Thursday, December 29, 2011

3Jack Golf Blog's 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis E-Book

The 2011 Pro Golf Synopsis book is up and can be viewed at the following link, free of charge.

I plan on doing a Pro Golf Synopsis on an annual basis. As I mentioned on the blog, I plan on developing the Pro Golf Synopsis in the future and estimate I will charge $12.95 for the e-book.

However, the inaugural Pro Golf Synopsis is free. If you would like to donate to the blog, my PayPal e-mail address is You can also go to the blog ( and click the donate button on the upper right corner of the page. Any donation would be greatly appreciated.

Lastly, I wanted to thank all of the people that helped me with information on the book and my readers for their great support.


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Stock Shaft vs. True After-Market Shaft

Here's a video that I thought was interesting, discussing a stock shaft vs. a 'true' aftermarket shaft.

On another forum this was discussed and most of the clubmakers stated that they had never seen this happen with their shaft pulls before.

I actually tend to agree with this video as recently I removed a stock shaft in a Cleveland 3-wood, re-aligned the spine of the shaft and re-installed it. When I hit it, the shaft broke.

Now, I used a shaft puller and low heat from a heat gun. I've used this method on 'true' aftermarket shafts and not one of them has splintered, but the Cleveland 'stock' shaft (Fujikura) was different.

That doesn't mean that all graphite shafts are this way (contrary to the video). The reason why a $300 driver may have a legitimate $300 'true' aftermarket shaft is that the shaft company and the OEM may come to a deal where they may pay a little above cost for each shaft. Let's say Aldila does this with Adams Golf (according to clubmakers, Adams Golf does have 'true' aftermarket Aldila shafts as their stock shafts).

Anyway...Aldila knows that Adams will purchase hundreds of thousands of shafts from them, if the price is low enough. But, other OEM's may be happy with just a stock shaft that is not of the same quality, but only costs them $10 per shaft.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

4th Annual 3Jack Awards

Here’s my annual statement in regards to these awards

I kind of do this with some caution. I am averse to taking myself too seriously. Years of playing golf will create that in a person because just as soon as you think you're hot stuff, the game will rear its ugly head right back at you. However, I thought it would be *fun* to go over the stuff I've reviewed this year and came up with my own "3Jack Awards." This is basically awards for things I watched, read or used during this year. Thus, it's not important as to when the product, video, book etc came's whether or not I reviewed it this year. Anyway, you'll get the point soon enough.

Best Training Aid Device

Second Runner Up: Orange Whip

Runner Up: Compression Board

Winner: The Can’t Miss Putting Aid

(3JACK NOTES: The training aid market has slowed down a bit in the past couple of years, but the Can’t Miss Putting aid incorporates a lot of the same principles of the GyroSwing into the putting stroke and makes the stroke feel more natural than using an aid where the shaft of the putter head is being guided. It will also help with the rhythm of the stroke as well.)


Second Runner Up: Kelvin Miyahira ‘Zach and Dustin, A Tale of 2 Johnsons’

Runner Up: AimPoint Golf’s ‘How Wide is the hole?’

Winner: Martin Chuck’s ‘An Afternoon With Moe.’

(3JACK NOTES: All 3 are excellent videos from Miyahira’s analysis of the differences in swings that create different amounts of power between Zach and Dustin Johnson, to AimPoint Golf’s video showing the importance of delivery speed and its effect on capture width of the cup to Martin Chuck’s fantastic video of the time spent with the legendary Moe Norman.)


Second Runner Up: Pete Cowen Golf Academy DVD’s

Runner Up: Steve Elkington’s ‘Tour Quality Short Game’

Winner: Brian Manzella’s ‘Anti-Summit I’

(3Jack Notes: Like the training aids, instructional DVD’s have decreased over the past couple of years as well. I put a YouTube video of Elkington’s Short Game video because there was no trailer for Manzella’s Anti-Summit. I found Cowen’s DVD to have some interesting points to it, but also to be lacking. The Elkington video goes over a lot of basic TGM stuff and how it creates different shots. The Anti-Summit video is more informational than instructional.)


Second Runner Up: Tour Edge CB4 Tour Driver

Runner Up: Wishon 555C and 555M irons

Winner: Edel Putters

(3JACK NOTES: Tour Edge continues to impress with their ability to make top-caliber drivers and fairway woods. The CB4 Tour has a great look to it and performs very well. My personal choice of irons, the Wishon irons have far exceeded my expectations. They look, feel and perform great and are designed to prevent digging. Dollar for dollar, the best stuff on the market right now. Finally, Edel Golf continues to make the best putters on the market.)


Second Runner Up: Talamonti Shafts (

Runner Up: GolfMechanix Auditor MOI Machine (

Winner: Harrison ShotMaker Insert (

(3JACK NOTES: Talamonti Shafts are designed by Phil Talamonti, the co-founder of SST Pure. They are high caliber, affordable shafts that are worth trying. It was a coin flip on the winner, but I chose the Harrison ShotMaker because I find it to be such a revolutionary and important component for golf since graphite shafts are pretty much mandatory in woods these days and the stability and quality control factors often ruin how they perform for the golfer. I had been playing with the ShotMaker in my 3-wood and recently inserted one in my driver and my driving quickly improved. The main reason I took the ShotMaker over the MOI Machine is that the Shotmaker is cheaper and can be taken out and put into new club. But, the MOI Machine has been a fantastic piece of equipment, well worth the $500.)


Second Runner Up: Miura Golf (

Runner Up: Wishon Golf (

Winner: Titleist (

(3JACK NOTES: Titleist comes away with the award for the second year in a row. While I do not use Titleist equipment myself, it’s difficult to dethrone them when their entire range of offerings is top notch, from the drivers to the fairway woods to the hybrids to the muscleback irons to the game improvement irons to the Vokey wedges to the Cameron putters and the golf ball. I think Wishon makes a great line of equipment, particularly their irons, wedges and drivers. I plan on trying out their fairway woods (949MC and 929HS) which have the same high COR that Taylor Made is raving about with their Rocketballz line.)


Second Runner Up: Secret In The Dirt (

Runner Up: The Sand Trap (

Winner: My Golf Spy (

(3JACK NOTES: 3 excellent golf sites filled with information and fun for golfers. Again, it was a bit of a coin flip for the winner as The Sand Trap has great articles and reviews on the world of golf and equipment. I went with My Golf Spy because they continually amaze me how much inside information they can get on the equipment world and they actually have much more information than they publish, but legal issues prevent them from coming forward with that information.)


Second Runner Up: Sara Dickson PGA (

Runner Up: Top 100 Courses in the World (

Winner: Gotham Golf Blog (

(3JACK NOTES: Before anybody says anything…thanks for the kind words, but I can’t vote for myself due to an obvious bias. Sara Dickson is a 3Jack Golf Blog Certified D-Plane Instructor. I think she’s just a great writer and I usually leave with something very insightful that makes me think about it further after reading her posts. She had one post in particular discussing her thoughts on caddying for a friend at the LPGA Q-School and saying that she realized that pretty much every player had talent, it was just a question of who trusted their talent more than anything. That’s far more intuitive than most stuff I read about golf, even by seasoned writers.

