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Yeah I think there is the perception the average golfers decelerates or "quits" on putts. I think short back and accelerate through makes people feel confident or committed while a pendulum stroke feels "weak". Kind of like hitting a pitch shot, feels lazy while a full swing feels more structured.

Honestly, I don't think it's a misconception that average golfers quit on putts. I have seen a great many putters "quit" on putts, but just as many accelerate through too violently, trying to take the break out of a 7 footer and have 8 feet coming back, for example. I think it's mostly mental, in my opinion, and nothing more than a lack of consistency. People quit on putts when they are not committed to a stroke and make a hand or wrist adjustment at the last second to do what their "second opinion" says. It happens for all golf swings (trust your swing, right?), but it's tougher to commit to putts for me than full swings because it's such an effortless motion that I almost feel like I'm not doing anything. Human beings are control freaks by nature, and just letting a pendulum that barely relies on our bodies to do anything except let gravity take hold is a tough sell on my brain. At least it was, as I think I've allowed myself to miss putts, knowing that my stroke is pretty smooth and I don't need to try harder and force the ball in the hole.

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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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I think people quit on putts when they've taken too long a backswing. They have to" quit" or else they'll hit it too far.
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Your profile is almost always bad. Some days your compensations or timing are better.

Just like with the full swing. Guys can have career days where they hit the ball well and the next day hit plenty of fat and thin shots. The swing didn't change, the compensations were just timed better the day before.

I think people quit on putts when they've taken too long a backswing. They have to" quit" or else they'll hit it too far.

Maybe, maybe not. You may be seeing a player "brake" on those putts. For a player that is used to accelerating, making a longer backstroke without the trust to let the putter "fall" might cause some disruption on their followthrough.

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This is a great thread.  I think I stumbled on this more or less by accident a few years ago.

I've always been a pretty good putter, but I had struggled marginally day-to-day with line and speed.  I don't know if I had a crappy stroke with decent compensations or I had a decent stroke that was inconsistent, but it doesn't really matter for purposes of this post.  I gradually evolved from an Anser-style putter to a mallet, then a center shaft mallet, and finally a center shaft two-ball mallet because I felt it helped me see the line better.

The 2-ball mallet is what really helped my stroke, because it helped me get the ball forward.  Essentially when I line up the 2-ball, I put the aft ball of the putter head in the center of my stance, which means the ball in play is 2 balls forward of center.  I did this because it helped me see the line better--I'd center my eyes on the aft ball of the putter head, and I could see the line of 3 balls going forward from that on my intended stroke line.

Of course that alignment technique had the side-effect of getting my ball forward, causing me to strike putts with an upward, slightly decelerating stroke, etc.  My speed and line instantly improved with this change, and has been pretty consistent since then.  I guess now I know why.

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Played a round yesterday thinking about this thread.  Played the ball ~1 ball forward in my stance, concentrated on the feeling of taking the required length backswing and letting the putter head "fall" down the pendulum line.  Felt awesome.  Started off hitting putts on a great line but coming up a bit short, got the distance down on the back nine.  31 total putts (averaging 34.2 over the last 20).  Distance control in general felt great.  2nd putt distance on the longer putts felt significantly shorter than normal, on average, had no 3 putts, and felt much more confident when I had a 2-5 foot putt, whether a 2nd putt or an up and down chance.  I've been really struggling with close putts lately (missed a 2.5 foot par 4 birdie putt last round, badly), to the point where my golf buddy was ribbing me on the one pitch I put to literally 1 inch and I told one of our playing partners that I always putt out but that one at least he could hit back to me.  Buddy said, "I don't know, I've seen you miss those recently."  Also just barely missed a number of 20-30 foot putts, again better than normal.

Excited about the "let gravity do the work" feel.  Could feel the times when I was accelerating/pushing through the ball instead of taking a long enough backswing and letting it fall so I was reaching max speed at least somewhere close to the ball.  Felt much less just lucky to have excellent distance control.

