Tuesday, June 8, 2010

David Orr's Fundamentals of Putting

Found an interesting post by one of David Orr's (www.orrgolf.com) students title 'The Fundamentals of Putting.' Here's David's thoughts:
Priority #1 - Speed

Putting Experts say:
David Pelz - 17" past the hole
HA Templeton - 12" past on a level putt
Geoff Mangum - Last 2-3 revolutions (12”)
Mark Sweeney (AimPoint TV, AimChart) – Based on 12” past the hole
David Orr – 12-16” thru the hole depending on slope percentage and green speed

What do they all have in common? Consistent speed!
Consistent speed eliminates a lot of indecision
Indecision = reason why people miss putts

Have one speed, and pick the line that matches your speed.

What are your 3 Speeds in putting:
Green Speed
Delivery Speed
Cup Speed

Priority #2 - Read

Developing a normal speed (12” thru the hole) is the first step in green reading!

The first step of reading greens is knowing the intended speed that you will deliver the ball into the cup. Next take a good look at what the last 2- 3 feet will do. Learn to read putts backward from the cup to the ball. Then map out the route backwards to the ball and decide where you need to launch the ball.

- Reading greens starts with a consistent "delivery speed"
- Identifying the fall line through the cup
- Identifying the breaking pattern within the last 2-3 feet
- Matching delivery speed and line
- Working backward from cup to ball
- Targeting for distance and elapsed time for arrival.
- Launch it!

Priority #3 - Aim

Aim your ball or your putter to the AimPoint, not the apex of the putt.

Priority #4 - Stroke

“A good putting stroke is a "well-timed consistent moving pattern" that launches the ball reasonably on-line with a quality roll that traverses along or near the intended curvilinear/ linear line with a good touch (consistent delivery speed) that maintains the linear and angular velocities of the ball over the surface irregularities as it enters the cup with a speed that will not reduce the capture width of the cup or "Wobbles" off line!” – David Orr
I really agree with David on all of this. Particularly the speed part.

Back when I was just out of college, I traveled to some mini-tour events that I played with another friend of mine in town. He was easily the best putter I have ever golfed with.

One of the things that I remember thinking about when watching him putt was how he could read greens so well. At the time I chalked it up to a talent that you cannot learn, but AimPoint Golf shows us differently.

But the other thing I noticed was his speed was really consistent. He was very firm with his putts, hitting them probably on average about 2 feet past the cup. But I would guess that his missed putts were going 2 to 3.5 feet bye on an amazingly consistent basis.

I think that fantastic consistent speed of his allowed him to figure out the line much easier. Since he played quite a bit of golf and practiced often, a 12 foot putt with a moderate right to left break on a green with a 10 stimp was probably something he had seen a million times before an knew exactly where to aim it an how much it would break for him.

And he had the most god awful looking putting stroke and stance you would ever see.

As they said in Top Gun 'I feel the need for speed.' In putting, the golfer has need to feel the right speed.



Right Wing Political Junkie said...

I worked with Gary Blaisdell who is brought into many colleges to teach their players about putting.

He has a very different theory about speed in that it should actually be dying at the hole for the simple fact that it makes the hole bigger.

If the putt is going to go by 2 feet or 18 inches, and a whole 75% of the ball goes inside the edge of the hole, the putt will lip out. But if you have speed that dies it at the hole you only need 51% of the ball to go within the boundary of the hole. That makes the hole almost twice as big.

Consistency is certainly key though, and so is a proper aim point. Not the apex.

Rich H. said...

part of the problem with that is thinking is the lumpy donut effect. Geoff Mangum has a fantastic video on the optimal speed. David really doesn't like to talk about a distance past the cup because that's really a distance and not a speed, but it's about the only way you can convey it to golfers. Where I think dying it at the cup is good is that if you can avoid leaving it short, you now have a target for the speed.

But like my friend who is easily the greatest putter I've ever seen, he was very aggressive. But so darn consistent. Even if he was aggressive and missed, he still had a 2 to 3 foot putt, which isn't that difficult.