The Top 100 Courses Blog is one man’s quest to play each of the top 100 courses in the world. Currently, he has played all but Augusta National. He then reviews each course with great detail and excellent pictures as well. One of the things I’ve wanted to go over more in my own blog is with course design and architects. I’ve gotten some preliminary information on the subject, but this blog can teach you a lot about that aspect of the game.

I think most know about Ralph Perez’s ‘Gotham Golf Blog’ which is similar, but still different from my own blog. I think he does such a tremendous job of getting the opinions and theories of so many golf instructors.)


Second Runner Up: Gary Woodland

Runner Up: Robert Rock

Winner: Mike McNary (

(3JACK NOTES: Woodland is pretty obvious. He generates incredible power and does it rather effortlessly with nothing really goofy standing out. Oh, how I would love to see Rock come over from Europe to play on the PGA Tour full-time. And Mr. McNary continues to be tough to be for this title.)


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Important 3Jack E-Book Announcement

I am pleased to announce that I am almost finished with my e-book, 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis, a look at using advanced statistical analysis towards the game and the PGA Tour.

Initially, I had planned to charge $12.95 for a purchase of the e-book, in a .pdf file. But after much consideration, I have decided that I will be giving the e-book away for free for this year.

While I'm quite pleased with the progress I've made so far, I would like to get the book finished before the first tournament of the PGA Tour season (January 6th - Hyundai Tournament of Champions).

Pro Golf Synopsis will be a bit lengthy and thus it will require a lot of editing and while I had offers for free editing services, I don't want to burden those people with so much editing work and wanting them to do it in such a short period of time.

Furthermore, I have some ideas as to how I want the Pro Golf Synopsis to look in the future and I cannot do it for this past season because I didn't start my statistical research until about May of this year.

All in all, I just feel that there is too large of a learning curve for the initial 'offering' of the e-book and I didn't want to charge readers for that.

What I will probably do is put a 'PayPal Donation' tag on the blog and those who would like to contribute money for my effort, can feel free to do so.

In the end, I feel this is the best route to take as I can make alterations to the e-book based on feedback and other ideas I have in mind and then charge a fee for the e-book.

In the meantime, if somebody has a Web site where I could host the 2012 Pro Golf Synopsis file for free downloads, please let me know. I can be PM'd on the forum or e-mailed at

In the meantime, enjoy this rare Ben Hogan swing video that I recently spotted on YouTube.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Downhill Flop Shot Over a Bunker Video

A nice video from 3Jack Golf Top 20 Putting/Short Game Instructor, Shawn Clement. If there was one thing that I liked from Hank Haney's 'The Haney Project', it was how he went over various difficult shots with each student (Barkley, Romano and Limbaugh). These are the shots that often kill good rounds and send rounds immediately into a tailspin for a golfer. You can wind up with a tricky short game shot on the 2nd hole, flub a couple into the bunker, take a 9 and pretty much ruin the rest of your day.

For more experienced and skilled golfers like myself, we have hit those difficult shots many times and have the ability to figure it out when we haven't. So, it's always good to learn these shots and if you can, practice them as well so you will be prepared if the situation occurs.

Shawn can be found at


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wishon On MOI vs. Swingweight

This comes from Tom Wishon ( in his latest eTech Report with regards to MOI matching vs. Swingweight matching.

TWGT was the first company in 2003 to introduce the equipment and procedures for matching golf clubs by their moment of inertia (MOI) as an alternative to the traditional method of building clubs to a matched swingweight. Since that time, more than 700 clubmakers worldwide have invested in the MOI measurement and matching equipment with which to build golf clubs to offer golfers a means of matching clubs in a set based on an actual amount of force generated by golfers during their swing.

Invented in the 1920s, swingweight has been the predominant method used by all golf companies for assembling golf clubs to a form of weight distribution balance. Swingweight has been agreed by technical experts in the golf industry to be an arbitrary form of weight feel matching, based simply on the use of a specific scale and not related to an actual physical effort generated by golfers during the swing. TWGT’s MOI matching is based on building each club in the set to require the same amount of effort from the golfer to swing the club to unhinge the wrist-cock angle and release the club to hit the ball.

One of the common questions we hear about MOI matching is the subject of this month’s technical article, “how does swingweight compare to the MOI of an assembled golf club, and vice versa?” From this come other questions such as, “Does swingweight offer the same weight feel if it is duplicated for different lengths and different total weights in golf clubs?” In other words, “is D2 at one length and total weight the same as D2 at a different length and different total weight?” Or, “If D2 is a golfer’s best swingweight, will all clubs built for this same golfer need to be built to the same D2 swingweight?”

To come up with a means to answer the question in a technical manner and illustrate the relationship of swingweight and MOI, TWGT conducted a series of simple exercises to compare the swingweight and the MOI in a series of different drivers. Drivers were built with 4 different weight shafts at 3 different lengths with 3 different swingweights for each length, with the MOI for each measured. Below is a table that reveals the MOI for each different example driver.


In this test, please understand we are operating on the basis that the MOI of the assembled clubs is a fair indicator of similar to identical swing feel among the clubs. We base this premise on not only our experience with golfers and clubs built to MOI, but from feedback we have received from many of the clubmakers who have built MOI matched clubs for many golfers. Therefore, the above chart information can be taken to show that when drivers of different length and different shaft weight are made to the same swingweight, because their MOI’s are different, the actual swing feel of the drivers will also be different. In other words, D2 at 46” with a 76 gram shaft will not swing and feel the same as D2 at 45” with a 68 gram shaft. The same is true for any other comparison of clubs of identical swingweight but different length and different shaft weight. As playing length and shaft weight both decrease, the MOI also decreases, which has the effect of changing the swing feel of the club as well as changing the force required by the golfer to release the club to impact with the ball.

Next in our test we tackled the question, “if we know that clubs of the same swingweight but different length and shaft weight do not have the same swing feel, what then could be done to the swingweight to allow these clubs of different length and shaft weight to feel closer to the same when they are swung?”

Again, for this answer we turn to the MOI of the test drivers for a possible answer. Note the data in the following chart


What the above chart says is that as playing length and shaft weight decrease, to achieve the same swing feel in the club, the swingweight should be increased. In other words, if you build clubs to swingweight and you are decreasing the length of an existing driver for a golfer or building a new driver for the golfer, as length and shaft weight decrease in the club, the swingweight needs to increase slightly to restore the same swing feel at the longer length and heavier shaft weight.

Finally, as a result of all this work to test assemble drivers to a wide assortment of different lengths and shaft weights, we felt it might also be beneficial to simply share the information gathered for what a;; these different combinations of headweight, shaft weight, grip weight and length came out to be with respect to the swingweight, MOI and total weight. Or as one Clubmaker told us not too long ago, “there is no such thing as too much technical information about golf clubs!”

Have fun, and of course we welcome any comments or questions you may have either through our clubmaker forum or by email at



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

More AimPoint Musings...

