Putting Technique: breaking wrists

So I have been watching the Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf lately, very curious about the putting technique that I saw Chi Chi and company using, hitting the ball with a breaking-wrist motion instead of the modern quiet-wrist and pendulum motion. Does anybody here still use that technique? Were those putters balanced the same way as modern putters?

Comments

  • SocratesSocrates How can it be so *&#% hard to make a shoulder turn? WinnipegClubWRX Posts: 9,236 ClubWRX
    Virtually no one uses that technique any more. You have to remember that the greens back then were anything but smooth and if you were to Stimp them, they commonly would be slower than 8' at the best of times. The 'stroke' they used was designed to pop the ball out of the little depression it sat in and get it rolling (well, bouncing) on top of the grass. There really has been no need to have this kind of 'stroke' for decades as the greens are like table tops now. Unless you go to home course of the CPG.



    Balanced? Not in the slightest.
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  • Chris122Chris122 Banned Posts: 611 ✭✭
    Have wondered the same after SWWOG and All Star Golf with Arnie and Frank Stranahan.

    I remember being told that 'short back and long through' was a good stroke and I'm not convinced that is out of place today in terms of golf in the UK where we're playing on longer greens at this time of year and even in the summer on fast running seaside greens where the 'modern' stroke is liable to lead to deceleration and quitting on the stroke which never happens with 'short and long'.

    I recently watched a video on one of my favourite YT channels where the pro gave a tip for holing more putts of 4' to 6' distance using the pendulum stroke but on close viewing you could see him slow the putter down before impact and the following day on my home course I was putting at twice the distance but only using half the 'backswing' that he had employed and with reasonable success.

    I like the shorter stroke because it promotes a positive and more accurate strike on the ball as the putter is travelling a shorter distance,the big difference would be that I don't hinge the wrist.
  • SocratesSocrates How can it be so *&#% hard to make a shoulder turn? WinnipegClubWRX Posts: 9,236 ClubWRX
    The more common method today is constant sped through the hitting zone. No deceleration and no acceleration. There are some that still put with a short pop stroke which I assume accelerates through the ball. Snedeker for example. Whatever gets the ball into the hole more often.
    Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"
    Cobra F8 5-6 Fwy at 18.5° Stiff
    Ping i20 3 Hyb 707H Stiff
    X2 Hot 4_-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
    Ping Forged 52°, ES 56º and ES 60º
    Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.5"
    MCC Align Midsize
    Moving to the bench:
    Jazz Bear Cat 3 wd Aerotech Stiff
    Vokey SM2 52º cc
    Scotty X7M Dual 38"
  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,296 ✭✭
    Soc basically nailed it with both posts.
  • sheldonjhackersheldonjhacker Members Posts: 3,700 ✭✭
    the ONLY putting thought I have is FIRM wrists. And it works for me. image/nyam.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':nyam:' />
  • hnryclayhnryclay Members Posts: 238 ✭✭
    I used to use the Nicklaus crouch but did not break my wrists. Now I use the claw style taking put my right hand completly, although still using vintage putters. Back then it seems like every player had thier own style.
  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,203 ✭✭
    I like to feel I am "bowling" the putter with the right hand, but I have to avoid flipping with the wrists as it doesn't end well for me if I get wristy.



    Isao Aoki is another pro who was very wristy. He still putts the way he used to, with the ball quite far away from him and the toe putting up.
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  • skajaquada77skajaquada77 Members Posts: 194 ✭✭
    Watching the Seve - Johnny Miller duel at the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, Seve crouches over the ball, but his wrists seemed pretty firm... he only breaks his wrists a tiny bit on very long putts, but thats probably still the case for anybody playing links courses or 30+ feet putts. I wonder when they started changing the putting technique? Late 60s/early 70s?
  • SocratesSocrates How can it be so *&#% hard to make a shoulder turn? WinnipegClubWRX Posts: 9,236 ClubWRX


    Watching the Seve - Johnny Miller duel at the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, Seve crouches over the ball, but his wrists seemed pretty firm... he only breaks his wrists a tiny bit on very long putts, but thats probably still the case for anybody playing links courses or 30+ feet putts. I wonder when they started changing the putting technique? Late 60s/early 70s?


