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3 Keys to Better Putting

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Is there any trend with good putters and slower versus quicker putting strokes? 

I've been working on my putting. I decided to take the slow, specific method and apply it to my putting to try to ingrain the path better. I find that if I take a longer, slower putting stroke that I can keep it on a much better path. 

I just wondered if there is any pro's or cons on quick versus slow? 

Also, can quicker strokes lead to poor acceleration profiles. I know Brandt Snedeker has a quick putting stroke. Would he be an outlier case? 

 

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17 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Is there any trend with good putters and slower versus quicker putting strokes? 

I've been working on my putting. I decided to take the slow, specific method and apply it to my putting to try to ingrain the path better. I find that if I take a longer, slower putting stroke that I can keep it on a much better path. 

I just wondered if there is any pro's or cons on quick versus slow? 

Also, can quicker strokes lead to poor acceleration profiles. I know Brandt Snedeker has a quick putting stroke. Would he be an outlier case? 

An outlier in what way? He still doesn't accelerate after impact. I can generate a great acceleration profile with a very Brandt-like stroke.

I find myself encouraging more students to take a quicker backstroke. It's one of two ways you have to hit the ball farther with your putter; the other is to make a longer backstroke.

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2 minutes ago, iacas said:

An outlier in what way? He still doesn't accelerate after impact. I can generate a great acceleration profile with a very Brandt-like stroke.

More that he's has that quick short stroke. I was wondering if he was the only tour player to make that type of stroke. 

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On 9/15/2014 at 6:12 PM, iacas said:

 

They're not in a particular order. Obviously you get a read before determining your "bead" and "speed."

 

FWIW, I tend to go "read, speed, bead, speed." I read the putt, make some strokes to feel the speed, line it up to get the bead, and then focus just on the speed again. :)

I was watching someone talk about this last week during the Masters. They suggested that you should determine speed before your line since your speed will dictate which line you take. Does it matter which order or can it be said the same for vice-versa?

I've always done both in the same, but I've also always have been a mediocre putter.

Edited by Mop Bucket

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2 minutes ago, Mop Bucket said:

I was watching someone talk about this last week during the Masters. They suggested that you should determine speed before your line since your speed will dictate which line you take. Does it matter which order or can it be said the same for vice-versa?

I've always done both in the same, but I've also always have been a mediocre putter.

It's hard to dictate a speed when you do not know the line. I think it's best to read the line first then match the speed to it. 

For those of us who use Aimpoint we get close to the best optimal line. So, I might be a bit biased in that I am use to finding the line first and knowing it's a good read and then just worrying about the speed. 

 

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6 hours ago, Mop Bucket said:

I was watching someone talk about this last week during the Masters. They suggested that you should determine speed before your line since your speed will dictate which line you take. Does it matter which order or can it be said the same for vice-versa?

I've always done both in the same, but I've also always have been a mediocre putter.

I think for most good putters their intended speed is pretty much always the same relatively speaking. The guys that want it to die in the hole want it to die in the hole at most distances and the guys that like their miss to be 1'-2' past the hole will strive for that most of the time. No good putter is looking to hit a putt outside of the above parameters. If you see a pro hit a putt 6' past, it's either a colossal **** up or a situation where they had little choice because the greens keeper is being a dick.

I did hear Rocko say something in a clip about there being a million possible lines for every putt, but that's not really true as there are a limited range of speeds that will sink the putt. Obviously any putt that does not get to the hole ain't going in, but OTOH, a putt that has too much speed will lip out or hop right over. The window is not infinite. So the pro is either looking at a dying line into the hole, or a back of the cup line into the hole and it largely comes down to preference. 

Not sure if that all makes sense, but I know what I mean... ;-)

 

 

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11 hours ago, Mop Bucket said:

I was watching someone talk about this last week during the Masters. They suggested that you should determine speed before your line since your speed will dictate which line you take. Does it matter which order or can it be said the same for vice-versa?

Others answered really well, but… the different "speeds" don't change the line all that much. Not if you want to make the putt. It's a pretty narrow window, really, particularly when you consider that you really only have the middle of the cup to the high edge at the fastest and slowest speed putts, respectively, for the ball to fall in.