After my latest get-together with David Graham ( working on AimPoint, I had some new thoughts on the subject:

1. If you went to an AimPoint clinic awhile ago, you need to go to the Advanced clinic or to an AimPoint instructor who is up-to-date on AimPoint.

I won't get into it too much, but David calls it 'chunking' and I refer to it as 'fragmenting the read.' Mark Sweeney has come up with a new method to help calculate the read that is simpler, quicker and makes even more sense. Even if you are quite good at AimPoint, learn how to 'fragment the read' and you'll thank me later for pointing this out to you.

2. AimPoint is about more than learning how to read greens.

What I've realized is that AimPoint is really a system that helps the golfer understand putting as a whole.

Not only the read of the putt, but what does it take for this putt to go in?

What putts are the toughest to make?

What putts are the easiest to make?

Why is speed so important?

That and many other questions that can now be answered much more accurately.

So, teaching people where to aim and how to read greens is only part of the equation.

3. Practice, practice, practice.

This is really where it's at. You need to practice because:

A. It helps you develop better feel with your feet.

B. Helps with understanding how to calculate the read faster and more accurately.

C. Helps get your routine down quicker.

D. Helps you develop more trust with the reads and the speed required to make the putt.

E. Helps with the execution of the putt.

4. 3Jack's way of figuring out the perceived read

Part of the issue one will face with AimPoint is being able to figure out what the read looks like. Let's say I have a putt that says 6 inches outside the right edge of the cup. That 6 inches will look different from 20 feet away than it would 5 feet away or 50 feet away.

One thing I do is I will walk up to the cup and stand nearly over the cup. I will then try to figure out what the distance looks like at the edge of the cup. In this instance, I may see that 6 inches from the right edge of the cup is where this lighter green colored spot is.

Then, I will focus on that spot as I walk back to my ball and that is the point where I will aim at.

5. Classifying User Errors

Here's how I classify my errors on putts missed (provided that they are a physically makeable putt).

General Read Error - This the worst of the errors to make because you are giving yourself almost no chance of making the putt. A good example is if I have a putt that I read to break to the right and it breaks left...that's an error.

After awhile, those type of errors will become less and less. But, you might still find these errors if you read a break to the right and it is straight or if you read a 1-way break and it has a double break to it.

For instance, Sunday on #13 at Eastwood Golf Club, I read a 10 inch break to the right and what it did was it broke to the right and about 3 feet to the cup it broke slightly left and then straightened out. That's a 'general read error' in my book. I didn't notice the slope going the other way the last 3-feet to the cup. But, that's more acceptable than a reading a putt to break one way and then it breaks the other way.

Calculation Error - This is when you make the general read correct, but your calculations are a bit off. You might read the putt at 6 inches, but mis-calculated the amount of slope and it actually breaks 10 inches. Or you might think you are at 4 o'clock on the fall line, but you are actually at 5 o'clock, and thus your read of 36 inches is actually at 10 inches.

For those who understand the fragmenting concept, sometimes I find that I screw up the math because I forget the numbers. But again, practice makes perfect.

Execution Errors - When the general read and calculation is correct, now it comes down to execution. There are a bunch of execution are some of them:

Perception Error - your perception of 6 inches outside the left edge is actually 10 inches outside the left edge.

Aiming Error- Perception is correct, but you aimed left or right of the target.

Speed Error - Putt hit too hard or too soft.

Mis-Hit Error - Putt hit off the toe or heel moves the ball off-line.

However, one of the great aspects of AimPoint is that it is designed for the putt to go to the middle of the cup. So even if you are off on any of these aspects of execution, you can still have a shot at making the putt. I just like to classify the errors to help with my AimPoint skills.



Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Force and Golf - Part III

In part III, I will discuss the role that force plays in equipment and clubfitting.

Again, let's go back to our golfers I have used as examples of a 'full sweep' release (Shane Bertsch).

And here's our 'snap' release in John Senden.


I feel Tom Wishon has a pretty good tool to help figure out what type of shaft a golfer needs. You can check this out at:

The components that they ask for are:

- Clubhead Speed
- Downswing Transition
- Wrist-cock release position

The only thing about this is that it recommends Wishon's own type of shafts, but he does have a variety of them in different characteristics.

The other thing we have to remember is that when we 'tip trim', it makes the shaft stiffer and will make the ball launch higher with more spin.

But, what we'll see is that the faster the clubhead speed or the harder the transition or the later the wrist cock, the stiffer the shaft tends to become. The only thing that has a bit of variance to it is the tip trimming.

I tell people this:

I can hit some tremendous shots with a shaft that is too weak of a flex for my golf swing. But, the issue is the consistency of being able to to hit those shots. That's because it becomes more difficult for me to time when that shaft is going to kick. IIRC, Dr. Sasho Mackenzie ( states for every 1 cm of that shaft kicking, it will close the face by 0.7* and add to the dynamic loft. That's in part why we tend to hit it higher and hook shafts that are too weak for us. The shaft kicks too much, too soon for us to handle.

Thus, somebody like Senden with the snap release, that club is accelerating much quicker than Bertsch'es full sweep release. Even if they were swinging the same clubhead speed, the difference in acceleration has to be accounted for. Thus, somebody like Senden needs a stiffer flex shaft to help the club not kick too much, too soon. And Bertsch needs a weaker flex so he can get the proper amount of kick.


In the past, we've generally seen Tour golfers with more of a snap release have heavier swingweights. And that's typically what clubfitters do for golfers.

While the principle was somewhat logical, what we now know about MOI matching, I think we have a far superior alternative.

Swingweight of a measurement of the dynamic weight of the club when we are swinging it.

MOI (for these purposes) measures the amount of force required to swing the club.

So swingweight is measuring the gravitational pull of the club as we swing it. But, MOI (for these purposes) is measuring the force required which is Mass x Acceleration.

Since I purchased my MOI machine, I am simply amazed at the accuracy of readings it gives. For instance, I hit my Wishon 555C 4-iron extremely well, but stuggled with the 3-iron. Finding out, the MOI for the 4-iron was 2,702. The 3-iron was 2,625 (they should be +/- 5 from the base MOI). I put some lead tape on the 3-iron and started hitting the 3-iron instantaneously better.

I also have a set of Mizuno TN-87 irons. I always struggled with the 8 thru PW, but hit the 3 thru 7-irons quite well. When I measured them on the machine, the 3 thru 7-iron were all in the range between 2,727 - 2,740. When I measured the 8 thru PW, they were in the range fo 2,655 - 2,670.

The concept of using swingweight was a good attempt as well as making the swingweight heavier for 'snap' release swings. If the club is too light for a snap release swing, the club could be accelerating too quickly for that light of a weight and then the golfer may wind up making a drastic adjustment to their swing.

But, since we have ways to measure the MOI, we can get a more accurate and important measurement.

We also have to remember this...I can have 2 different Mizuno MP-68 6-irons. I can make them the the same length and the same exact swingweight. But, they can have very different MOI readings.

I could simply put a heavier shaft in one of the 6-irons and backweight it enough until the swingweight matches the other 6-iron with the lighter shaft in it. But, the mass in both clubs is different and it could possibly affect the acceleration quite a bit as well.

