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3 Keys to Better Putting

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Ok so I’m on my way of improving my putting till the next season really starts (late March - April). 
 

What I’m currently working on is my grip and stroke. I have a 7’ mat at home and I don’t stop till I hole 10 in a row. I’ve only been doing this for 4 or 5 days now but I’ve seen an improvement already. You really need to hit the ball in the middle of the face if you want to have any chance of being good at lag putting, because a mishit will be severely punished on longer hits. I improved that by locking my left arm on the putter and not getting any slightest flip. 
 

Another exercise I will proceed to do is to hit 5 rounds of a 3’ 5’ and 7’ putts. 
 

So with those two drills I figure I’ll improve mightily on my bead and speed. And I might go to an Aimpoint class to get my read down this spring as well (nearest is 100 miles away). 

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2 hours ago, Killa said:

Ok so I’m on my way of improving my putting till the next season really starts (late March - April). 
 

What I’m currently working on is my grip and stroke. I have a 7’ mat at home and I don’t stop till I hole 10 in a row. I’ve only been doing this for 4 or 5 days now but I’ve seen an improvement already. You really need to hit the ball in the middle of the face if you want to have any chance of being good at lag putting, because a mishit will be severely punished on longer hits. I improved that by locking my left arm on the putter and not getting any slightest flip. 
 

Another exercise I will proceed to do is to hit 5 rounds of a 3’ 5’ and 7’ putts. 
 

So with those two drills I figure I’ll improve mightily on my bead and speed. And I might go to an Aimpoint class to get my read down this spring as well (nearest is 100 miles away). 

Try putting rubber bands around the putter face so you are forced to hit the ball in the sweet spot.   That is an eye opener..  

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Interesting topic.

I followed Aimpoint. Like it and use it.

I strugle as a righthander with a flicky, nervy, right hand. Mostly on short puts, my right hand somehow at the very last moment right before impact unintentionally ever so slightly during the stroke twitch the club, resulting in a miss. I use the claw grip for the short strokes, which helps. 

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1 hour ago, dennyjones said:

Try putting rubber bands around the putter face so you are forced to hit the ball in the sweet spot.   That is an eye opener..  

I will do that. I have some cheap impact tapes, but they don’t work on the putter even though they were supposed to. The stroke just isn’t hard enough to leave a proper mark. 

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7 hours ago, taxgolf said:

I strugle as a righthander with a flicky, nervy, right hand. Mostly on short puts, my right hand somehow at the very last moment right before impact unintentionally ever so slightly during the stroke twitch the club, resulting in a miss. I use the claw grip for the short strokes, which helps. 

If the claw grip helps your stroke, why do you only use it on short putts?

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10 hours ago, billchao said:

If the claw grip helps your stroke, why do you only use it on short putts?


The claw works excellent on fast greens. It can be a struggle on long putts on slow greens. 

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18 hours ago, billchao said:

If the claw grip helps your stroke, why do you only use it on short putts?

Well, on the longer strokes I just need it to get it close. Somehow, I don't twitch it that much. There's something in the brain that makes my right hand spasm on short puts. It must be tension, as always.... Stupid game. I practice short puts. Most of the time on the putting green it's fine, but now and then it pops up. 

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13 minutes ago, taxgolf said:

Well, on the longer strokes I just need it to get it close. Somehow, I don't twitch it that much. There's something in the brain that makes my right hand spasm on short puts. It must be tension, as always.... Stupid game. I practice short puts. Most of the time on the putting green it's fine, but now and then it pops up. 

Turn yourself into a robot on short putts. Take all the emotion out of it.

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So my work has been progressing and now I’m happy with my grip and setup position. I also did the drill where you line up your ball with a line all around it and you make sure it’s rolling nice and tight. 
 

But what got me thinking was this blog post by @iacas  

 

Now I was experimenting with a metronome but I didn’t set it at 78BPM as iacas said he likes it at, but rather at 100BPM where the “magical” 600ms happens. But to actually get a 300ms downswing you need to set it to 200BPM (1beat = 300ms) and that’s just not a proper rhythm for golf.  But if you just leave it at 100 BPM (or whichever number between 60 and 100) you might soon revert to a 1:1 tempo as you will start to sync the backswing to a beat and the impact to the second beat. And you don’t want that apparently. So what I found is an online beat machine found here:

drum-machine-icon.png

Free full-featured drum-machine for smartphone, tablet and desktop browsers. Create and share...

You set it up like it’s in the attached picture. 
 

You start the backswing on the first beat, start the downswing on the second beat, impact on the snare and end the follow through on the third beat. 
 

