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Technique: Insert Putter vs normal Putter

Jul89Jul89 Members Posts: 153 ✭✭✭
edited Sep 1, 2019 1:48pm in Instruction & Academy #1

Hey guys,

is it true that with an insert Putter you should put the ball in the middle of your stance and that with a normal putter you put it towards the left foot? So with normal putter you want to strike the ball in an ascending blow and the insert putter at the bottom of the stroke???

Post edited by Jul89 on

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,917 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Never heard that before.

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  • Santiago GolfSantiago Golf I Strive to make you Better Members Posts: 5,061 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    No

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  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,322 ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Pick up putter. Swing putter.

    It's not rocket science.

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  • dtbnguyendtbnguyen Members Posts: 26 ✭✭

    Never heard of this. My guess is that this theory probably has something to do with the science behind some inserts. Basically, these inserts are designed to get the ball rolling quicker and skidding less. That means for ball physics to match up against that of a normal putter you need a slightly different technique as you've outlined. That said, a lot of insert technology is simply designed to optimise your existing stroke no matter what your putting stroke.
    https://community.taylormadegolf.com/t5/Blog/THE-SCIENCE-OF-A-PURE-ROLL/ba-p/639

  • VGVGVGVG Bryn Mawr, PAMembers Posts: 76 ✭✭✭

    Never heard of that either. The insert mostly affects the feel (although some companies will claim that the insert changes EVERYTHING)... 🤣

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Hokum. Inserts affect the feel of the putter, more specifically, the sound of the ball putter collision. All other effects are negligible.

    Ball position choice may be influenced be the loft of the putter (yes, most putters have a few degrees of loft), but I personally would never consider using any putter that required a ball position other than the middle of my stance and didn't allow a comfortable address posture where my eyes were directly over the ball.

    My current putter is an odyssey tank cruiser 1. I know it is an arm lock putter, but I use it like a normal putter as most putters are too short for me (6' 3", short arms) and have a stupidly flat lie. The tank cruiser has an insert, I play it from the middle of my stance, and I will be using this putter until it wears out or I die. The putter I used before this was a slot line inertial putter, it had no insert. I also played that from the middle of my stance. While it was too short for me, it did have visual cues that helped you to know when your eyes were directly over the ball and that the putter was square to your intended line. I used that putter for almost thirty years until my back couldn't take the pain of long practice sessions with it.

    Now, you can say this is just my opinion, but I have very specific reasons for why I want the ball in the center of my stance and my eyes directly over the ball when I putt. There are some on here who have seen me putt, and I think they would attest that I am not incompetent.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • Krt22Krt22 East BayMembers Posts: 7,501 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Snake oil. That like saying ball position and setup changes if you play a blade vs a cavity back.

  • JedaigekiJedaigeki Members Posts: 296 ✭✭✭✭

    @northgolf said:

    Now, you can say this is just my opinion, but I have very specific reasons for why I want the ball in the center of my stance and my eyes directly over the ball when I putt. There are some on here who have seen me putt, and I think they would attest that I am not incompetent.

    I would love to hear those reasons Northgolf.

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jedaigeki said:

    @northgolf said:

    Now, you can say this is just my opinion, but I have very specific reasons for why I want the ball in the center of my stance and my eyes directly over the ball when I putt. There are some on here who have seen me putt, and I think they would attest that I am not incompetent.

    I would love to hear those reasons Northgolf.

    I want the ball in the center of my stance for the following reasons:
    I address the ball with my feet parallel to the target line (i.e. the direction I want the put to go, not necessarily towards the hole). With the ball in the center of my stance, if I bend slightly at the hip and set my neck parallel to the ground, my hips will be parallel to the target line, my shoulders will be parallel to the target line, and my eyes will be directly over the ball on the target line. Swiveling my head allows my eyes to trace the target line. The amount my head swivels to bring the target point to the center of my vision gives me internal feedback of the exact distance I want to putt the ball. it literally allows me to feel the distance of the putt. So, the first reason is it establishes my feel of the distance of the putt.

    The second reason is with my shoulders parallel to the target line and the ball in the middle of my stance, rocking my shoulders causes the putter to swing straight back and straight through and contact the ball at the bottom of the swing when the putter is moving parallel to the ground. I know the ball will start on my target line. I let the feel I have for the distance determine the size of the shoulder rock, it is all feel. The only verbal thoughts about distance that I allow are: "this putt is uphill", or "this putt is downhill", or "this green is wet". I think that thought while my head is swiveled to the target point and then I put it out of my mind, as that programs the distance. I do not add or subtract any effort during the actual putt, as it is already programmed. So, the second reason is it allows me the ability to execute the putt using a simple rocking of the shoulders that will start the putt on the target line with a speed determined by the feel of the distance.

    To sum up, I have the ball in the center of my stance with my eyes directly over the ball because it gives me a very precise perception of the distance of the putt, and it physically sets my body in a position where a simple motion guarantees the ball will start on the target line with the force that perceived distance dictates.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • colinhlaucolinhlau Members Posts: 16 ✭✭

    Putt it just like any other my man!

  • dogsbedogsbe Members Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The position of the ball is not going to make a huge difference in your distance perception. Rotating the head to the target is a relative measure and not an absolute. It is clearly relative because it works on different speeds of greens. What is important is consistency in ball position. I would not pick a ball position to help with distance judgement, the mind can compensate. Instead, I would be picking a ball position that is most comfortable and repeatable. Personally, I play the ball inside the front foot because it gives me a more precise reference point compared to the middle. Once I find a ball position that I really love, then I would not be concerned with face inserts, but loft angle to get the ball rolling properly.