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Just thinking about this about myself, an admittedly horrible putter, the aspect of taking a backswing and letting it fall into the ball would have never occurred to me because I would think I want stay of control throughout the swing and somehow letting something fall means I'd give up that control.

I'm going to give to let the putter fall into the ball the next time I play a round and see how it goes.

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After some more thinking about this I have another question. We hear all the time about a golfer "decelerating" into a putt. What does this profile look like? Does the putter slow down then start back again? Is this a myth of feel is not real?
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After some more thinking about this I have another question. We hear all the time about a golfer "decelerating" into a putt. What does this profile look like? Does the putter slow down then start back again? Is this a myth of feel is not real?

I haven't seen that kind of putt in testing players on the SAM. I don't think it's a good player's issue very frequently. Typically I would imagine it's a fairly poor player's problem, and they usually have bigger issues to fix. Fixing those would likely reduce if not remove the BIG deceleration you see from poor players.

For example, my kiddo used to do this. She'd take a 20-foot backstroke for a three-foot putt, then have to try to decelerate a bunch to not hit the ball 20 feet.

If you're asking whether it's possible for a good player to decelerate too much, I imagine it's theoretically possible, of course, but I haven't seen it yet.

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The scientific stuff made my brain hurt. Sorry. I'm an IT guy. :loco:

I'm not sure where I learned this, but I always try to keep my back and through swings exactly the same putting. I've never actually recorded myself putting to see how well I am doing, but the thought of a pendulum is exactly what I go for. I feel like I am putting with my shoulders, not my hands or arms. Does this line up with what you are talking about?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlSpackler View Post

The scientific stuff made my brain hurt. Sorry. I'm an IT guy. :loco:

I'm not sure where I learned this, but I always try to keep my back and through swings exactly the same putting. I've never actually recorded myself putting to see how well I am doing, but the thought of a pendulum is exactly what I go for. I feel like I am putting with my shoulders, not my hands or arms. Does this line up with what you are talking about?

Yes, basically.  If you swing the club like a pendulum the club will be accelerating until the bottom of the arc and then decelerating after that.  The ball should be no further back than the middle of your stance, probably a bit forward of that, so you catch it no earlier than the bottom of the arc.  This would mean either no acceleration or slight deceleration at impact.


I emailed a local guy that has a SAM puttlab.  Not sure what I expected, but this is what I got:

Quote:
It is $100, it takes an hour and it reads 28 aspects of your stroke.  You will be emailed a copy of a full report.

Does that seem fairly reasonable??

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I had never heard that the back swing should match the through sweet until this thread. I spent about 10 mins on the putting green before my round Saturday trying this and its absolutely the way to go. I've always been a decent putter as far as reads but my distance control is inconsistent especially on putts longer than 25 feet. I took what I was doing onto the course and ended up with 28 putts. Part of that was I didn't have a lot of GIR's but I did have a few good 6-8 footers I made. I also lipped out 3 other putts. I had my best 9 hole score 39 so I wanted to make sure I posted my results. Thanks Erik this thread is definitely a huge help for my game.
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here is what ive noticed in the past week that i have tried this.  the ball ABSOLUTELY rolls more smoothly, and far more quickly after impact than it ever did before for me.

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I've been consciously working on getting my ball positioned slightly forward of my swing bottom and have been getting very consistent distance control, no jabbing, just a nice and lazy pendulum through the ball. I also did some modifications to my putter by adding a 40g Tourlock to the grip, which has made a big difference too. More often than not, I'm left with a tap in on my misses. Too bad I'm not hitting more GIR or I'd really be cooking'. Great thread.

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I think you are claiming more than you proved.

Accelerating through the ball makes you bad at controlling your distance, but does that really equal that you are a bad putter?

How does it affect direction, good or bad? You have quite a lot of putts where distance control dont really matters but direction is cruicial, 1-2meters.

I´m not claiming there is anything wrong in your article just that different putts have different needs. Would love to se an analysis of how accelarating through the ball affects accuracy. A common problem with a big pendulum is that you make it too big and need to really slow it down before impact leading to a really poor shot. How would that graph look like and how accurate is the shot relative accelerating through the ball?