MOI matching does make you hit the ball great. But, what it does is it helps get rid of those clubs you always seem to not hit as well as the rest of the clubs in the bag. Why? Because you don't have to alter your swing to get the right amount of force required to swing the club.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

3Jack Golf Blog Updated Certified D-Plane Instructor List

Here's an updated list of the Certified D-Plane instructors. I've recently added the following instructors:

Sam Quirke (United Kingdom)
Chris Lutes (Canada)
Josh Boggs (Ohio)
Tim Cooke (South Carolina)
Justin Blazer (Florida)
Matt Diedrichs (Canada)
Tony Trace (Ohio)
Stephan Kostelecky (Oklahoma)
Rob McGill (Tennessee)
Dennis Sales (Rhode Island)
Matthew Wilson (Canada)


Mark Blackburn
Guntersville, AL



Denny Alberts
Tuscon, AZ

Steve Bishop
Scottsdale, AZ
contact info not available

Chuck Evans
Mesa, AZ



Steve Khatib
Carlton, Sydney and Melbourne, Australia


Dana Dahlquist
Long Beach, CA

Paul Gorman
Fairfax, CA
Phone: 415-699-9117

Chris Gustin
San Juan Capistrano, CA

Andrew Marr
San Diego, CA

Bill McKinney
Rancho Santa Margarita, CA
Phone: (949) 702-2022

Michael McLoughlin
San Diego, CA
Phone: (858) 602-8608

Mike McNary
Santa Ana, CA

Palm Springs, CA


Matt Diederichs
Victoria, BC

Chris Lutes
Coquitlam, BC

John Randle
Victoria, BC

Nick Starchuk
Toronto, ON

Matthew Wilson
Toronto, ON



Dave Bove
Trumbull, CT

Matt Noel
Norwalk, CT



Mario Bevilacqua
Destin, FL
Phone: (484) 995-1629

Justin Blazer
Orlando, FL

Robert Campbell
Miami, FL

Dan Carraher
Winter Garden, FL

Sara Dickson
Naples, FL

Sean Foley
Orlando, FL

David Graham
Orlando, FL
(407) 238-7677

Keith Handler
Palm Beach Gardens, FL!

George Hunt
Orlando, FL

Steve Sieracki
West Palm Beach, FL

TJ Yeaton
St. Augustine, FL


Jeff Evans
Macon, GA

Tom Losinger
Woodstock, GA
Phone: (770) 345-5557

Brian McGrew
Dalton, GA
Phone: (706) 299-0013




Nick Clearwater
Chicago, IL

Ronnie Martin
Addison, IL


John Dal Corobbo
Carmel, IN




Mike Finney
Anchorage, KY

Chris Hamburger
Simpsonville, KY
Phone: (502) 722-2227

Jon Hardesty
Anchorage, KY


James Leitz
Slidell, LA

Brian Manzella
New Orleans, LA

Rob Noel
Abita Springs, LA

Brad Pullin
Choudrant, LA



Damon Lucas
Upper Marlboro, MD

Phil Rosenbaum
Hunt Valley, MD
(410) 527-4653 ext. 115


Billy Bondaruk
South Dennis, MA








Meindert Jan Boekel
Rijswijk, Netherlands


Joseph Mayo
Las Vegas, NV

Tom Sheely
Las Vegas, NV

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

John Graham
Webster, NY

Mike Jacobs
Manor Hill, NY

North Carolina

Bill DeVore
Charlotte, NC

Spencer Huggins
Buies Creek, NC

David Orr
Buies Creek, NC

Jason Sutton
Charlotte, NC

North Dakota


Josh Boggs
Canal Westchester, OH
(614) 596-1057

Tony Trace
Columbus, OH
(614) 507-8963


Stephan Kostelecky
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 749-0000


Martin Chuck
Bend, OR


Erik Barzeski
Erie, PA

Mike Bennett

John Dunigan
Newton Square, PA

James Hirshfield
Erie, PA

Andy Plummer

Kevin Shields
Sewickley Heights, PA

Dave Wedzik
Erie, PA

Audrey Ziff
Warminster, PA
(215) 517-7452

Rhode Island

Dennis Sales
Providence, RI

South Carolina

Tim Cooke
Hilton Head, SC

Andrew Rice
Bluffton, SC

South Dakota


Jaacob Bowden
Zurich, Switzerland


John Dochety
Tullahoma, TN

Errol Helling
Franklin, TN

Rob McGill
Murfreesboro, TN


United Kingdom

Phillipe Bonfanti
Swanage, UK

Ian Clark
Surrey, UK

Sam Quirke
Surrey, UK

Simon Williams
Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK





West Virginia




Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Force And Golf - Part II

In part II, we will discuss force and putting.

One of the questions I received from readers on my putting stroke mechanics series was 'why do heavier putters work better on faster greens and lighter putters work better on slower greens?'

The main point behind that concept is this: we want to make it so the golfer does not have to adjust their stroke too much going from one green speed to another.

This is a concept that companies like Edel Golf, who have interchangeable weight system in their Vari-Weight putter line, utilize.

So, let's go over some brief putting stroke concepts:

Tempo - The rate at which the putterhead swings in the stroke. Tempo can be fast, slow or somewhere in-between.

Rhythm - Keeping the tempo of the putter the same going back as it does thru. Not being able to do that is 'poor rhythm.'

Stroke Length - The length that the golfer swings the putterhead back. Typically, the longer the putt the longer the stroke length.

Now remember, we really want to keep the rhythm in tact. It doesn't quite matter what type of stroke you utilize or grip you use or if it's a fast tempo or a slow tempo, we want to have 'good' rhythm in our putting stroke.

Thus, what tends to alter as the green speed changes is the tempo and the stroke length. And that's where chaning putter weight can play a big role.

But, we have to go back to 'force.'

Force = Mass x Acceleration

Now, what do we know about green speeds and putting?

Faster Greens = less force required to get the ball to the cup.

Slower Greens = more force required to get the ball to the cup.

So, when we are on a faster putting surface, we increase the weight because that slows down our acceleration, which creates less force for a putt that requires less force.

Conversely, on slow greens we make the putter lighter because that increases our acceleration. This creates more force for a putt that requires more force.


Let's say you have a 30 foot putt. Your first time putting it's an 8 on the stimpmeter. The second time you putt, it's the same putt except the speed has been alterd to a 10 on the stimpmeter.

If you appropriately change the weights, and make the putter heavier with the faster stimp, you will have to make less of an adjustment to your putting stroke length and tempo. Your tempo will more naturally slow down because the putter is heavier, so will your acceleration.

So let's say you take that 30 foot putt on an 8 stimp and your backswing is 15 inches long. With the same putt on a 10 stimp, with the weight changed, that backswing may be 13 inches long.

But, if you didn't change the weights, you may go from a backstroke of 15 inches long on the 8 stimp to a backstroke of 7 inches long on the 10 stimp.

Thus, the change in weight allows the golfer to do less alteration of their putting stroke and that tends to make it easier for them.


We'll go back to part I where I discussed more of a 'full sweep' release versus 'snap' release in the golf swing.

