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Putting - DO NOT Accelerate Through the Ball

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Golf Channel Academy lead coach Sean Lanyi uses analytics to show how accelerating on a putting stroke can...

Uses analytics to show how accelerating through the putt will keep the putter face ‘remarkably square.’ His demonstration shows absolutely nothing except that he’s accelerating through his putts. Total ‘McLesson’ that has zero value.

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Here are three graphs of putting strokes. The s axis is "speed" and the "t" axis is time. We'll take a look at each of these in a moment, but consider first how putting can behave like a pen

It doesn't. It eliminates what, for lack of a better word right now, I'll call "manufactured timing." A pendulum will have its own timing, and it's a very "natural" timing because it's just obeying gr

I just read this, and it's really good...the graph hits home on showing why a bad stroke is bad & a good stroke is good. I've never been one to think 'accelerate through' the ball. My stroke

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On 7/3/2019 at 1:37 AM, Vinsk said:

Golf Channel Academy lead coach Sean Lanyi uses analytics to show how accelerating on a putting stroke can...

Uses analytics to show how accelerating through the putt will keep the putter face ‘remarkably square.’ His demonstration shows absolutely nothing except that he’s accelerating through his putts. Total ‘McLesson’ that has zero value.

What I have noticed when I "accelerate" through my putts is that I pull them! And the reason that I accelerate is because I haven't taken a deep enough backstroke. Your body panics, since it instinctively "knows" what you didn't do and seeks to make up for it.

I read this thread for the first time last year, and have been working on it ever since. I'm 66 and putt better now than I did in my 20's! I'm putting 30-40 footers within inches of the cup! This method is a Godsend. Study it, practice it, employ it!

My golf buddy's are constantly commenting about how well I putt now.

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• 6 months later...

As I’ve mentioned on another thread I’ve been working on my tempo getting it close to 2:1 on backswing:downswing.

And I don’t see how you are just “swinging a pendulum” and getting anything that isn’t close to a 1:1 ratio?  Especially if you have a short backstroke time like 600ms. I mean you could really slow down the backstroke to give gravity the time to speed it up but it just feels like there is no way that’s happening.

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3 hours ago, Killa said:

As I’ve mentioned on another thread I’ve been working on my tempo getting it close to 2:1 on backswing:downswing.

And I don’t see how you are just “swinging a pendulum” and getting anything that isn’t close to a 1:1 ratio?  Especially if you have a short backstroke time like 600ms. I mean you could really slow down the backstroke to give gravity the time to speed it up but it just feels like there is no way that’s happening.

In a pendulum, you start the swing in a high position and let gravity move it back and forth. The period of the arc will be the same in both directions.

In a putt, you are controlling the first swing arc from the bottom, then letting gravity and some of your arm power move the putter on the downstroke. The period of the downswing will be different from the backswing that way. You get to control the ratio.

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3 hours ago, Killa said:

As I’ve mentioned on another thread I’ve been working on my tempo getting it close to 2:1 on backswing:downswing.

And I don’t see how you are just “swinging a pendulum” and getting anything that isn’t close to a 1:1 ratio?  Especially if you have a short backstroke time like 600ms. I mean you could really slow down the backstroke to give gravity the time to speed it up but it just feels like there is no way that’s happening.

In addition to what Scott said, you're starting from the bottom of the swing, and at a dead stop, while on the downswing, you are not swinging through to a dead stop (unless you measure all the way to the follow-through).

In other words:

Backswing:

• Reach peak speed (which will be lower than on the downswing)
• Decelerate

Downswing:

• Acclerate
• Reach peak speed (higher than the backswing)

That's it. The follow-through gets the "Decelerate" phase, mostly.

In a pendulum, the backswing would be 1:1 as the downswing, but both would either be starting or ending in the same phase: decelerating to a stop, or accelerating to impact.

100 bpm is really probably too fast for you, @Killa.

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3 hours ago, iacas said:

In addition to what Scott said, you're starting from the bottom of the swing, and at a dead stop, while on the downswing, you are not swinging through to a dead stop (unless you measure all the way to the follow-through).

In other words:

Backswing:

• Reach peak speed (which will be lower than on the downswing)
• Decelerate

Downswing:

• Acclerate
• Reach peak speed (higher than the backswing)

That's it. The follow-through gets the "Decelerate" phase, mostly.

In a pendulum, the backswing would be 1:1 as the downswing, but both would either be starting or ending in the same phase: decelerating to a stop, or accelerating to impact.

100 bpm is really probably too fast for you, @Killa.

Yes could be. I will try to slow down to 90 and 80 bpm.

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On 2/8/2020 at 1:36 PM, iacas said:

In addition to what Scott said, you're starting from the bottom of the swing, and at a dead stop, while on the downswing, you are not swinging through to a dead stop (unless you measure all the way to the follow-through).

In other words:

Backswing:

• Reach peak speed (which will be lower than on the downswing)
• Decelerate

Downswing:

• Acclerate
• Reach peak speed (higher than the backswing)

That's it. The follow-through gets the "Decelerate" phase, mostly.

In a pendulum, the backswing would be 1:1 as the downswing, but both would either be starting or ending in the same phase: decelerating to a stop, or accelerating to impact.

100 bpm is really probably too fast for you, @Killa.