Once a instructor told me, if you want to throw a ball a short distance (1 meter) you´ll be more accurate with a short accelerating flick of the wrist than making a big pendulum with your entire arm. According to him the same is true for short putts. Ever since i´ve missed most of my short putts so maybe he was full of BS :)

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One other thing,

Beeing right eye dominant I see the line best if having the ball slightly to the right of centre in my stance when adressing my putts. How should I hit it to get the proper AoA? Get the sensation of hitting down on the ball, do I need a putter with more loft?

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I think you are claiming more than you proved.

Accelerating through the ball makes you bad at controlling your distance, but does that really equal that you are a bad putter?

How does it affect direction, good or bad? You have quite a lot of putts where distance control dont really matters but direction is cruicial, 1-2meters.

I´m not claiming there is anything wrong in your article just that different putts have different needs. Would love to se an analysis of how accelarating through the ball affects accuracy. A common problem with a big pendulum is that you make it too big and need to really slow it down before impact leading to a really poor shot. How would that graph look like and how accurate is the shot relative accelerating through the ball?

Once a instructor told me, if you want to throw a ball a short distance (1 meter) you´ll be more accurate with a short accelerating flick of the wrist than making a big pendulum with your entire arm. According to him the same is true for short putts. Ever since i´ve missed most of my short putts so maybe he was full of BS :)

That is not at all correct.  Read this: http://thesandtrap.com/t/46450/putting-capture-speed/0_30

There are no putts where distance control doesn't really matter.  Sure, alignment is more crucial on shorter (read: makeable) putts than it is on longer putts where you're simply just hoping to get it close for your two putt, but there is never a putt where the importance of distance control goes down.

Regarding the second part that I bolded; I agree that that is a common problem, but those guys are doing it wrong.  It doesn't mean that the pendulum stroke doesn't work for shorter putts, it means that they are simply making too big of a pendulum.

The thing (and this type of putting is new to me so I'm just learning this) about the pendulum stroke is that it takes one variable out of play; how hard you "hit" the ball.  All you have to do is vary the length of the backswing for the varying length and speeds of putts.  When you are using an accellerating "hit" through the ball, you are not only varying your backswing length, but you are also, even if unaware, varying the "hit" stroke.  I believe that that is where the lack of distance control comes into play.

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I think you are claiming more than you proved.

Accelerating through the ball makes you bad at controlling your distance, but does that really equal that you are a bad putter?

How does it affect direction, good or bad? You have quite a lot of putts where distance control dont really matters but direction is cruicial, 1-2meters.

I´m not claiming there is anything wrong in your article just that different putts have different needs. Would love to se an analysis of how accelarating through the ball affects accuracy. A common problem with a big pendulum is that you make it too big and need to really slow it down before impact leading to a really poor shot. How would that graph look like and how accurate is the shot relative accelerating through the ball?

Once a instructor told me, if you want to throw a ball a short distance (1 meter) you´ll be more accurate with a short accelerating flick of the wrist than making a big pendulum with your entire arm. According to him the same is true for short putts. Ever since i´ve missed most of my short putts so maybe he was full of BS :)

make the pendulum smaller.  why would you make a big pendulum to only send the ball a short distance?  you can have a pendulum stroke of 2 inches back and 2 inches forward if you want to.

edit:  that g-d GD beat me to it....

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@colin007

How do you do to make such a short pendulum? Are you holding the putter in the air when adressing the ball? I´m really struggling to learn to make a very short backstroke. To me it feels very jerky and not controlled at all. I even prefer to adress the ball an inch behind the ball, lift the club right up and only have a through stroke.

@Golfingdad

When facing a 2-3 foot putt you might want to hit it to roll 3-4 feet. Then you have a margin for error of approx +/- 1 foot. To hit it to hard or soft, then you are really in trouble. Whats most common in basketball, accelerating throws or pendulums?

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