At first you might want to concentrate on the snare, but later on I realized that it’s better to just notice the snare and concentrate on finishing the follow through on the third beat so that you don’t get into the habit of hitting at the ball but just focus on the tempo of the stroke. 

468D5ACB-3FBC-4DAF-A04D-CA2042662BEB.png

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Just changed the beat machine a bit. It’s like in the attached picture now. Start backswing on one, 2-3 is backswing 3 start of downswing and time the stroke on 4 (snare). You can add a 5th beat at end of follow through to make sure it’s not too long. 

B269AF54-6A69-426A-975B-ED7D097621A5.png

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13 minutes ago, Killa said:

Just changed the beat machine a bit. It’s like in the attached picture now. Start backswing on one, 2-3 is backswing 3 start of downswing and time the stroke on 4 (snare). You can add a 5th beat at end of follow through to make sure it’s not too long. 

B269AF54-6A69-426A-975B-ED7D097621A5.png

I've never really gotten into beat training.  Seems a bit overboard.  I prefer drills like putting off a ruler and things like that.  I feel that if you can get "bead" down, you've done the biggest part.  Speed and read are so fact-dependent, whereas I should be able to control my start line every time.  

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30 minutes ago, iacas said:

The end of the follow-through should be about another beat away.

Full beat after the impact? Or just two boxes right of the snare? If I understand it right then just “300ms” after the impact?

 

42 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

I've never really gotten into beat training.  Seems a bit overboard.  I prefer drills like putting off a ruler and things like that.  I feel that if you can get "bead" down, you've done the biggest part.  Speed and read are so fact-dependent, whereas I should be able to control my start line every time.  

 

Well in any putt longer than 6” I take correct speed over read and bead anytime. And yes while bead is important I feel that in order of importance it’s speed>read>bead. 

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36 minutes ago, Killa said:

I feel that in order of importance it’s speed>read>bead. 

I will disagree here.  I do agree speed is the most important as that should give you an automatic 2 putt most of the time.  But, bead is something that is transferrable to every hole, every time.  Speed and read are very context-specific.  Therefore, I will argue that bead is more important than read for the simple fact that bead is more evident as a skill that can be quantified.  I know with AimPoint, read is becoming more of a quantifiable skill.  Nonetheless, I think the read can be fairly intuitive and many great players do this well as feel players.  The same is not always true of bead--it is a skill in all sense of the word.

Additionally, bead is something that can be worked on if you have a putter, a ball, a ruler, and some space to stand and practice.  You have to be on a green to do read.  As such, I think time is better invested in bead.

Nonetheless, in reality there is likely no official pecking order here as they are all dependent on one another, even if each should be practiced independently.

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45 minutes ago, Killa said:

Full beat after the impact? Or just two boxes right of the snare? If I understand it right then just “300ms” after the impact?

Backswing: 2
Downswing: 1
Follow-Through: 1

In other words, like a pendulum, two beats regardless of the direction. Because the backswing starts from a stop, it accelerates AND decelerates, just like the full downswing. That's why it also takes about 2 beats (really closer to 1.9 or so).


And, IMO, speed is by far the most important part of putting in general. When you start to talk about 5' putts, Bead can take over… though if it breaks any significant amount, Speed is a close second.

2 minutes ago, ncates00 said:

Additionally, bead is something that can be worked on if you have a putter, a ball, a ruler, and some space to stand and practice.  You have to be on a green to do read.  As such, I think time is better invested in bead.

You can work on your ability to control the speed of the putter away from a golf course. Hitting balls into pillows. I have students do that all the time.

And, "speed" is tougher than "bead" for many people to get. Most three-putts aren't caused by poor "bead." Poor speed causes most three-putts.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Backswing: 2
Downswing: 1
Follow-Through: 1

In other words, like a pendulum, two beats regardless of the direction. Because the backswing starts from a stop, it accelerates AND decelerates, just like the full downswing. That's why it also takes about 2 beats (really closer to 1.9 or so).


And, IMO, speed is by far the most important part of putting in general. When you start to talk about 5' putts, Bead can take over… though if it breaks any significant amount, Speed is a close second.

and @Killa, if ya'll like beat training, I would recommend doing it to a song with the BPM you require.  That should help with the ingraining.

3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Most three-putts aren't caused by poor "bead." Poor speed causes most three-putts.

That is very true.  However, couldn't be true that a lot of the poor speed can come from poor striking?  In a sense, bead encompasses strike, or at the very least face angle, and that could influence speed, at the very least indirectly for the better.

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4 minutes ago, iacas said:

Poor speed causes most three-putts.

I completely agree with this, at least in my case.    When I three-putt, it almost always a speed issue.

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