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Short Putts Firm?

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Originally Posted by Paradox

what variables does it remove?

The only thing to putting is speed and line.  No matter how hard you hit the ball, you still have only those two things.  Why add more RISK to a shot when you can minimize it by playing the proper speed to the hole?

Risk and proper speed are both subjective. That's the whole point of the thread.

As my previous reply suggests, I'm a short putt ramer. To me, playing break in a short putt is risk . There is one excpetion, the downhill super slider, they certainly demand break being played. But if I've got a short putt I'm playing it inside the hole and stroking it firm. More to that point, with a firm stroke, comes confident stroke, as nickolasjt mentioned. No decelling. One of the worst feelings in golf is decelling on a three foot putt and not even hitting the hole because the clubface is left wide open. Or the putt wiggles off line on less than smooth putting surfaces. Firm putts tend to hold their line better .

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Originally Posted by Ben

Risk and proper speed are both subjective. That's the whole point of the thread.

As my previous reply suggests, I'm a short putt ramer. To me, playing break in a short putt is risk. There is one excpetion, the downhill super slider, they certainly demand break being played. But if I've got a short putt I'm playing it inside the hole and stroking it firm. More to that point, with a firm stroke, comes confident stroke, as nickolasjt mentioned. No decelling. One of the worst feelings in golf is decelling on a three foot putt and not even hitting the hole because the clubface is left wide open. Or the putt wiggles off line on less than smooth putting surfaces. Firm putts tend to hold their line better .

Were you watching me on the course today? Sounds like you are speaking of my round??

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Originally Posted by Beachcomber

Were you watching me on the course today? Sounds like you are speaking of my round??

Yeah, you were on ESPN's Not Top Ten! HA

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Originally Posted by Ben

Risk and proper speed are both subjective. That's the whole point of the thread.

As my previous reply suggests, I'm a short putt ramer. To me, playing break in a short putt is risk. There is one excpetion, the downhill super slider, they certainly demand break being played. But if I've got a short putt I'm playing it inside the hole and stroking it firm. More to that point, with a firm stroke, comes confident stroke, as nickolasjt mentioned. No decelling. One of the worst feelings in golf is decelling on a three foot putt and not even hitting the hole because the clubface is left wide open. Or the putt wiggles off line on less than smooth putting surfaces. Firm putts tend to hold their line better .

whether you think it or not..you are always making a decision on break...to play little to no break on a putt and hit it firm is still making a decision on the break..so you're still taking a risk, as you put it.  The point is..even with a "firm putt" you still have variables..the same ones that are always there.  Speed and line.  It doesn't matter how long of a putt, how much break...you make those two decisions on EVERY putt.  The risk in hitting it firm and blowing it past the hole or having it bounce out off the back of the hole is no different than possibly tensing up and leaving it short trying to baby it in the hole.

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Well, it seems as though your selection in screenames is pretty accurate huh?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paradox

what variables does it remove?

The only thing to putting is speed and line.  No matter how hard you hit the ball, you still have only those two things.  Why add more RISK to a shot when you can minimize it by playing the proper speed to the hole?

Originally Posted by Paradox

whether you think it or not..you are always making a decision on break...to play little to no break on a putt and hit it firm is still making a decision on the break..so you're still taking a risk, as you put it.  The point is..even with a "firm putt" you still have variables..the same ones that are always there.  Speed and line.  It doesn't matter how long of a putt, how much break...you make those two decisions on EVERY putt.  The risk in hitting it firm and blowing it past the hole or having it bounce out off the back of the hole is no different than possibly tensing up and leaving it short trying to baby it in the hole.

So yes, you are right, the risk in hitting it firm is no great then the risk in dying putts into the hole. And thus is the subject of this thread, which does one prefer? There is no proper nor improper.

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Originally Posted by Ben

Well, it seems as though your selection in screenames is pretty accurate huh?

Quote:

So yes, you are right, the risk in hitting it firm is no great then the risk in dying putts into the hole. And thus is the subject of this thread, which does one prefer? There is no proper nor improper.

well, since my reply quoted the guy saying it removed variables...my posts make sense.  You can't remove the variables of a putt..you just change them.  I wasn't responding to the thread overall, just the fact that it somehow removed variables to hit it firm.

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Originally Posted by Ben

So yes, you are right, the risk in hitting it firm is no great then the risk in dying putts into the hole. And thus is the subject of this thread, which does one prefer? There is no proper nor improper.

I find that there's much more risk in hitting them firmly. The hole size gets smaller. Who (regularly) leaves even a five-foot putt short? People do that a lot less frequently than they lip out three-footers they hit hard to "take the break out."

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Originally Posted by iacas

I find that there's much more risk in hitting them firmly. The hole size gets smaller. Who (regularly) leaves even a five-foot putt short? People do that a lot less frequently than they lip out three-footers they hit hard to "take the break out."

this is my feeling, as well.  Why try to hit it firm and run it past the hole maybe upwards of 5 feet or something when I can play the speed required and at worst be right around the hole unless something goes horribly wrong?  I decided not to argue for it since its two totally different mindsets and philosophies of putting, though.

