Wednesday, December 12, 2012

AimPoint Practice 12.11.12

One of the more difficult parts of AimPoint to master is simple in design.

When you have calculated where you have to aim using the chart, then you have to have the ability to:

1) identify where to aim in accordance to the calculation.

2) being able to actually aim the putter at that target.

So, if you calculate that you need to aim 6 inches right of the hole, you need to know who 6 inches right of the hole is located. Then you have to be able to aim the putter face at that target 6 inches right of the hole.

This is what requires the most practice for somebody like myself. And I believe other golfers will find the same as well. But, with proper practice I believe that golfers will not only get better at finding where to aim and aiming at that spot, but their stroke mechanics will improve.

Granted, this is more detailed, hard working practice than the other practice I have mentioned when it comes to the basics of determing the stimp and feeling with your feet. But, if you were to take the time you normally practice putting using 3 balls and stroking some putts....and replaced it with this practice...you will see your putting improve much more rapidly.

Here's an AimPoint practice that I like, using the 'Swinkey'. In this situation, the Swinkey is being used with a string above the putter's line of the putt



One of the Tour's best putters, Aaron Baddeley does something similar.


The idea is simple. Calculate where you need to aim. Then install the string apparatus to from behind the ball to where you are supposed to aim. Finally, aim the putter at that point and stroke the putt.

IMO, the key is be able to observe the putts. If the putt does not go in, the question becomes 'why?' Did you aim incorrectly? Did you make the right calculation? Did you hit the putt too hard or too soft? Eventually, you may start to see a trend.

I know when I went to my AimPoint clinic that was hosted by John Graham (www.johngrahamgolf.com)...I saw that most of the golfers attending the clinic constantly made all sorts of compensations in their stroke.

While I think much of that had to do with their inability to aim their putter correctly. I also think much of it had to do with their inability to read greens and poor concepts about putting.

For instance, many golfers would *try* to aim the putter where they thought the apex of the break was going to be. You are supposed to aim the putter above the apex of the break. Due to this, if they hit the ball the right speed, they will miss on the 'low side.' To counter that, they would often hit the ball entirely too hard to reduce the amount the putt breaks. But, after missing putts because they hit them too hard, they would end up getting nervous and hitting putts short. And essentially, their speed was so bad that their confidence would be completely shot.

The other common trait was for a golfer to mis-aim their putter. If they were trying to aim 10 inches right of the hole, they may aim 5 inches right of the hole instead. They would then compensate by 'pushing' the ball out to the right. Or they could do what I used to do, have a rightward aim bias and try to pull the ball with my stroke back towards the target.

If you're practicing like shown above, you can start to identify any possible stroke issues. The main idea behind AimPoint is to read the putt correctly, find where to aim and aim the putter correctly. If you can continue to master these parts, your brain will gain a better feel for the speed of the putt. Furthermore, your stroke should improve as well.


From reading a lot of the SAM Puttlab reports of good putters on Tour versus the rest of the golfers, the key difference is that these good Tour putters have extremely consistent putting strokes. Their actual stroke mechanics may not exactly be pretty, but they are incredibly consistent.

Here is the link to the SAM Puttlab report of 'The Boss of the Moss', Loren Roberts.

http://www.samsports.us/PuttLab%20Data/LorenRoberts.pdf

As you can see on page 1, he would aim his putter face 1° closed at address. But at impact, his face averaged out to be 0° square to the target. Just as impressive is his 'consistency' scores, ranking 87 on putting aim at address and 95 on putter face aim at impact.

Also on page 2 they show what his stroke looks like thru impact. It's an outside-to-in stroke. SAM Puttlab gives it a technique score of 65. But, the consistency score of 95. The same on the face rotation on page 5, with a so-so technique score of 72, but a consistency score of 94.

While I would not recommend utilizing Roberts' technique and mechanics because the compensations are a bit too difficult for most of the golfing population to ever master, it does show how important stroke consistency is to putting. And if you practice AimPoint properly and are aware enough to figure out what you are doing in your stroke, you can start to develop a very consistent putting stroke because you're reading the putts correctly and establishing the correct target which helps eliminate some of the compensations from the get-go.


In part, that's why there is a marriage between AimPoint and Edel Golf. AimPoint calculates the read, Edel Golf has putters designed so the golfer can naturally aim at the target that has been established (along with superior custom weighting to fit the golfer's stroke)

For information about SAM Puttlab locations in the US, go to:

http://www.samsports.us/locations.htm







3JACK

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