    Somewhere in around that time frame. Greens agronomy started to get much better and also was the end of the Arnold Palmer era. Coincidence? Tom Watson was likely the Poster Child for the 'new' putting technique.
    Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"
    Cobra F8 5-6 Fwy at 18.5° Stiff
    Ping i20 3 Hyb 707H Stiff
    X2 Hot 4_-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
    Ping Forged 52°, ES 56º and ES 60º
    Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.5"
    MCC Align Midsize
    Moving to the bench:
    Jazz Bear Cat 3 wd Aerotech Stiff
    Vokey SM2 52º cc
    Scotty X7M Dual 38"
  • skajaquada77skajaquada77 Members Posts: 194 ✭✭
    Socrates wrote:


    Watching the Seve - Johnny Miller duel at the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, Seve crouches over the ball, but his wrists seemed pretty firm... he only breaks his wrists a tiny bit on very long putts, but thats probably still the case for anybody playing links courses or 30+ feet putts. I wonder when they started changing the putting technique? Late 60s/early 70s?


    Somewhere in around that time frame. Greens agronomy started to get much better and also was the end of the Arnold Palmer era. Coincidence? Tom Watson was likely the Poster Child for the 'new' putting technique.




    Thanks for all your answers and for sharing your knowledge, much appreciated!
  • Chris122Chris122 Banned Posts: 611 ✭✭
    Bob Charles used a firm wristed putting stroke which helped him win the '63 Open Championship and is also evident in his match against Bob Goalby on SWWOG from 1962,his choice of weapon was a Bullseye.

    Improved agronomy might have had some part to play but there was also a a marked difference in choice of putters and grips.

    Acushnet bought out Reuters in 1962 the same time that Ray Cook brought out the M1 and 1966 the Ping Anser emerged.
  • SocratesSocrates How can it be so *&#% hard to make a shoulder turn? WinnipegClubWRX Posts: 9,236 ClubWRX

    Socrates wrote:


    Watching the Seve - Johnny Miller duel at the 1976 Open at Royal Birkdale, Seve crouches over the ball, but his wrists seemed pretty firm... he only breaks his wrists a tiny bit on very long putts, but thats probably still the case for anybody playing links courses or 30+ feet putts. I wonder when they started changing the putting technique? Late 60s/early 70s?


    Somewhere in around that time frame. Greens agronomy started to get much better and also was the end of the Arnold Palmer era. Coincidence? Tom Watson was likely the Poster Child for the 'new' putting technique.




    Thanks for all your answers and for sharing your knowledge, much appreciated!


    That must mean I’ve reached WCV* status.



    *Wiley Cagey Veteran
    Ping G400 9º TFC 419 Stiff at 45"
    Cobra F8 5-6 Fwy at 18.5° Stiff
    Ping i20 3 Hyb 707H Stiff
    X2 Hot 4_-PW Recoil 660 F3 +1/2"
    Ping Forged 52°, ES 56º and ES 60º
    Ping Sigma2 Valor at 34.5"
    MCC Align Midsize
    Moving to the bench:
    Jazz Bear Cat 3 wd Aerotech Stiff
    Vokey SM2 52º cc
    Scotty X7M Dual 38"
  • birly-shirlybirly-shirly Members Posts: 3,247 ✭✭
    Socrates wrote:


    Virtually no one uses that technique any more. You have to remember that the greens back then were anything but smooth and if you were to Stimp them, they commonly would be slower than 8' at the best of times. The 'stroke' they used was designed to pop the ball out of the little depression it sat in and get it rolling (well, bouncing) on top of the grass. There really has been no need to have this kind of 'stroke' for decades as the greens are like table tops now. Unless you go to home course of the CPG.



    Balanced? Not in the slightest.




    Not arguing with any of that, but just wonder how it squares with the experience of the average golfer in my neck of the woods (UK). I believe Open Championship greens have stimped below 10 to maintain fairness in windier conditions - in which case I wonder how much slower than that the average UK club's greens are.



    I've long thought that current trends in putter design, as regards length and weight, as much as they probably do reflect tour usage, are NOT a very good fit with the greens I routinely encounter. The same would probably go for technique.



    IOW, I'm a product of my environment. That's my excuse, and I'll be sticking to it!
  • scomac2002scomac2002 Inside the Starters' Hut Members Posts: 5,521 ✭✭

    Socrates wrote:


    Virtually no one uses that technique any more. You have to remember that the greens back then were anything but smooth and if you were to Stimp them, they commonly would be slower than 8' at the best of times. The 'stroke' they used was designed to pop the ball out of the little depression it sat in and get it rolling (well, bouncing) on top of the grass. There really has been no need to have this kind of 'stroke' for decades as the greens are like table tops now. Unless you go to home course of the CPG.