For the record...I've seen 3 footers blown by the hole from a "firm" putt..I've seen them pop out off the back of the hole...I've seen puts catch a lip with so much speed that they take off running and end up 10-15 feet away because they turned towards a slope.

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Okay, yeah, I feel you Paradox . From a personal standpoint, and playing for as long as I have, adapting both putting mindsets over the years, I've been more confident over putts, and made more putts going with the ramer method. Not to say that I haven't had some wicked lip outs, cause I have. My friend Alex makes fun of me about that. Alex is just one of those friends who likes to talk a gang of sh'it. But I have more friends who know me to be automatic on short putts. I love the fact that I can use the line on my XG7, know for certain that its on my line, and stroke the putt to the back of the cup. I've posted it in putting topic threads before, making putts is the greatest feeling in golf. Forget 300y drives or sticking a 4 iron to ten feet, making putts is where its at!

iacas so long as I at least hit the whole, I know if given my putt a chance at leastt. There won't be a time where I'm raming a putt home and not even sniff the hole. I've played with some members at my course that are so afraid of short putts, that they absolutely won't putt aggressively and end up missing the hole completely. we now have a Friday "Play with the Pro" game at my course, I was playing in a group of three members and my GM. He's an alright golfer, the GM, plays the Golf Channel Tour and carries a 7 hdcp. But there are aspects of his game that just aren't there. In our 5-some it was he and I best ball vs. the the members in three seperate two-man best-ball matches. He missed some shorties because of this exact issue. Didn't even touch the cup, decell to the extreme. It was so hard to watch. Particularly cause he was my partner. Thankfully I shot low that day and totally carried the team.

Not to mention, the long putts that I make, tend to be traveling at a good rate as they drop in the cup. I guess its just me. I certainly vote for firm.

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Originally Posted by Ben

iacas so long as I at least hit the whole, I know if given my putt a chance at leastt. There won't be a time where I'm raming a putt home and not even sniff the hole. I've played with some members at my course that are so afraid of short putts, that they absolutely won't putt aggressively and end up missing the hole completely.

"Hitting the hole" is irrelevant - you can "hit the hole" and lip out pretty easily. To make a putt that's going to go five feet past the hole you've gotta hit the middle inch or so of the hole. If you're off by a quarter inch, the ball is going to lip out. You've still hit the hole - heck, you're only 3/4 of an inch off center!! Yet you've missed the putt. Conversely if your putt is going to roll a foot past the hole only, you have the middle three+ inches of the hole to hit.

I don't know who these people are that are decelerating so much that their face angle changes so dramatically they miss the hole, but perhaps their reads are simply not accounting for the speed at which they'll play the putt.

P.S. Virtually all good putters decelerate the putter at or slightly before impact. But that's neither here nor there for this topic.

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Originally Posted by iacas

I find that there's much more risk in hitting them firmly. The hole size gets smaller. Who (regularly) leaves even a five-foot putt short? People do that a lot less frequently than they lip out three-footers they hit hard to "take the break out."

This pretty much sums it up.

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Originally Posted by Harmonious

Pelz did not say that 17" was the magic number for all putts.  The optimum distance varied with the speed of the greens, whether uphill or downhill, the type of grass, etc.  For example, he stated that on some greens where the grain is very strong, he found that 36" past was the optimum distance.  At some U.S. Open greens, he found that 5" was the optimum distance. 17" was what he found to be the average optimum distance past the hole.

I'm not sure I'd like to leave myself a 3 footer if i miss the hole...

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Originally Posted by iacas

If I asked you to putt a ball towards two points on green (just points, like the tip of a pencil), but told you that your margin for error if you putted at point A to be considered a "success" was +/- 2° and to putt at point B was +/- 0.3°, would you choose to putt to point A or point B?

I guess I'd pick b for a larger margin of error.

I'd missed that "capture speed" thread originally and it is certainly interesting.

I'm definitely not a "rammer" when it comes to putting.  That's one of my regular playing partners.  He's a better putter than I am and I have found myself at times admiring his ability to firm those shorter putts home.  Actually how firm he's hitting them I can't say because I'd put his success rate on those (and this practice stands out primarily on those in the 3'-5' range) around an 80% make rate.  This weekend I did spend some time considering this and I'll spend some time on the practice green trying to perfect that 6"-12" capture speed.  I have to concede that the firmer stroke may well be an indicator of confidence as much as a capture methodology.

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Who know this subject would bring up such a debate :)

Quote:
So yes, you are right, the risk in hitting it firm is no great then the risk in dying putts into the hole. And thus is the subject of this thread, which does one prefer? There is no proper nor improper.

Quote:
"Hitting the hole" is irrelevant - you can "hit the hole" and lip out pretty easily

To me there is, look at the US Am. Tournament over the weekend. The guy had to two putt from 40+ feet, he leaves himself 4" left, not to bad from that distance. He has a slight right to left. He hits it FIRM, and it hits inside left edge, loops around the back of the edge and comes back out of the hole. If he had played slightly more break, like maybe half a ball to the right at the apex, and hit it less firm, he had a better chance of it catching on the low side and falling in. In this occasion he didn't error on the high side (his ball entered on the bottom half of the cup), and he hit it way to FIRM.

