If you are a golfer, you must be aware that the principle of play, for more than 40% of your score, is nothing but to strike the ball on an intended line based on a chosen speed to a hole 4.25 inches wide with a tool. The challenge or rather the secret to putting, is to sustain the variables that constitute the action of putting.
The four basic skills of putting form the Triad of Putting:
– Green Reading
The most commonly used tool is the putter.
Here’s a brief summary of the tool and the four skills of putting:
The tool – The putter. Allows the golfer to perform the skills to get the job done.
Aim – Knowing where and how to aim (with the putter)
Speed – Consistently delivering the ball into the cup while adjusting to a variety of green speeds (with the putter)
Read – Predicting the behavior of the ball based on the golfer’s putting strategy and learning the rules of the green surface (AimPoint)
Path – Developing a well-timed movement pattern that launches the ball on the golfer intended line with a quality roll.
Again this is done with the putter plus green reading and individual’s putting model.
Better Golf Through Technology with MIT
In a research done at MIT, 185 PGM students’ putting variables were analyzed with SAM Puttlab to study the effect of a fitted putter on their putting variables.
12-foot straight putt:
• On average, aim improved by 1.8 inches for all subjects and aim is defined as distance of ball to left or right of the hole (not distance in front or behind hole)
• Subjects experienced significant improvement in club motion and consistency
• Using standard deviation as a consistency measure
• On 19 out of 22 putting variables captured, consistency improved
o Average variable improvement of 38% reduction in standard deviation
• On 3 of 22 putting variables captured, consistency decreased by small amount
o Increase in standard deviation of less than 15%
12-foot breaking putt:
• Again, subjects experienced significant improvement in club motion consistency at comparable levels to straight putt test
• Performance improved
o With personal putter, subjects sunk 11% of their putts
o With fitted putter, subjects sunk 20% of their putts
The following table shows the reduction in standard deviation when a fitted putter is used against a personal putter on a straight 12-foot putt.
|Metric||% Reduction in Std Deviation|
|Acceleration through the ball||63%|
|Impact Lie Angle||41%|
|Impact Lean Angle||27%|
|Forward Path Angle||21%|
Results on Aim
|60% aimed left of target|
|25% aimed right of target|
|15% aimed straight at the target|
|30% Left eye dominant||70% Right eye dominant|
|55% aimed left||63% aimed left|
|28% aimed right||23% aimed right|
|17% aimed straight||13% aimed straight|
|Stroke Parameters||Left||Straight||Right||Iron Archie|
|Face Angle – address||1.3 c||0.0c||1.1o||0.0o|
|Face Angle – impact||0.0c||0.5o||1.0o||0.1o|
|Club Rotation – Start Fwd||3.3o||4.3o||5.8o||2.4o|
|Club Rotation – End Fwd||5.3c||6.5c||5.6c||2.2c|
|Club Rotation – Rate||16.4°/s||22.5°/s||26.5°/s||5.4°/s|
c – closed, s – straight, o – open
In summary, the knowledge learned:
- Aim from 6 feet is very difficult for many (Approx.80%)
- Aim creates a “Bias” in a number of Stroke Parameters
- Stroke Parameters are different for each Aim Bias
- “Biases” in the stroke parameters are most evident in the motion of the “Forward and Post Impact Intervals”
- Straight Aimers had a smaller standard deviation in 18 of 22 putting variables chosen for this particular study
- Left Aimers tend to manipulate the face and/or rise angle, 80% face change- opening
- Right Aimers tend to manipulate the path direction and/ or rate of rotation, 10°/s higher rate of rotation
- Only 3% of the entire sample had zero Face Change (0.0) between Address and Impact
- Less than 2% of the entire sample had a perfectly square (0.0) Face Angle at Impact
From the data collected, we reached the following conclusion linking your aim bias and your putting method.
- Aim Bias creates path bias
- Aim Bias creates face rotation problems
- Aim Bias affects speed patterns to get to different lines
- Aim Bias affects green reading
- Aim Bias destroys the processes of visualization
- Aim Bias plain and simple creates confusion
The following two charts shows typically what may happen if you are a left aim-bias or right aim-bias. To read the chart, imagine that you are looking right at the cup on a tilted green. Quadrant 4 will be a down hill putt with right to left break, Quadrant 1 will be a down hill putt with a left to right break, Quadrant 3, uphill putt with left to right break and Quadrant 2, uphill putt with right to left break.
The combination bullet describe the typical tendencies created with left and right aim biases, speed and path.
In the next instalment, we will discuss The First skill of putting – Aim (Knowing where and how to aim)