    Balanced? Not in the slightest.




    Not arguing with any of that, but just wonder how it squares with the experience of the average golfer in my neck of the woods (UK). I believe Open Championship greens have stimped below 10 to maintain fairness in windier conditions - in which case I wonder how much slower than that the average UK club's greens are.



    I've long thought that current trends in putter design, as regards length and weight, as much as they probably do reflect tour usage, are NOT a very good fit with the greens I routinely encounter. The same would probably go for technique.



    IOW, I'm a product of my environment. That's my excuse, and I'll be sticking to it!




    I agree 100%! I actually think that a great deal of equipment design is being driven by the professional game and the sorts of conditions they typically encounter. That makes the recreational player a bit of a square peg often being pounded into a round hole under the guise of custom fitting. I don't think that it's any surprise that vintage putters and wedges are at least as effective as current designs on many of the course conditions a recreational player will encounter.
    Your problem is LOFT -- Lack of friggin' talent!
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  • @_the_crook@_the_crook Members Posts: 652 ✭✭
    example of what older putters were designed for, in terms of the greens.

    this one could pop a ball up with almost no wrist action at all.



    MacGregor Pacemaker. Reg number 3682.

    has some serious loft.

    with a different shaft it could almost be a one iron.



    absolutely a gas to work with on a practice mat.





    pics:
    currently playing:
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    it works

    when I need a change, there are 12 bags full to choose from .
  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,296 ✭✭


    example of what older putters were designed for, in terms of the greens.

    this one could pop a ball up with almost no wrist action at all.



    MacGregor Pacemaker. Reg number 3682.

    has some serious loft.

    with a different shaft it could almost be a one iron.



    absolutely a gas to work with on a practice mat.





    pics:
    I have several similar to that one including the one Randy gave me. I have been known to use them when it has been wet and the crews have not been able to mow the greens. I also tend to use them on some of the goat ranch courses around here. Not as much anymore since most of them are closed now. I think the last time the subject of these putters was brought up I found my old Sears SR model I used to play 1 club bets with still had a crown cord on it. I would never use a classic Mac or H&B for a 1 club match. But you are correct it is darn near a 1 iron
  • @_the_crook@_the_crook Members Posts: 652 ✭✭
    BIG STU wrote:



    example of what older putters were designed for, in terms of the greens.

    this one could pop a ball up with almost no wrist action at all.



    MacGregor Pacemaker. Reg number 3682.

    has some serious loft.

    with a different shaft it could almost be a one iron.



    absolutely a gas to work with on a practice mat.





    pics:
    I have several similar to that one including the one Randy gave me. I have been known to use them when it has been wet and the crews have not been able to mow the greens. I also tend to use them on some of the goat ranch courses around here. Not as much anymore since most of them are closed now. I think the last time the subject of these putters was brought up I found my old Sears SR model I used to play 1 club bets with still had a crown cord on it. I would never use a classic Mac or H&B for a 1 club match. But you are correct it is darn near a 1 iron




    I'm happy to bring an older model putter out for a game but there are some that are just not designed for the faster greens on todays courses.

    I usually play better with a slightly offset model but can get away with a straight shaft to the hosel design like a bullseye or augusta.

    when I can find nice gooseneck type brand does not matter.

    always fun to play and share.
    currently playing:
    Steelhead III , FT-5 - D
    Warbirds, 3+, 4
    Hogan BH-5, 3-PW
    Wilson DynaPowered SW
    Ping Anser
    it works

    when I need a change, there are 12 bags full to choose from .
  • stixmanstixman Hew to the line. Let the divots fall where they may. 1926 Golf I Members Posts: 1,833 ✭✭
    Plenty of old putters were brilliant of slick greens. Thing is that the old Silver Swan alloy mallets and the soft brass Golden Goose originals and clones would be much more expensive to make but their touch and feel was unsurpassed. As was the old plain blade especially when rolled off the toe.