Here's John Senden with the 'snap' release.

Here's Shane Bertsch with a 'full sweep' release.

There's a similar type of concept in putting. Somebody with a wristy stroke, like Arnold Palmer, is more like John Senden (snap). Somebody with a swinging/pendulum-esque stroke, like Ben Crenshaw, is more like Bertsch (full sweep).

The acceleration is different as well. Arnie's wristy stroke is more likely to accelerate more than Crenshaw's swinging, pendulum-esque stroke.

That's why most good wristy putters employ shorter and faster tempo strokes. While one could use a wristy stroke that is long and slow in tempo, it's a bit difficult to do since the wrists really want create more acceleration. Conversely, the swinging stroke usually creates less acceleration and the golfer has to find a way to get the ball to the cup, so they create a larger stroke.

In the end, the idea is that one can putt well with a wristy or swinging stroke, but they should probably try to find the compatible stroke length and tempo with that stroke action, otherwise they will fight consistently applying the right amount of force on the ball.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Force And Golf - Part I

First up, I wanted to direct some readers over to Ralph Perez’s Gotham Golf Blog with reference to a new technology called ‘4D Swing.’ I am a big fan of Ralph’s blog, but I try to keep the topics different because I think that allows readers to get more information for them. I would check out these links on 4dswing:

One more note, for those instructors looking to become D-Plane certified, please be patient as I’ve been very busy with the holidays. I will get everybody up to date in the next week or two.

In this series I will be discussing ‘Force’ in the golf swing. I was discussing this with a friend of mine and we agreed that not only is force crucial in the golf swing, but golfers could benefit from learning about force and then understand how to apply it in their game. But, force actually goes beyond the golf swing, which is what I will discuss in parts II and III.

So, what is force?

Force = Mass x Acceleration

First, let’s start with Mass.

What is mass?

Mass is the amount of matter in an object. This is different from weight because weight is the amount of gravitational pull an object has. Thus, if an object weight 200 pounds on earth, it will have much more gravitational pull than if the object is placed on the Moon. However, it’s mass will still be the same.

What is acceleration?

Acceleration is the increase in the rate of speed. If we are driving a car that is going 60 mph and then we press on the gas to make it go 80 mph, the velocity of the car is 80 mph, but the acceleration is 20 mph.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: I’m probably not phrasing this technically correct…but, acceleration has more influence on force than mass. That’s why we can’t just make our drivers super heavy in order to increase power off the tee. While the mass increases, the acceleration will likely be less and that dip in acceleration dampens the amount of force we can deliver to the club.


A big part of this I will get into in part III. But, let’s take a look at a golfer with more of a ‘full sweep release’ versus a golfer with more of a ‘snap release.’

Here’s a ‘full sweep release’ executed by Shane Bertsch.

As you can see, Bertsch ‘releases’ the clubHEAD, downward pretty early. To the layman golfer, they would probably think that Bertsch was bordering on ‘casting’ the club.

Now, let’s take a look at a ‘snap’ release by John Senden.

With Senden’s swing, he waits until the very last second to release the clubHEAD. To the layman golfer, it would appear that he has a lot of lag and is ‘driving the butt of the club past the ball.’

Now, it’s not to say that one is better than the other (in fact, Bertsch’s ballstriking metrics came out better than Senden’s in 2011). But, it’s to say that they are different swings that produce very different amounts of acceleration. In fact, Bertsch generates about 107 mph of clubhead speed compared to Senden’s 116 mph of clubhead speed.

And that difference in clubhead speed is probably, in large part, due to the different style of releases between Bertsch (full sweep) and Senden (snap).

The Golfing Machine discussed this for a bit with its Endless Belt Concept (2-K in TGM). Let’s say you have a rock that is tied to a length of string. Let’s say you want to twirl the rock in a circle from the other end of the piece of string. If you twirl it around in a big circle, like somebody trying to use a lasso, the amount of acceleration will be less, than if you ‘tighten’ the circle. Essentially, Bertsch has a much larger circle than Senden. In TGM, they would say that Bertsch’s ‘pulley’ is larger than Senden’s ‘pulley.’

Let’s say Bertsch wanted to greatly increase his clubhead speed. One way he could achieve this is by developing more of a snap type release like Senden has. That would increase his acceleration and create more force.

The problem is that golf is not based solely upon clubhead speed and power, it also has to do with accuracy and precision. Thus, somebody like Bertsch who attempts to go to more of a snap release, could struggle to do so. Lastly, it’s not that a full sweep release player cannot hit the ball long, but they will require more from their body pivot to help with the acceleration of the club.

Part II – Force and Putting, tomorrow


Monday, December 5, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Swings - Part V

Here we take a look at Alex Cejka:

Advanced Total Driving: 151st

Birdie Zone Ranking: 131st
Safe Zone Ranking: 7th
Danger Zone Ranking: 4th

Overall Zone Play Ranking: 9th
Total Ballstriking: 81st

Here are his radar stats:

Clubhead Speed: 107.4 mph
Launch Angle: 13.3* (5th highest on Tour)
Spin Rate: 2,495 rpm (33rd lowest on Tour)
Driving Distance Efficiency Ranking: 11th

Cejka's driving ranking is nothing to write home about, but it's more about his lack of clubhead speed than actual precision and accuracy. He actually finished 37th in fairway percentage, but 123rd in distance to the edge of the fairway on shots that wound up in the rough. This indicates that he was usually accurate off the tee, but when he missed he had a tendency to miss big. However, he was an elite mid to long iron player in 2011.

Here's a look at his swing.

Cejka is a Stack and Tilt player who utilizes a slightly more upright backswing than your typical S&T player uses. His swing is rather simplistic although he does appear to swing well out to the right with the driver, probably because if you look at his radar stats he appears to hit well up with the driver and by swinging out to the right (in this instance) it makes the path more square to the target.

Honorable Mention of Underrated Golf Swings:

Charles Warren - can't find a video of his swing, supreme ballstriking statistics.

Kyle Stanley - can't find a video of swing, young, but excellent ballstriking statistics

John Rollins - excellent driver of the ball and a solid iron player.

Robert Garrigus- More than just a bomber. Historically an *elite* mid to long iron player who also is a good short iron and wedge player.

Billy Mayfair - Probably the most underrated ballstriker and overrated putter of our generation.