Also for me, my golf game goes a lot on what i thought last. This is why my short game sucks, my mind is constantly filled with, "Don't skull it, don't duff it" But when i am over a short putt, and i think, "HIT IT FIRM" guess what happens, i pull the putt. Then you have the same distance comming back, that is just mentally tough to deal with again. So i rather have a 6-12" tap in, than have to make a 3-4' putt comming back that i just missed.

Also, i hardly ever see anyone leave a 3-4' putt short, i don't think they need to worry about hitting it firmer. Also i think its easier to learn to gauge distance by keeping all putts the same distance past the hole. If you put a club behind the hole and progressively work back, its easier to get the ball to just hit that club if its the same distance behind the hole, like 8". If you start trying to go, ok this is 3' putt, i need to hit this firm, now you taken that constant distance and thrown it out the window. Its hard to gauge how firm, i have seen people hit the ball firm enough were it hits the back of the cup, pops up and still ends up 3' behind the hole.

Also, when i think firmer, it really throws my putting stroke out of wack, because now your having conflicting feelings. your use to one way, you think firmer, you pull the club back the same distance as usual, but now your mind is like, "FIRM", so you jab at the ball, and you loose all feel and rythm with the putting stroke.

I rather have less thoughts, and not worry about it. If your starting to hit putts to short, spend a few hours of the practice green hitting to that spot 8" past the hole to get yourself reset.

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This thread came in a very timely spot. I had a tournament today, that I totally forgot I was signed up for. My friend text to see if I wanted to carpool. "Tournament? Huh?" Thankfully he was playing too.

Anyway, today simply reconfirmed my style of putting works just perfectly, for me . On hole 4 my putter caught fire. A 12 footer to save par. Great read, and a solid stroke, I don't usually walk putts in, but by the time I looked up it had a foot to go and it was tracking, center cup. On 5 I made another 12 footer, but for birdie. Hole 6 was a solid par putt 6'. Hole 7 I left my 35' birdie putt about a foot and a half long. Back of the cup. Hole 8, I drilled another birdie putt from 15'. 9 was a great two putt. I was 50' for birdie and stroked it to 3'. From there, right in, center cup. 11 was a par 5. I chipped up to 5' for birdie. Right in the center. Then the putter went kinda quite.

I did actually miss a short one though. About 4' for par, a downhiller. I'm talking severe downhill. That pin was in a crazy spot. If I missed that putt, it wasn't going to be 4' past, it was going to be 10' if not more. I've read a few replies here that some of you are afraid of what you're gonna have left if you putt aggressively and miss a short putt. That totally got in my head, and this train of thought simply boggles my mind. Worrying about a comeback putt just means that you aren't 100% confident in the first short putt you have to begin with, of course you're gonna miss. That's a recipe for failure. And, there you go, I missed it, cause I was too worried about what was next, instead of entirely focused on the putt going in. That was hole 15 too. Totally pissed me off! I got my focus back, stepped up to 16, a par-5. I got on in two, ran my eagle putt by a foot and a half, and rammed that birdie putt to the back of the cup.

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Originally Posted by iacas

Not me.

http://thesandtrap.com/t/46450/putting-capture-speed/

I read the beginning of this thread the appearant 1 week and 2 days ago. Got to the 2nd post and read this article. Its science and I consider erik a pretty smart guy and would definitely trust him with golf science. I considered this thread done after I read that article. Why are we still talking about it? I have taken his "science" to the course and it has helped me a ton.

I think the main question is do you hit SHORT putts firm. I would definitely say no. I imagine that your going to have more lip out by hitting it firm from 3 feet than a spike mark is going to run it off line. and at that speed the hole is SO MUCH BIGGER ANYWAYS!!! READ THE ARTICLE PEOPLE!!

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Originally Posted by Jimdangles

I read the beginning of this thread the appearant 1 week and 2 days ago. Got to the 2nd post and read this article. Its science and I consider erik a pretty smart guy and would definitely trust him with golf science. I considered this thread done after I read that article. Why are we still talking about it? I have taken his "science" to the course and it has helped me a ton.

I think the main question is do you hit SHORT putts firm. I would definitely say no. I imagine that your going to have more lip out by hitting it firm from 3 feet than a spike mark is going to run it off line. and at that speed the hole is SO MUCH BIGGER ANYWAYS!!! READ THE ARTICLE PEOPLE!!

Erik explained that 6 inches past the hole maximizes the effective size of the hole.  I don't think anybody is arguing with that.  Its an important factor to consider.  However, some people think other factors are more important.  Hitting it softer might make the hole .25" wider, but you've got to get the speed and the line right.  Hit it too hard and you're making the hole smaller and possibly hitting it through the break.  If you hit it firm, its hard to get the speed wrong and easier to get the line right.  It comes down to which factor's you'd prefer to eliminate.

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Note: This thread is 2610 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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