    The bling, hype and marketing of a modern putter doesn't make it 'per se' a better putting instrument
    Vintage various.
  • 57Staff57Staff Members Posts: 25 ✭✭
    I use an ABS "chip roller" technique for putting. Works pretty well on most surfaces, just need to be very delicate on slick greens. I like this technique because mainly it is the same action for putting as my chipping and full strokes. My putter is set up with a little loft. Very much along the lines of Bobby Locke.
  • JiggeredJiggered Midlands UKMembers Posts: 470 ✭✭
    Perhaps not the thread for this but your heart has to go out to Sam Snead when he was reduced to this technique to try and overcome his putting issues, about 40 seconds in.

    No longer legal, thank goodness, or maybe we'd all be doing it!



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=ROQIvnAJmCA
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  • Chris122Chris122 Banned Posts: 611 ✭✭
    I recently watched a 'pro's tip' on a favourite YT channel (guess which Jiggered!) promoting the single pace pendulum stroke but during his putts,which in fairness he did hole,it was possible to see a slight deceleration just prior to impact which is exactly what I see with the handicap golfers I play with who try to emulate that stroke using tv-antenna-on-a-stick putters.

    It always ends in tears.
  • deepreddeepred Members Posts: 221 ✭✭
    Firm wrists made me a terrible putter, i seem to hit every putt the same speed so I went back to a more wrist and hand stroke. I figure my hands are better at controlling the putter than my shoulders were.
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  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members Posts: 3,855 ✭✭
    I've putted on the greens in the 50's and those greens are not nearly as smooth as the greens today. A good "hit" to maintain the speed to the cup is an art form, not like today's putting as more a push and roll style.

    In face , many of today's municipal golf courses have the Poa annua and other mix of more hearty grass on the putting surface to combat the fungus and decease, bent grass is just not an easy maintenance under the shaded area.

    Putting is all about speed and direction , in that order. Getting the golf ball to the cup is all that matters , no matter one break the wrist or not.

    One thing I had observed, do not apply a putting style which is not comfortable to the golfer, even when all the books and instructions insisted their way is the correct way. For one thing, if a golfer is not comfortable and confident in how to hold the putter or move it around, there be no consistent result. We're not trying to move the golf ball 200 yards away, and it does not take much to move the golf ball 10' - 30'.

    As they say, it's a different game on the putting surface, anything that works should be kept.
  • dpb5031dpb5031 Members Posts: 5,165 ✭✭
    I've putted with an old Palmer AP30r heel shafted blade for years on fast bent grass greens with great success and get many compliments on my putting. In fact, I'm much better on really fast greens (11.5+ on the stimp) than on slow greens of less than 8 on the stimp, so I'm not convinced that the older putters are less effective on modern fast greens with the exception that many will have more loft than is ideal. Of course, this can be adjusted pretty easily on many putters.



    I do not consciously add wrist break to my stroke or feel that I'm using my wrists much, but I do allow my wrists to break slightly during the stroke by maintaining light grip pressure and keeping my wrists soft & supple. This style of motion is excellent for lag putting and speed control. It's a much more natural and athletic motion (for me) than attempting to eliminate wrist action and/or keeping the wrists fixed and rigid. I also employ a slight forward press and allow the putter to swing on an arc as well as open and close slightly.



    I feel strongly that the best players in terms of putting allow the blade to release naturally. You kind of let it do what it wants to do. I've tried face-balanced putters and do not putt nearly as well with them as that natural release feels inhibited and I end up missing my line to the right (blocks).



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  • JedaigekiJedaigeki Members Posts: 264 ✭✭
    edited Mar 5, 2019 7:21am #26
    You see quite a few members at my club still using a pop putting stroke, especially during the winter when the greens are allowed to grow a little longer and run around a stimp of 8. If you've ever played on greens like that you can appreciate why putting strokes where like that. The modern style stroke just doesn't generate enough power to cover a long putt.
  • skajaquada77skajaquada77 Members Posts: 194 ✭✭
    Jedaigeki wrote:
    You see quite a few members at my club still using a pop putting stroke, especially during the winter when the greens are allowed to grow a little longer and run around a stimp of 8. If you've ever played on greens like that you can appreciate why putting strokes where like that. The modern style stroke just doesn't generate enough power to cover a long putt.




    Where’s your club? Cold weather and golf season April-Nov? Just curious if its weather related and type of grass/firmness.
  • JedaigekiJedaigeki Members Posts: 264 ✭✭
    I play in Cambridge, England. We golf all year, although the winter is cold and wet the course is usually always playable.
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