Friday, December 2, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Swings - Part IV

In part IV, let's look at the rather simplistic but effective golf swing of Brian Davis

Here are the rankings in my metrics:

Advanced Total Driving: 34th

Birdie Zone Play: 7th
Safe Zone Play: 16th
Danger Zone Play: 47th

Overall Zone Play: 6th
Total Ballstriking: 8th

Here's a look at his radar stats:

Clubhead speed: 106.1 mph
Launch Angle: 12.52* (13th highest)
Spin Rate: 2,335 rpm (9th lowest)
Driving Distance Efficiency Rank: 1st


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Golf Swings - Part III

In part III we look at Chez Reavie. First, here are his rankings in my ballstriking metrics:

Advanced Total Driving: 5th

Birdie Zone Play: 129th
Safe Zone Play: 8th
Danger Zone Play: 12th

Overall Zone Play: 13th
Total Ballstriking: 5th

Here's a look at his radar stats:

Clubhead Speed: 110.3 mph
Launch Angle: 11.59* (44th highest)
Spin Rate: 2,632 rpm (71st lowest)
Driving Distance Efficiency: 2.65 (6th)


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Golf Swings - Part II

Here's a look at Kevin Stadler's metrics from this year:

Advanced Total Driving Ranking: 52nd

Birdie Zone Ranking: 54th
Safe Zone Ranking: 26th
Danger Zone Ranking: 8th

Overall Zone Ranking: 7th
Total Ballstriking Ranking: 18th

Clubhead speed: 112.3 mph
Launch Angle: 11.7* (41st highest)
Spin Rate: 2,758 rpm (119th lowest)
Driving Distance Efficiency Ranking: 73rd

Similar to Jim Furyk, Stadler gets very upright in the backswing and then manages to flatten out the shaft tremendously in the downswing. I think Trackman and clubfitters would say that Stadler's driver is close to optimally fitting his swing becasue he's not generating too much or too little spin and the launch angle is not ridiculously high.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Underrated PGA Tour Golf Swings - Part I

For this week, I will be doing a 5 part series on 'Underrated Golf Swings on the PGA Tour.'

First, what makes a 'underrated golf swing?'

I believe that results matter. So, a golfer may have a very nice looking swing or something that appears mechanically sound, but if their results are poor, then it's not really a great swing. Stuart Appelby and Trevor Immelman are great examples of nice looking swings and 'name' players whose results do not match up with their swing cosmetics.

Anyway, one of the first players I discovered from the research in my e-book is Shane Bertsch.

Here's a look at Bertsch's stats:

Advanced Total Driving: 97th

Birdie Zone Ranking: 6th
Safe Zone Ranking: 6th
Danger Zone Ranking: 44th

Overall Zone Play: 3rd
Total Ballstriking: 26th

Clubhead speed: 107.9 mph
Launch Angle: 11.05*
Spin Rate: 2,284 rpm (3rd lowest)
Max Height: 67.3 feet (lowest on Tour)

Here's a couple of videos of his swing. I think from a body pivot perspective, his swing is exceptional.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part V

In the final part of the series, I will discuss how green reading can influence the putting stroke mechanics. As many of you may know, I am a big proponent of AimPoint Golf's green reading system (

First, let's go over the 'Geometry of a Putt.'

What many amateurs do is that they will aim at the apex of the curve instead of aiming above the apex of the curve. We essentially aim above the apex so when we make contact with the ball, it will roll on the intended line.

From a stroke mechanics perspective, this really plays into the first objective...obtain the optimal speed on the putt so we optimize the effective size of the cup. We WILL make more putts if the effective size of the cup is about 4 inches wide than if it is 3 inches wide or 2 inches wide or 1 inch wide.

What golfers tend to do (and I was guilty of this as well) is that they aim at the apex instead of above the apex.

You're probably asking 'how does that affect the stroke mechanics?'


If you aim at the apex, the only way you are going to start making putts is if you stroke the ball harder to reduce the amount of break. Let's say the AimPoint chart says you need to aim 3 inches outside the right edge, but the apex is actually at 2 inches outside the right edge. If you aim at the apex (2 inches outside the right edge), you will need to stroke the ball harder to take off that 1 inch difference.

And what happens is that when you start missing putts by hitting them too hard, then you will probably counter that by hitting some putts too soft and then your brain goes a bit haywire on you and you start to lose confidence in your putting. You then start to blame it on other things like the putter, the stroke type (wristy, swinging, push/piston), jabbing at the ball instead of staying in rhythm, etc.


If you have watched Phil Mickelson struggle with the flatstick over the years, you will notice that his biggest struggles are from 3 to 10 feet. He will actually make a lot of long putts, but miss putts from short distance badly.

If you also watch Mickelson on those shorter putts, he usually has a tendency to miss with a hard lip-out or knock a 4-footer about 4-feet past the cup.

What happens with Mickelson on the shorter putts is that he has the philosophy of 'hit the putt harder so I can reduce the amount of break and that will make it easier for me to sink the putt.'

The problem is that Mickelson is actually shrinking the size of the cup he is putting to and actually making it MORE difficult to make that putt. He now has to be aimed more precisely, hit the sweetspot more precisely and hope that a small indentation or a spike mark does not knock the ball off that line at all.

If Mickelson understood optimal speed's impact on his putting and knew where to aim, he would make a lot more putts.

Good putting starts with good speed, not with a 'good line.'


One thing I've found is that many times I'll read a putt with AimPoint and I don't quite trust the read and then get penalized for that lack of trust.

For example, I may have a read of 12 inches outside the left edge. But, it may feel more like 7 inches.

Obviously, that can just be me being used to reading the apex of the putt and if I stroke the putt, I'll miss on the low side. But, it can also be a case of me mis-reading the *speed* of the putt as well. And often times I'll realize that I was prepared to hit the ball too hard for that putt and now I have to adjust my aim and adjust my stroke to hit the putt softer.

Over time, this will make an impact on the stroke mechanics you use to execute the proper amount of speed on putts.


I find that if you use AimPoint and practice it, you can greatly improve this aspect if you are aware about it.

For instance, in the AimPoint clinic I attended, I would often see the other students get the read down and know *where* to aim, but they would mis-aim the putter and try to compensate with the stroke.

I mostly saw golfers aim too far left and then incorporate an inside-to-out stroke to get the ball at the target. And they would tend to miss putts breaking to the left too low and putts breaking to the right too high.

Here's the breakdown (for righties):

LEFT AIM BIAS = Miss left breaking putts on the low side, right breaking putts on the high side.

RIGHT AIM BIAS = Miss left breaking putts on the high side, right breaking putts on the low side.

Lastly, one can understand the physics imparted on putts better and use that to improve their stroke mechanics.

What a lot of people, even those who use AimPoint, don't understand is that the AimChart is just telling the golfer *where* to aim. It is NOT telling the golfer the line of the putt.

Essentially, it's telling you where to aim so you can roll the ball on the line needed to make the putt go dead center into the cup.

Where I find this extremely important is on putts that have more of an early break to them.

For example, I may read a 20-foot putt at 18 inches outside the right edge, but it feels like it will break more like 12 inches. That's because I don't see the break being as prononced.

However, what will happen is that after impact, the ball will IMMEDIATELY take off to the left in the first 3-feet. Then the next 17-feet of the putt the putt may roll relatively straight. But, if I didn't aim to the right of the cup enough, I would have never made the putt because I didn't correctly account for that break immediately after impact.

Those putts are putts that often confuse golfers. If they miss the putt badly left, they may incorrectly assume that they pulled the putt when they actually just mis-aimed the putt at address. So they start working on their putting stroke mechanics instead of working on their green reading skills and knowing where to aim.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part IV

In part III, I discussed the stroke mechanics that most closely relate to speed/touch. Now I will go over the stroke mechanics that relate most closely to getting the ball to initially roll at the intended target.


