

do u have a picture or can u describe the in sqaure in putting style?

Sure.

i'm very curious because I've lately been playing around with my putting to get it more consistent and I have found that pendulum swinging has worked with my center shafted putter, but i do feel a bit of wrist movement ever so slightly. i am guessing that pendulum is more lifted off the ground than the in square in style. with the pendulum i feel like i lift the club off the ground a bit and i guess the in square in is more of a swing

If you take "pendulum" to mean "relatively firm elbows and wrists," good. If you take pendulum to mean that you're swinging the putter on a purely vertical plane, you're not paying attention to the fact that your putter ISN'T on a purely vertical plane. Hence Scotty's "croquet" or "between the legs" comment.

would a center shafted putter work with a in square in style if i were to change?

See Scotty's response above. The shaft is still inserted at an angle, and Scotty only thinks there's one "best" way to putt.

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ok. thanks alot for your clear response. since i recently changed my putting style I'll give this style a try on my center shafted odyssey 2 ball putter. mr cameron's response seems logical. I also read in one of my almost 10 year old book i found in my house which happens to be the only one i have about breaking 100 in 90 days or something. and i was reading it and they say that if you are left hand dominant (and they have a test where if u just hold it with one hand and u try that with both hands and see which side you are more steadier) that you should get one of those curved shafts but if you are right hand dominant you should get a center shaft. wonder if the hand dominance really means anything when it comes to the putters shaft.
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No.

Inside-square-inside may seem more natural. Although, with putting, where the slightest "detour" off midline will cause the ball to veer off. Inside to square to inside is more prone to tangential forces (since you are starting from the inside) that will cause the ball to veer away from you. As opposed to starting off square to begin with.

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Inside-square-inside may seem more natural. Although, with putting, where the slightest "detour" off midline will cause the ball to veer off. Inside to square to inside is more prone to tangential forces (since you are starting from the inside) that will cause the ball to veer away from you. As opposed to starting off square to begin with.

That doesn't make any sense. A "tangential force" has nothing to do with this:

Tangential Force (aka "Normal" force, or a force perpendicular to a surface - typically used in measuring forces needed to overcome friction): http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/phys...tialForce.html
The force on an object in contact with a surface can be resolved into a component perpendicular to the surface at a given point (the normal force), and a component parallel to the surface (the tangential force). In particular, a mass of weight w = mg on an inclined plane at an angle to the horizontal will have normal and tangential forces of

The ball doesn't "veer" away from you because when you hit it, your tangent is right along the target line. I think it's easier to push and pull putts with the square-to-square (STS) method than with inside-square-inside (ISI).

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I've never seen one of those before, not on tour or otherwise. Although to be honest I'd try just about anything that conforms to the rules in an attempt to improve my putting; it's not any stranger looking than the putter in my bag currently. Although it would be strange see someone facing forward, directly towards the hole.

My guess is that it's unlikely that it's built in a leff-handed model though, lol...
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I've never seen one of those before, not on tour or otherwise. Although to be honest I'd try just about anything that conforms to the rules in an attempt to improve my putting; it's not any stranger looking than the putter in my bag currently. Although it would be strange see someone facing forward, directly towards the hole.

From

this article comes this picture, FWIW:
My guess is that it's unlikely that it's built in a leff-handed model though, lol...

Yes it is .
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