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Fearlessgolfer

When putting, we shouldn't hit down nor hit up, no?

15 posts in this topic

Understanding the new(?) ball flight law and trackman data on hitting down vs. hitting up pre/post impact has brought this to chew on. So, here I am wanting to discuss with you.

As you know, with any club when hitting down, although it is different on the degrees +/-, ball goes out, away from the baseline, where as when hitting up, after the passing the low-point, the club/the putter is travelling in vs. out, although very minute.

So, when we put the ball back, away from the optimum flat level hit with the putter, we'll push it right vs. when we put the ball forward, we'll hit up and pull left, if we were set up to hit our low point beneath our COG being the sternum.

Now, when putting, the arc of the putt will have very short low point/flat spot. Although he doesn't Stan Utley says hit down a little vs. Dave Pelz says hit up. Do you see why so much confusion?

P.S. A few years ago, a couple of teaching pro and myself went down to SE Florida to Dave Pelz Short Game School. Long story short, the instructor, after seeing my sweet spot after putting with clip to see if we are hitting the ball consistently, told me to keep putting the way I am which falls toward Ben Crenshaw-ish like stroke. Point is, it's not straight back and through nor hit up.

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"hitting down" on a putt brings to mind thoughts of stabbing at the ball, and having it rotate in a direction other than towards the target. for that reason, i tend to have thoughts of making an "upward" stroke on the ball, or at least start the ball rolling with forward spin towards the target.

in practice, that may not be how the ball moves physically at impact, but it's good for the mental side of my game.

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Slightly up - but don't try - position the ball properly

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You should hit neither down nor up.  Hitting down imparts backspin on the ball, which is not good.  Hitting up will make the ball hop and skid too much, which isnt good either.

IMO, most people play the ball too far forward in their stance, thinking that they need to hit up at the ball to put topspin on it, when theyd be better off just to put the ball slightly ahead of center and letting the loft of the putter do it's job.

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On the green the ball is stationary and  when we strike it we touch the center of the ball with the putter causing  the top part of the ball to move first because the  bottom of the ball is 'stuck' to the earth. Thus the top of the ball starts moving before the bottom of the ball  and this movement is what we call 'overspin'.  And this overspin continues till the ball stops.  You could use a putter with  lots of loft, say 10*, which may lift the bottom of the ball into the air but the results on the green you may not like. Seems to me that if you position the ball either too far  forward or back in the stance the putter head will strike the ball in a going down or going up swing arc position. I can't see how either of those options could lead to superior results = better putting.

I will admit however, that numerous excellent putters have  used odd strokes and i think here of Bobby Locke who used a strongly closed putter face and hooked many putts into the hole

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Another thing to consider is the position of the hands at impact. Dave Stockton hits up at the ball but with his hands very far forward. His putter has negative loft at impact but he hits up, making the ball roll sooner. Hitting up with the hands back would make the ball skid or go airborne for the first few inches, and then begin to roll. These are different shots.

It probably comes down to personal preference. The putter has loft in order to lift the ball out of it's little indentation in the green, so I would agree with Gaijin that putting the ball slightly forward of center and hitting level or with a very slight upstroke is using the putter how it was designed.

This first video looks to me like a delofted putter with a slight upstroke. The second video looks more like a neutral putter with a level stroke.

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Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

You should hit neither down nor up.  Hitting down imparts backspin on the ball, which is not good.  Hitting up will make the ball hop and skid too much, which isnt good either.

IMO, most people play the ball too far forward in their stance, thinking that they need to hit up at the ball to put topspin on it, when theyd be better off just to put the ball slightly ahead of center and letting the loft of the putter do it's job.

Exactly

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I believe most pro's hit the ball with loft on the putter, meaning that the butter will hit just slightly under the center of the ball. Hitting to much loft will cause the ball to hop, and de-lofting the ball will cause the ball to hit into the ground and pop up. They did a recent article asking phil about the loft on his putter, becuase he's gotten rid of his forward press. He said 4 degrees of loft at impact is the best condition for putting.

So for someone how has a putter with zero degrees of loft, hitting slighly up on the putt will be better than hitting it otherwise.

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All I know is I have never gotten such pure roll as with my W/S 8813 with a little forward press and a level stroke. The forward press never used to work with my Anser 4.

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Now you're injecting more variables into the hit down, hit up discussion ...

Loft.

From all I've read over the years, one wants to contact the ball just as the putter is past the low point in the stroke - which is what several of us have stated in so many words.

As to forward press - I don't.

I have 1 degree of loft in my putter and my technique is to hold the handle neutral throughout the stroke.

Other makers like Cameron still use 4 degree of loft so the golfer can forward press slightly and keep 1-2 degrees of loft on the putter.

Check your loft before you forward press.

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I forward press and have 5 degrees of loft on my putter.  I was fitted to this.  If you like to forward press to initiate the putting stroke, then have the loft checked and adjusted if necessary.  If you don't, like Mr. Desmond, then the loft should be adjusted the other way.

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First of all (I'm referencing from SAM PuttLab), topspin is the best spin you can use in putting. Topspin is an effect from the Rise Angle (AoA in putting) being higher than Effective Loft (loft at impact). 2 degrees loft at impact and >2 degrees upward rise angle is desired by SAM PuttLab experts on Stimp 10 or higher greens.

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Originally Posted by golfdu

First of all (I'm referencing from SAM PuttLab), topspin is the best spin you can use in putting. Topspin is an effect from the Rise Angle (AoA in putting) being higher than Effective Loft (loft at impact). 2 degrees loft at impact and >2 degrees upward rise angle is desired by SAM PuttLab experts on Stimp 10 or higher greens.


I've read similar discussion resulting from SAM PuttLab info such as this. Thanks!


I know an instructor who has SAM PuttLab and Edel who advocates a ball position further forward than just ahead of the bottom of the arc. I wonder.....

Does anyone have more info on the data when the greens are slower than 10 on Stimp?

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You don't want topspin or backspin, you want overspin .  That's the only way to get front wheel drive on your putts.

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Originally Posted by Fearlessgolfer

So, when we put the ball back, away from the optimum flat level hit with the putter, we'll push it right vs. when we put the ball forward, we'll hit up and pull left, if we were set up to hit our low point beneath our COG being the sternum.

That's not necessarily true. Simply point the face in the appropriate direction. You could easily pull a putt positioned back and push a putt positioned forward.

Originally Posted by GaijinGolfer

Hitting down imparts backspin on the ball, which is not good. Hitting up will make the ball hop and skid too much, which isnt good either.

IMO, most people play the ball too far forward in their stance, thinking that they need to hit up at the ball to put topspin on it, when theyd be better off just to put the ball slightly ahead of center and letting the loft of the putter do it's job.

I disagree. I'll take level over down but I'll take up over level AND down every time if it's within a reasonable range. Nothing about topspin makes the ball "hop and skid" too much (or at all). Backspin can cause issues, topspin not so much.

I prefer (though if someone's taking a putting lesson I don't always worry about this so much as some other things that might matter more): +2-3° AoA, 1° delivered loft.

That creates a putt with a little bit of topspin. Not nearly enough to ROLL but a little head start in that direction. It doesn't launch the ball particularly high either, and the best point to create these conditions is just after low point, or slightly forward of center in your stance, which also helps create a putter head that's already reached its peak velocity prior to impact.

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