Perhaps the greatest myth in putting stroke mechanics takes place at address. This is the myth that the golfer should have the 'eyes over the ball at address.'

There is no scientific evidence that this is required or it will make somebody a better putter.

Instead, I tend to agree with Geoff Mangum in that the eyes should be looking in the same direction as the person's face.

For instance, in the FULL golf swing, we see a lot of golfers being told to have their 'chin up' at address with their eyes looking down at the ball. Thus, their face is directed one way while their eyes are looking in a completely different direction.

Essentially, we are better off looking at the ball at address, whether it be a full swing or the putting stroke, just like we would look at a book to read a book. We would not have our chin up and look down to read a book. The same applies for putting or the full swing.

By 'looking at the ball as if you were reading a book', you'll start to aim a bit better and your stroke path will fit you a bit better.


There is a series of free YouTube videos on the stroke by Geoff Mangum that start with this video (6 part series) that I highly recommend.

One of the important and overlooked factors that helps with aim at address is the head swivel *before* the golfer strokes the putt. Mangum discusses it in one of the videos.

Essentially, we look at the intended target one last time before we putt. Golfers can do themselves a lot of good by having a simple head swivel to look at the target.

Since I'm right handed, the head swivel would look at the intended target by moving my chin (from my perspective) in a clockwise position. The chin would move from 6 o'clock to about 9 o'clock.

As Mangum shows in the videos, it is best to swivel the head so if the golfer were to afix something in the center of the top of their would *not* actually move. It would just rotate as your head swivels to look at the intended target.

When the top of the cranium moves, it messes with the aim.

The head swivel not only helps with aim, but also with the golfer getting a sense of feel for the speed required on the putt. It's really a 'bang-bang motion.' You want to head swivel, aim and get the feel, return the eyes to the ball and stroke the putt. If you take too long it can disrupt your speed.

Put it this way, it's amazing when watching amateurs who have a crucial putt and they concentrate on the read and line of the putt. They will often read it quite well and have the putt online...but leave it short. They focused on everything but the speed/touch.

All that being said, the head swivel probably helps more with aim than with speed, but it's important to note both.


Here are the 'traditional' stroke paths that golfers have been taught.

1. Straight Back - Straight Thru

2. Symmetrical Arc

Here are some paths that golfers make despite not being taught them (and can still putt well with these strokes).

1. 'Cut Across' Stroke

2. Inverted Symmetrical Arc (looks like a 'U' shape to the golfer)

3. 'Inside-to-Out' stroke

Like I stated, there are golfers who have putted well with each type of stroke. They have a good sense of touch/speed on putts and one way or the other, they can get the putter face square to the target at impact to allow the ball to initially roll at the intended target.


Marius Filmalter is a former co-founder of the SAM Puttlab and TOMI putting system. He has a Web site at

He along with Mangum recommend a stroke that arcs in the backstroke, arcs back to impact and then goes straight thru, down the line in the follow thru.

The reason being is that what really matters is at impact we get the face square to the intended target. In putting, the stroke path tends to influence what the face does.

With a Straight Back Straight thru stroke, the golfer has to manipulate the putter face and their arms and shoulders in the backstroke. This can throw off the thru stroke.

With the symmetrical arc stroke, the follow thru has to arc inward. This can cause the golfer to manipulate the pivot action...albeit minute...of their shoulders and hips.

With the Filmalter and Mangum recommended stroke, we don't have to manipulate the back stroke or the follow thru. It takes a lot of the timing required in the Straight Back-Straight Thru and the Symmetrical Arc stroke.

Mangum's video 'Reality of Putting' has a part called the 'Hansel and Gretal' technique that will allow the golfer to easily achieve this type of stroke.

I've found that for me, my tendency is to open the putter face right before impact. The Hansel and Gretal technique does a great job of preventing the putter head from opening up at impact.


This is more about 'compatibility' than 'mandatory.' So it's more 'recommended' by me, than 'you must do this.'

It should be noted that if a golfer wants to use the Filmalter/Mangum stroke (arc back, straight thru) that they can have a bigger arc in the backstroke or a smaller arc in the backstroke. Also remember, we want the *rhythm* of the stroke to be the same back as it is thru. The *tempo* (pace the putterhead is moving) may be different.

Wristy Action

- bigger or smaller arc in backstroke

- shorter stroke length

- quicker tempo

- back or forward ball position

Swinging Action

- bigger or smaller arc in backstroke

- longer stroke length

- slower tempo

- back or forward ball position

Push/Piston Action

- smaller arc backstroke

- longer or shorter stroke length

- slower or quicker rhythm

- forward ball position


As I discussed in part III, we want the pace of the putterhead to be the same in the backstroke as it is in the thru stroke.

What higher handicappers tend to do is that they have a pace that is either too slow or too fast.

Higher handicappers tend to start out by decelerating the putterhead in the thru-stroke. Then they either struggle with that OR they try to counter it by accelerating the putterhead. We want the pace to be in rhythm....same pace back as the same pace thru.

I find that those who decelerate, their 'bad' strokes almost always leave the putter face open at impact. Those who accelerate will have 'bad' strokes that will either push or pull.

According to the Karlsen and Nilssen study, the good players, including European PGA Tour players, almost always had a thru stroke that was too slow. Again, I believe this is because the good players tend to be more careful.

A question was posed by David Orr ( as to why it seems like golfers made a lot more long putts when they were junior golfers and my belief is junior golfers had very good rhythm in their putting stroke even if the rest of the mechanics are sloppy. But, once they get better and gain experience, that experience works against them as they try to be more 'careful' and in turn, their thru stroke is moving too slow.


One of the things I found interesting in Mangum's videos is how grip pressure plays such an important role in putting and how most people fix issues with putting by incorrectly adjusting their grip pressure.

With the way putters are designed, if the grip pressure is TOO LIGHT, the golfer is now more apt to have the putter face OPEN at impact and miss the putt to the right.

Thus, golfers tend to grip the putter TOO LIGHTLY and need to grip the putter MORE FIRMLY. Of course, gripping it too tight can be problematic as well. But, too many golfers grip the putter too lightly.

I believe it's simple. Golfer are taught to grip the putter lightly. And when they have some yips, they are told that they are need to grip the club even lighter. But, the reality is that they cannot afford to grip it lighter. There *might* be other issues with their poor putting than grip pressure, but the prescription of gripping the putter lighter is typically not a good one.

Lastly, Mangum shows the importance of the neckline and how that can affect what the putterface is doing at impact.

Part V tomorrow.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Putting Stroke Mechanics - Part III

In part I, I discussed that when it comes to mechanics, I believe golfers are better off at executing the process instead of focusing on the ultimate result (making the putt).

Meaning...when it comes to mechanics golfers should focus more on having the optimal speed/touch on a putt and rolling the ball initially at their intended target. If they do that...they will start making more putts.

Parts I and II went over the influence that the putter has on the mechanics and touch along with getting the ball to initially roll at the target.

Now we can discuss the actual mechanics. And in part III we will discuss the mechanics and their influence on the touch/speed.

But once again, let me reiterate that there is no one way to putt well.


Here's the Mangum video on 'optimal speed.'

