Here is the study I read that led me to Directed Force. Sorry, it's long.
Mississippi State study on Directed Force Lie Angle Balancing (LAB) vs Odyssey V Line
HOW DOES A PUTTER’S CENTER OF MASS AFFECT MUSCLE ACTIVATION OF THE FOREARMS DURING THE PUTTING STROKE.
The Neuromechanics Lab at Mississippi State University in the Department of Kinesiology took a different approach to analyzing putters. Our mission was to see how putters affected the golfer during the putting stroke. Two different putters were selected, Odyssey V-Line and the Reno from Directed Force Putters. We measured EEG (electroencephalography, brain activity) and EMG (electromyography, muscle activity) of a PGA Professional and researcher using both putters, with the Odyssey being his current putter. Five practice putts from each putter was used during the warm up to familiarize the speed of the putting surface. Static baselines were established for both EEG and EMG. EMG electrodes were placed on the pronators and supinators of both arms, to establish how much work was being placed on the muscular system to control the putter.
Here are the results: EEG alpha waves showed more activity in the Reno putter compared to the current player’s putter (Odyssey). Generally, the higher the alpha waves indicate the more conscious thinking is occurring which may impact performance. Due to the player’s familiarity with his putter, the alpha waves were more synchronized and the player wasn’t thinking about the putter, which is good if you want to make putts. A reason why the player was thinking more may be due to the lack of familiarity to a “new” putter. It looks and feels different than his current putter and with only 5 practice attempts, there is more conscious awareness prior to the stroke.
Directed Force Putter
However, the EMG showed a surprising result, even though the player was not familiar with the putter to establish a repeatable motor pattern (habit), EMG showed less muscle activation during the stroke compared to the player’s personal putter. This means that the player using a Directed Force putter is using less muscular effort to keep the putter square to the intended target at impact. This may allow the player to develop a better sense of distance control through an increase in proprioception. The higher muscle activation with the face-balanced putter is required to apply torque to the putter to keep it from rotating open during the swing. This additional muscular effort now must be applied to each stroke throughout the round and may not be dependable during stressful situations. The player may over relax and lighten their grip pressure in attempt to calm down which may result in a change in their muscle activation pattern allowing the putter to rotate slightly due to its center of mass position right before impact resulting in a missed putt. Or the player may over rotate the putter in attempt not miss it right
Sample of a single putt made with both an Odyssey compared to the Directed Force Putter.
(right handed golfer). In both situations, the player is working harder to maintain control of the face without regards to distance control. Generally, this additional muscle activation could lead to an increase in missed putts.
Future studies will need to dig deeper into the variables involved with putting that may affect outcome and changes in motor control and learning.
(Tony Luczak was the subject during the test)
2016, Tony Luczak, Research Elevated Performance Systems, LLC, All Rights Reserved.