Ok so I’ve tried it a bit. And the thing is that my putting mat is a bit slow, but not much slower than the courses I mostly play, and it’s 6’ long ending uphill so it plays probably about 8’. So if I want o putt it with a pendulum stroke I need to take the club back almost 2’ to get it to a hole. I can’t imagine what I’d have to do on a 30’ putt. A 1/2 swing almost??

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6 minutes ago, Killa said:

Ok so I’ve tried it a bit. And the thing is that my putting mat is a bit slow, but not much slower than the courses I mostly play, and it’s 6’ long ending uphill so it plays probably about 8’. So if I want o putt it with a pendulum stroke I need to take the club back almost 2’ to get it to a hole. I can’t imagine what I’d have to do on a 30’ putt. A 1/2 swing almost??

It's exponential.

You have to take it back 2' to send it about 9'?

That feels crazy long/slow.

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On 2/9/2020 at 8:41 PM, iacas said:

It's exponential.

You have to take it back 2' to send it about 9'?

That feels crazy long/slow.

I might have exaggerated a bit but it’s definitely more than a foot. But that aside, I really don’t get how putting with gravity is supposed to work.

If I understand correctly then we want to putt with a rhythm and that rhythm should be around 2:1 (it doesn’t actually matter for the point I’m trying to make). And then we also want to be putting with a tempo, so let’s say a 500ms backswing and 250ms downswing for arguments sake or somewhere in the 80 BPM range (didn’t calculate sorry).  So the only variable in our putting stroke should be the backswing and follow through lengths. And if we let gravity take the putter head on the downswing, we are talking about a simple pendulum. When we start talking about that then the backswing tempo has 0 influence on the downswing tempo. The downswing time depends (simplified) only on the pendulum length and backstroke length (let’s say we are in a vacuum). So now if we say we want a 1/2” backstroke that will give us a 500ms backswing and 250ms backswing with the ideal 2:1 ratio. Now we do the same 500ms backswing to keep the BPM the same but the downswing time changes significantly. It’s not twice as long but the ratio probably drops to 1,5:1, and will eventually drop to 1:1 if the backswing is long enough.

Maybe I’m overthinking it but these three things just don’t add up.

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55 minutes ago, Killa said:

I might have exaggerated a bit but it’s definitely more than a foot. But that aside, I really don’t get how putting with gravity is supposed to work.

We don't actually putt with "gravity" alone.

We need to learn to fire our muscles LIKE it's gravity, which would produce a very clear and simple pendulum-like motion (acceleration and deceleration) curve.

This should be eye-opening to you, so if it's not, re-read it a bunch.

I see where you got off-track, and it's in giving way too much weight to not using your muscles, and actually relying on gravity to drop the putter head. That's not what you should be aiming to do.

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35 minutes ago, iacas said:

We don't actually putt with "gravity" alone.

We need to learn to fire our muscles LIKE it's gravity, which would produce a very clear and simple pendulum-like motion (acceleration and deceleration) curve.

This should be eye-opening to you, so if it's not, re-read it a bunch.

I see where you got off-track, and it's in giving way too much weight to not using your muscles, and actually relying on gravity to drop the putter head. That's not what you should be aiming to do.

Thanks for the insight. Yes before I reread this thread I actually thought kinda along the lines of what you wrote. But this topic threw me completely off track by mentioning gravity 🙂. So just to recap and to make sure I'm back on the right track - the point is to get the feel of a smooth stroke that feels like it's a pendulum but while we do use our muscles to get the pendulum to our desired rhythm. We don't want to strike at the ball but rather just help the club to get to the right speed just before impact. The constant tempo and rhythm combined with different backstroke lengths help us develop the best length control.

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5 minutes ago, Killa said:

Thanks for the insight. Yes before I reread this thread I actually thought kinda along the lines of what you wrote. But this topic threw me completely off track by mentioning gravity 🙂

Yeah, you misread the "gravity" stuff. I went back and looked, and it was a feeling that many students had given that they've spent their lives accelerating well past impact.

The rest of what you wrote is pretty accurate.

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Brandt Snedeker "pops" the ball… but still doesn't accelerate. He ever so slightly decelerates. His graphs are very "squished" left-to-right, but they look like the "good" to "great" graphs otherwise.

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On 2/12/2020 at 3:06 PM, iacas said:

We don't actually putt with "gravity" alone.

We need to learn to fire our muscles LIKE it's gravity, which would produce a very clear and simple pendulum-like motion (acceleration and deceleration) curve.

Late to this party, but this makes the most sense to me. Putter should be going fastest at impact or slightly after (3" past at max).

I may take video of my putting stroke the next time out on the practice green and post it here and cross post to my swing thread, even though it may not completely belong there.

I have always felt that I have had good speed control on putts, even if my read and bead may not always be up to the same quality. Putting always as reminded me of playing pool, which is something that I do at a much higher level than my golf game. I think it would be interesting to have a video in slo-mo with some sort of measuring stick and time bar to show what is going on with my own stroke.

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24 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

Putter should be going fastest at impact or slightly after (3" past at max).

No. Before impact, never after impact.

25 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

I may take video of my putting stroke the next time out on the practice green and post it here and cross post to my swing thread, even though it may not completely belong there.

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