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12 hours ago, newtogolf said:

What should someone that is a 20 handicap average in terms of putts per round?  

http://www.pgatour.com/instruction/instruction-never-three-putt-again.html

According to the link, 31 putts or so? Thing is, it'll change based on how many GIR/nGIR you hit. The more my GIR goes up, the more putts I'll take, because I'm rarely close enough to the hole to one-putt and often just clinging on to the green with a three-putt a real possibility. However, give me an 8 iron chip from the fringe and the likelihood of me 'one-putting' is greater. You can see how the putts per round statistic doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. If I compare two of my recent 'very good' putting rounds, I had one (http://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/823290) with 1.83 putts per hole and one with 1.61 (http://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/810489). The only real difference is that I was striking the ball much better in the 1.83 round, and therefore had 8 GIR rather than the 4 GIR in the 1.61 round.

I see you have Game Golf - use the Insights tab to compare your Strokes Gained against different handicap levels. Although not perfect, it's a really useful feature to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.

Also, if you can, get yourself to an AimPoint clinic. Takes two hours and it's a fantastic method that takes all of the doubt out of green-reading. Knowing you only have to get the speed right and hit your line makes you that bit more confident over the putts.

On 15/04/2016 at 4:33 AM, saevel25 said:

It's hard to dictate a speed when you do not know the line. I think it's best to read the line first then match the speed to it. 

For those of us who use Aimpoint we get close to the best optimal line. So, I might be a bit biased in that I am use to finding the line first and knowing it's a good read and then just worrying about the speed. 

Definitely agree with matching speed to the line and the AimPoint system is brilliant for taking one doubt out of the equation; if I miss a putt, I know it's never the line.

(Apologies if the below counts as advertising - I think it's useful, but feel free to remove if not)

If you're concerned with pace, I've found a really useful training aid to be the Peekace 'Pace Your Putt' (Classic) putting mat. Would post a link, but it may count as advertising - I'm sure you can Google search :-). It's massively helped my tempo and pace control and though it's only a 14 feet long mat, I've noticed a major difference in my pace control from up to 50 and 60 feet as well due to the improved technique I have as a result of using it. I tend to practise about 20 minutes a day on it, and it's great to actually feel confident over putts.


Just to add my take. Based on the last few rounds and thanks to a lot of practice, I seem to have found a routine that works for me.

  1. Mark ball and get an AimPoint read.
  2. Pick a spot on the green about 2 feet in front of the ball as a starting point to hit.
  3. If it's a putt over 20 feet, I'll have a practice stroke to gauge feel, but I don't tend to before shorter putts as I feel I lose my line.
  4. Just rock shoulders back and through and the only thought is "don't follow the ball with your eyes".

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7 hours ago, b101 said:

http://www.pgatour.com/instruction/instruction-never-three-putt-again.html

According to the link, 31 putts or so? Thing is, it'll change based on how many GIR/nGIR you hit. The more my GIR goes up, the more putts I'll take, because I'm rarely close enough to the hole to one-putt and often just clinging on to the green with a three-putt a real possibility. However, give me an 8 iron chip from the fringe and the likelihood of me 'one-putting' is greater. You can see how the putts per round statistic doesn't necessarily tell the whole story. If I compare two of my recent 'very good' putting rounds, I had one (http://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/823290) with 1.83 putts per hole and one with 1.61 (http://www.gamegolf.com/player/benpage101/round/810489). The only real difference is that I was striking the ball much better in the 1.83 round, and therefore had 8 GIR rather than the 4 GIR in the 1.61 round.

I see you have Game Golf - use the Insights tab to compare your Strokes Gained against different handicap levels. Although not perfect, it's a really useful feature to gauge your strengths and weaknesses.

 

Thanks for the response, this season (4 rounds) I'm averaging 33 putts per round and my GIR is 22%, roughly 4 per round.   My average GIR putts per round is 2.5.  

I asked the question because I was thrown off from an interview Spieth did after a round in The Masters where he putted 30 times and said he thought that was outstanding, My last round I putted 30 times and it didn't feel outstanding so I wasn't sure what my target should be.