I'll go over the key points:

1. Speed of the ball influences the effective size of the cup.

2. We want to have the optimal speed in order to make the effective size of the cup the largest we can make it.

3. The larger the effective size of the cup, the more likely we will make the putt.

4. Optimal speed will be a speed where the ball hits the back plastic of the cup.

5. If the ball hits the back dirt, it can still go in...but it's NOT optimal speed. Same with if the ball lands on the middle of the cup.

6. Optimal speed is about 2-3 revolutions per/second

7. Pelz's 17 inches past the cup is factually incorrect.

8. Also, Pelz's 17 inches past the cup is not a 'speed', it's a distance.

From what I've been told, if you have optimal speed on a putt (2-3 revolutions per second) it will roll about 6 to 12 inches past the cup in most instances.

BUT, it will be closer to 6 inches past the cup on slower putts (slow stimp and/or uphill putts). And it will be closer to 12 inches on downhill putts (fast stimp and/or downhill putts).


I'm going to classify the stroke actions as follows:

1. Pendulum Swinging (i.e. Crenshaw)

2. Wristy (i.e. Casper)

3. Push/piston with trail hand (i.e. DiMarco with 'Gator Grip')

Any one of these types of actions can achieve a good, consistent speed on putts. There is no 'bias' towards hitting them too hard or too soft with these types of actions.


We have our basic grips in putting like the overlap, interlock, reverse overlap grips, etc. Those grips can be used in conjunction with swinging and wristy strokes. I don't recommend the push/piston action because of the position of the trail arm.

Lead Hand Low Grip - Ala Jim Furyk. Probably best for a swinging motion. So, if you like a wristy motion or a push/piston motion, lead hand low is a poor idea.

Corey Pavin Grip - Pavin had a grip where he put his right palm under the grip so the fingernails of the right hand would be on top of the pistol grip. This is more compatible swinging or push-piston grips. Not good with wristy strokes.

Split Grips - Hands split apart like Hubert Green. More compatilble with swinging or push/piston grips.

Hands bunched together - grip is more compatible with a wristy action.

Claw Type grips - this is a push/piston action grip. Avoid using swinging or wristy actions with this grip. If you use these type of grips, understand that it's for those who putt best with a push-piston action


There's a lot of people who believe that Tiger putts so well (or at least did) because of his posture at address and want to employ a flat spine type of posture. To me, this is ridiculous since we have such a minimal amount of pivot in the putting stroke that posture does not play a role in our touch/speed on the green. I will get to the other part of this in part IV.

Furthermore, the 'flat spine' posture can actually hur tthe back since the spine is not designed as flat.

BALL POSITION - the ball can be moved forward or back, depending on one's stroke and the putter. If one has the ball back towards the middle of the stance and does not hit much down on the ball, they will probalby need a higher loft than somebody who has the ball position up in their stance and hits up on the ball.

Crenshaw played the ball forward and hit up more and putted best with a low lofted (2*) Wilson 8802 putter. Padraig Harrington played the ball back in his stance and did not hit as much up on the ball and putted best with a higher lofted Odyssey putter (4*).

I would recommend not playing the ball further back than the middle of your stance. I think any type of stroke action (wristy, swinging or push/piston) can utilize an upward or further back ball position, depending on how the golfer executes those strokes and what type of putter they have.


A major fallacy in putting is that the grip should be loose. However, according to Mangum the grip should be 'firm.' Unfortunately, it's difficult to judge what is 'firm' and what is 'loose.' But, the way the putters are designed, a loose grip has a tendency to lead the putter blade open at impact.

What often happens is a golfer that has the 'yips' and leaves the blade open at impact will then tell themselves to loosen the grip and that just makes them yip it even worse. Thus, it hurts both their ability to hit the ball over the intended target and their speed.


For more on this, I highly recommend watching Geoff Mangum's 'Reality of Putting' video.

For these purposes, when I say 'rhythm' with the putting stroke, we want the putter head to be traveling at virtually the same pace going back as it does going thru.

It doesn't matter if the pace is fast or very slow, we just want the pace to be the same. Here's some good rules of thumb:

Swinging stroke = slower pace, longer stroke

Wristy stroke = faster pace, shorter stroke

Push/Piston stroke = faster pace, shorter stroke

Obviously, we run into 2 issues with rhythm:

1. Thru-stroke is at a faster pace than backstroke

2. Thru-stroke is at a slower pace than the backstroke.

What I've found usually happens is that when golfers first start to get into the game and struggle with their putting, it's because their thru-stroke slows down...mainly because they 'move their head.' Then, to counter that...they 'jab' at the ball by making their thru-stroke too fast.

But, according to the Karlsen and Nilssen study, they have found that low handicap golfers tend to make the mistake of having a thru stroke that is TOO SLOW. I believe that this is done because the golfer is trying to be 'too careful' in the thru stroke, particularly with the stroke mechanics, how well they hit the ball and their speed. But, by being 'too careful' they actually become WORSE with their stroke path, ball contact and speed.

Just remember, same pace back as the same pace thru.

TIP: When taking practice strokes, close your eyes and repeatedly make practice strokes focusing on your rhythm. Do NOT stop, just keep making the practice strokes. Say to yourself 'ONE (backstroke), TWO (thru-stroke) at the same pace.


One can have any sort of stroke length as long as it fits their stroke action.

Nicklaus' hybrid action of wristy and push-piston created a shorter stroke length. But, the rhythm was the same pace back as the same pace thru.

It's quite simple, the amount of distance once can hit the ball (provided it hits the sweetspot) is due to the speed of the stroke and the length of the stroke.

So, if I have Nicklaus and Crenshaw putting from 30 feet, with Nicklaus having a faster stroke, Crenshaw's stroke will need to be longer to get his slower paced stroke to the cup.

Golfers need to figure out if they are struggling with speed/touch, is it due to rhythm or is it due to the length of the putt. And then understand the basic principles of each type of stroke action (wristy, swinging or piston) and see what works for them the best.


Obviously, moving the head is a bad thing. I find that it affects the line of the putt more than the speed, but it certainly affects the speed. It's not that the head cannot move, but it should not happen before or at impact. I recommend Mangum's 'Reality of Putting' video and check out the 'Hansel and Gretal' technique to avoid that head movement.


Near the end of the 'optimal speed' video, Mangum states that the golfer should visualize the speed needed for the ball to go into the cup to where it hits the back plastic of the cup 'optimal speed.'

He also says that visualizing to hit a putt a certain length is NOT how the brain works best.

I agree. So when you're looking at the cup as you get to putt, I feel it's best to visualize the putt going into the cup at a certain speed than focusing on a length.

HOWEVER, if you happen to struggle with the speed, as a LAST RESORT I will aim to a certain distance. If the greens are playing slower than I thought, I may visualize 1 foot past the cup. If the greens are too fast, I may visualize front edge. But again, it's a LAST RESORT.

I highly recommend looking at Mangum's discussion of how the brain NATURALLY has touch and how to use stroke rhythm and tempo to use the brain's natural sense of touch to your advantage on the green.

part IV - NEXT