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# Putting - DO NOT Accelerate Through the Ball

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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.

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?

I might not feel like a pendulum from that short of stroke.

Do the coin drill, place three coins down, with equal spacing. Then place a ball just offset the middle one. Make the spacing like 2-3 inches. Now practice hitting short putts with that spacing so its a pendulum like stroke. For you it might feel something different than someone else. For me I find short putts to feel like a faster stroke, but it is shorter.

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

Yes. Good putters do three things. One of them is control the distance they send the ball. If they cannot, they are not a good 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.

How does what affect direction?

The other question was already answered. Distance control (speed) still matters on short putts. You know how many five-footers a person with poor distance control leaves short of the hole? The number is surprisingly large for poor putters.

I agree that LINE matters a bit MORE but speed still matters a bit.

Would love to se an analysis of how accelarating through the ball affects accuracy.

There's little correlation, and what little there is favors a pendulum motion. Less muscle activity = less chance of manipulation (the last sentence is a theory… one I likely won't ever bother to research because… I don't teach people to accelerate, and I'm virtually certain their aim is not negatively affected by doing so).

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?

You almost never see that graph. I think I said that before…? That person needs to make a shorter backswing, but again… outside of people who are just starting the game (see above where I mentioned my daughter), it doesn't happen.

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 :)

Short putts aren't as sensitive to speed, but it still matters.

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?

Not more loft, no. That would do the opposite: create more "backspin" on the putts.

I'm right eye dominant too and have no problems putting with the ball forward. You might need a different putter, so you can align it with the proper ball position, but the ball being back is bad. Backspin also leads to poor distance control.

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.

Make it short and/or make it slow.

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@iacas - question: I've been practicing this technique in my house for a few days. Problem I'm having is that my wrists are breaking slightly when trying to create the pendulum motion. I've worked for years try to keep hands and wrists straight and move the ball with my shoulders. Should I not worry about the wrist break or try to create the pendulum only using the large muscles? Tks.
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@iacas - question: I've been practicing this technique in my house for a few days. Problem I'm having is that my wrists are breaking slightly when trying to create the pendulum motion. I've worked for years try to keep hands and wrists straight and move the ball with my shoulders. Should I not worry about the wrist break or try to create the pendulum only using the large muscles? Tks.

Let your wrists break. They really shouldn't feel rigid and "locked". It should feel smooth, like @iacas said earlier, it can feel a little float loady.

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Feels aren't real so take all of this with that in mind…

Your wrists shouldn't be "breaking" because you're "making" them break, but if it happens a little on its own, that's usually okay.

My wrists "load" a little in transition. The residual pendulum motion I put in carries the putter head back an inch or so while my hands stop and slowly start to go down. Just as they would if you had a little hinge on a pendulum.

Kind of like this (2:18 in):

(Not at all like the first 2:17 of the video :D).

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This is anecdotal, but I played with a guy today who had a perfect pendulum stroke. His tempo had almost a slight pause at the top and he was a wonderful putter. The thing that stood out was that he didn't strike me as a naturally gifted putter, he just developed a stroke that observed the rules Erik mentioned.
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Ok, great feedback, I'll continue to work on it. Tks again to you and Colin.
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Ok, great feedback, I'll continue to work on it. Tks again to you and Colin.

no prob!  i should have said not to force them to break, but just let the break happen/dont resist it.

let us know how it goes!

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You are getting sleepy.  Very sleepy.........

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This is awesome. I now realize that the main source of my bad putting is the bad advice about 'accelerating through the ball'. I had no distance control beyond about 15 feet, This feels so right. Thanks Erik.

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This thread has totally changed my putting!  Another round with 31 putts today, including one ~30 footer for birdie and another ~30 footer I stopped almost falling in the hole from the high side.  Distance control is way better, and I feel more confident on mid-short putts as well, 2-6 feet.  Has helped my aim on the short putts as well.  Swinging the putter at the ball I'd push and pull short putts a lot.  Starting on line now and I'm feeling much more confident at 4-5 feet than I used to.  Not only is distance control better, but it takes a lot of the pressure off on long putts cause I feel like I'm going to make a 3 footer if that's what I leave.  Also makes it feel like the green side shots are working better cause I don't have to put the ball to 6" to feel like I hit a solid up, so that helps confidence around the green as well!

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This thread has totally changed my putting!  Another round with 31 putts today, including one ~30 footer for birdie and another ~30 footer I stopped almost falling in the hole from the high side.  Distance control is way better, and I feel more confident on mid-short putts as well, 2-6 feet.  Has helped my aim on the short putts as well.  Swinging the putter at the ball I'd push and pull short putts a lot.  Starting on line now and I'm feeling much more confident at 4-5 feet than I used to.  Not only is distance control better, but it takes a lot of the pressure off on long putts cause I feel like I'm going to make a 3 footer if that's what I leave.  Also makes it feel like the green side shots are working better cause I don't have to put the ball to 6" to feel like I hit a solid up, so that helps confidence around the green as well!

Pretty cool, huh? Btw if anyone ever gets a chance to work with Erik on your putting, please do so, he's knows his stuff.

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Yep, seeing that drill payoff right now. 13 putts (over 9 holes) last night in league play!

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Although i can honestly say that nothing in this thread was new information for me (I've spent a lot of time with my pro on the putting green in my time) it was a timely reminder to have a check up on my putting.

Experimenting this morning with the feeling of letting the putter head fall onto the back of the ball was working nicely for me. Distance control was really nice on some long putts that i would definitely have struggled with last week. Also felt good on the shorter ones, i think i was accelerating into them before which was affecting my start line.

Anyhow, thanks Erik for a great thread. Saved me a shot or two at least today

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Yep, seeing that drill payoff right now. 13 putts (over 9 holes) last night in league play!

Thanks for ruining the party.  For the rest of us 13 putts in 9 holes of competitive play is a depressing pipe dream.  Keep these things to yourself!

(Nice round.  How many GIR?)

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Thanks for ruining the party.  For the rest of us 13 putts in 9 holes of competitive play is a depressing pipe dream.  Keep these things to yourself!

(Nice round.  How many GIR?)

3 GIR. Though I did have 2 other holes were the ball was just on the fringe. So, I used the putter 15 times, but with regards to the stats it was only 13 putts. I was 4 out of 6 getting up and down for par. The times I did have a 2nd putt, they were all tap ins, so distance control was good.

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3 GIR. Though I did have 2 other holes were the ball was just on the fringe. So, I used the putter 15 times, but with regards to the stats it was only 13 putts. I was 4 out of 6 getting up and down for par. The times I did have a 2nd putt, they were all tap ins, so distance control was good.

That's where I've seen my biggest improvement. Between going with the claw grip and implementing this pendulum stroke I haven't have more than a 2 putt in the last 18 holes, which as you may remember, is a HUGE improvement for me :-P

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Thanks for ruining the party.  For the rest of us 13 putts in 9 holes of competitive play is a depressing pipe dream.  Keep these things to yourself!

(Nice round.  How many GIR?)

3 GIR. Though I did have 2 other holes were the ball was just on the fringe. So, I used the putter 15 times, but with regards to the stats it was only 13 putts. I was 4 out of 6 getting up and down for par. The times I did have a 2nd putt, they were all tap ins, so distance control was good.

Very similar for me yesterday.  I played 18, had 6 GIR, and had 2 others that were fairly close, so I used the putter 30 times, and had 28 official putts. (Everything else sucked, but the putting was good ;))

I did have one 3 putt though, which was annoying.  I still seem to average one 3-putt every round or two.  I need to get rid of those, and get rid of wild tee shots, and then I'll pretty much be golden. :)

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