My chipping and pitching isn't great so that is not helping me either.  I know I have to work on my full swing much more, I'm beginning to think the short game holds the most low hanging fruit for me to lower my handicap.   

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26 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

Thanks for the response, this season (4 rounds) I'm averaging 33 putts per round and my GIR is 22%, roughly 4 per round.   My average GIR putts per round is 2.5.  

I asked the question because I was thrown off from an interview Spieth did after a round in The Masters where he putted 30 times and said he thought that was outstanding, My last round I putted 30 times and it didn't feel outstanding so I wasn't sure what my target should be.

My chipping and pitching isn't great so that is not helping me either.  I know I have to work on my full swing much more, I'm beginning to think the short game holds the most low hanging fruit for me to lower my handicap.   

As @b101 stated, putting stats can't really be evaluated on a stand alone basis. Where you are putting from makes a big difference. The more GIR you miss, the more opportunities you have to pitch or chip it close making your first putt much easier. If you hit green's all day and have 30 putts, that is outstanding, if you miss them all and are scrambling with 30 putts, that's is significantly less outstanding. 

I like the total distance of putts made stat(not sure what the official name of that stat is). With that stat, you add up the distance of the putts you made, for example, if you sank a ten 15 footers, six eight footers and two 12" tap ins you have made 200 feet of putts that round. 

But I dont think either of those stats are very meaningful when taken out of context. 

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21 hours ago, newtogolf said:

What should someone that is a 20 handicap average in terms of putts per round?  

As said by others it depends on your GIR / proximity on missed greens. It also depends a bit on the course as a longer course will increase your average proximity and raise your number of putts on average, though less so with better lag putting.

9 hours ago, b101 said:

http://www.pgatour.com/instruction/instruction-never-three-putt-again.html

According to the link, 31 putts or so? Thing is, it'll change based on how many GIR/nGIR you hit. The more my GIR goes up, the more putts I'll take, because I'm rarely close enough to the hole to one-putt and often just clinging on to the green with a three-putt a real possibility.

But that link was averaging 10-19 HCPs. Quite a difference in skill and possibly weighted heavily toward the lower HCP in terms of data posted.

1 hour ago, newtogolf said:

Thanks for the response, this season (4 rounds) I'm averaging 33 putts per round and my GIR is 22%, roughly 4 per round. My average GIR putts per round is 2.5.

For a typical course (~CR 72) your GIR for a 20 HCP is better than average. Your 33-34 PPR is right about average for your HCP. Your PPGIR looks a bit below average. So your game around the green is likely above average for your HCP, making up for your putting skill. There are tests you can do to see whether it's shorter or lag putting that is your primary issue.

Quote

I asked the question because I was thrown off from an interview Spieth did after a round in The Masters where he putted 30 times and said he thought that was outstanding, My last round I putted 30 times and it didn't feel outstanding so I wasn't sure what my target should be.   

Spieth was referring to how your PPR and PPGIR will increase with tough conditions (slick greens plus high winds) leaving your ball farther from the hole even if on the green and increasing the likelihood of a 3-putt or more. Your 30 PPR may have been well above your HCP if it wasn't a relatively short course where you'd have an expectation of a shorter first putt.

Edited by natureboy

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3 minutes ago, natureboy said:

But that link was averaging 10-19 HCPs. Quite a difference in skill and quite possibly weighted heavily toward the lower HCP in terms of data posted.

True, but as you'll know from the studies LSW is based on, putting won't be the big difference between your 10 capper and your 19 capper. Especially when you consider the GIR variable, I don't think it's too big of a stretch to lump them all in together. It's a rough guide and given the different variables, if you created a 10-15 group and a 15-19 group, I doubt there'd be much of a difference.

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1 minute ago, b101 said:

True, but as you'll know from the studies LSW is based on, putting won't be the big difference between your 10 capper and your 19 capper. Especially when you consider the GIR variable, I don't think it's too big of a stretch to lump them all in together. It's a rough guide and given the different variables, if you created a 10-15 group and a 15-19 group, I doubt there'd be much of a difference.

Sure long game is a bigger difference, but lower HCP's are both closer to the pin on average and better lag putters.

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Just now, natureboy said:

Sure long game is a bigger difference, but lower HCP's are both closer to the pin on average and better lag putters.

Yes, they'll be closer on average, but they won't necessarily be close enough to make the putt. Take the 18 capper and the 10 capper for example - the 10 capper might stiff one iron shot per round (inside 6 feet), but probably not much more than that (I certainly don't). What's more likely is that the 10 capper is 10 feet away and the 20 capper is 20 feet away. Likelihood is that both two putt. 

Or, the 10 capper is on the green at 20 feet, whilst the 20 capper is 15 yards short. Both get up and down, but one has two putts, whilst the other has just the one.

Granted, the 10 capper may save one or two shots somewhere, but I don't think that it's not a big enough discrepancy to warrant its own category. It's just too unreliable a statistic to put that much stock in.

For info, in case you haven't read it, this is useful and perhaps gives a slightly different slant on the issue.

 

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16 minutes ago, natureboy said:

As said by others it depends on your GIR / proximity on missed greens. It also depends a bit on the course as a longer course will increase your average proximity and raise your number of putts on average, though less so with better lag putting.

But that link was averaging 10-19 HCPs. Quite a difference in skill and possibly weighted heavily toward the lower HCP in terms of data posted.

For a typical course (~CR 72) your GIR for a 20 HCP is better than average. Your 33-34 PPR is right about average for your HCP. Your PPGIR looks a bit below average. So your game around the green is likely above average for your HCP, making up for your putting skill. There are tests you can do to see whether it's shorter or lag putting that is your primary issue.

Spieth was referring to how your PPR and PPGIR will increase with tough conditions (slick greens plus high winds) leaving your ball farther from the hole even if on the green and increasing the likelihood of a 3-putt or more. Your 30 PPR may have been well above your HCP if it wasn't a relatively short course where you'd have an expectation of a shorter first putt.

Great response, thanks!  My home course length from the tees I play is 6203 yards.  

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6 minutes ago, newtogolf said:

Great response, thanks!  My home course length from the tees I play is 6203 yards.  

What's the course rating and slope from those tees?

9 minutes ago, b101 said:

Likelihood is that both two putt.

In a single scenario, yes the two-putt is the most frequent outcome. That does not mean across multiple putting opportunities the expected result - the mean of putts taken - from those two distances will also be '2' for both players. Long term putting averages can tell you something if you account for the other contributing factors.

Edited by natureboy

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2 hours ago, newtogolf said:

Thanks for the response, this season (4 rounds) I'm averaging 33 putts per round and my GIR is 22%, roughly 4 per round.   My average GIR putts per round is 2.5.  

I asked the question because I was thrown off from an interview Spieth did after a round in The Masters where he putted 30 times and said he thought that was outstanding, My last round I putted 30 times and it didn't feel outstanding so I wasn't sure what my target should be.

My chipping and pitching isn't great so that is not helping me either.  I know I have to work on my full swing much more, I'm beginning to think the short game holds the most low hanging fruit for me to lower my handicap.   

I'm not totally sold on putts per GIR either. In honesty, I think putting is a very tough and very personal thing to measure. If I were you, I would practice with 6 footers (x10), 9 footers (x10) and 30 footers (x10) and keep your own tally of how you're doing. Last year, the best putting stats on the PGA tour were 85% from 6 feet, 67% from 9 feet and (whilst the stat is from 20-25 feet), 100% three-putt avoidance from 20-25 feet, so that would give you something to work towards. Alternatively, make par 1 putt from 6 or 9 feet and 2 putts par from 30 feet and keep your score.

For me, my target is not to three-putt and to make 50% of my eight footers. That will improve with practice, but I put no stock whatsoever by the number of putts per round, or per GIR. Again, I could be just on a huge, 100 foot, three tiered green (like one I played last week) and have a decent three putt or right by the flag and tap in - putts per GIR would make no difference between them and I'd have 3 putts per GIR on one and 1 putt per GIR on the other...

I'm picking extreme examples, but you see the point - every putt is different and every situation is different - for me, there isn't one single stat that covers putting. I'd just make your practice more of a game where you keep score to keep track of whether you're improving in certain areas. You will see more go in the hole as a result.

Edited by b101

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