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 5, 2019 11:35am #13

    @dogsbe said:
    The position of the ball is not going to make a huge difference in your distance perception. Rotating the head to the target is a relative measure and not an absolute. It is clearly relative because it works on different speeds of greens. What is important is consistency in ball position. I would not pick a ball position to help with distance judgement, the mind can compensate. Instead, I would be picking a ball position that is most comfortable and repeatable. Personally, I play the ball inside the front foot because it gives me a more precise reference point compared to the middle. Once I find a ball position that I really love, then I would not be concerned with face inserts, but loft angle to get the ball rolling properly.

    I learn the green speed on the practice green using a base putt that consists of a swing that goes from inside the back foot to inside the front foot. I do three putts uphill and three putts downhill and watch the distance. Distance is not relative and does not change with the speed of the green. 5 feet is 5 feet whether the green stumps at 1 or 15. Having the ball not directly below the eyes makes it more difficult to insure they are directly above the target line. Looking straight down at the ball is quite precise and you can test it by dropping a ball from the bridge of your nose and watching it hit the ball you are setting up to. How did you establish the precision of your ball position, alignment sticks?

    You ignore the point I made about the effect of ball position on the address position and the geometry of the putt swing. Moving the ball position away from the middle of the stance requires compensations to hit the ball with the putter moving parallel to the ground: compensations are unnecessary complications and make a repeatable stroke more difficult.

    I have no concept of loving a ball position, it is all about setting up the simplest geometry for perception and for the stroke.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • Jul89Jul89 Members Posts: 153 ✭✭✭
    edited Sep 5, 2019 3:32pm #14

    So the back of the golfball and the putter-face should be in the middle of your stance?

    Post edited by Jul89 on
  • Man_O_WarMan_O_War Members Posts: 2,958 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    on a different note, did i tell you guys what a special putter the TM DJ Spider Tour with sightline is? It has an insert. First time using an insert that i don't even notice.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,520 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Nobody can tell you where the ball should be positioned in your stance. It needs to be the spot where you can put a good roll on it and start it on line consistently.

    But the proper ball position has absolutely nothing to do with whether the face of the putter is metal or plastic, milled or flat, insert or not. That's just ridiculous.

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  • ZitlowZitlow Members Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭

    It's a scientific fact that putting is 90% mental and 10% psychological.

  • HappyGilmoresBootsHappyGilmoresBoots Scramble King MichiganMembers Posts: 56 ✭✭
    edited Sep 6, 2019 10:58am #18

    I feel like I've read this before in a long-ago golf magazine...maybe Golf Digest sometime around 2001 or 2002?

    Post edited by HappyGilmoresBoots on
  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zitlow said:
    It's a scientific fact that putting is 90% mental and 10% psychological.

    Science requires empirical evidence. Please provide yours.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Jul89 said:
    So the back of the golfball and the putter-face should be in the middle of your stance?

    It doesn't have to be, but I have given you what I believe are good reasons to opt for it being there. What I have written about covers two of the four skills needed for good putting.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • dogsbedogsbe Members Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ Northgolf
    In terms of establishing eye position compared to the target line, I use a putting mirror. This shows me that both eyes are directly over the target line.
    Like you, I have no problems with moving the ball position on a putt, but in the center of the stance is golf fundamentals 101. If you have an arch swing, the chances are this is where you are going to find your sweet spot. I personally don't like the middle of the stance, because of the lack of a clear reference point. I prefer to use the inside of the front foot as my reference, as this gets as precise of a ball position that I can achieve, so the set up is easier. However, the swing is a lot more complicated and if not downright athletic. Particularly that your body wants to naturally wants the swing to go in the inside after your midpoint and you must still keep it online. It is a difficult stroke to master, but well worth the effort.

    Besides the consistency of the ball position, playing the ball forward improves my ability to see the back of the ball and allows me to fixate on the back of the ball, which is normally just a corner of a dimple.

    My original point was if you are rotating your head to determine distance, which really has nothing to do with the eyes, it is proprioception of the oculomotor sensors in the neck muscles. You need your eyes on the target line in order to gaze the line accurately, but I seriously doubt this way of determining distance would at be effected by ball position.

  • dogsbedogsbe Members Posts: 731 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Secondly, do you have any idea where you learned to rotate your head to determine distance? I am trying to find where this idea originated from and its body of literature. Some reason, I think it is a very old school idea that was well ahead of its time. I was taught it as Apple on a Stick. I believe this is an exceptionally powerful way to judge distance. You say that you are a good putter and use this trick, my bet is that you rarely three-putt or leave a putt short.

  • mguhlermguhler In the EtherMembers Posts: 735 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This thread is what happens when too much thought goes into the game of golf.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,917 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @northgolf said:

    @dogsbe said:
    The position of the ball is not going to make a huge difference in your distance perception. Rotating the head to the target is a relative measure and not an absolute. It is clearly relative because it works on different speeds of greens. What is important is consistency in ball position. I would not pick a ball position to help with distance judgement, the mind can compensate. Instead, I would be picking a ball position that is most comfortable and repeatable. Personally, I play the ball inside the front foot because it gives me a more precise reference point compared to the middle. Once I find a ball position that I really love, then I would not be concerned with face inserts, but loft angle to get the ball rolling properly.

    I learn the green speed on the practice green using a base putt that consists of a swing that goes from inside the back foot to inside the front foot. I do three putts uphill and three putts downhill and watch the distance. Distance is not relative and does not change with the speed of the green. 5 feet is 5 feet whether the green stumps at 1 or 15. Having the ball not directly below the eyes makes it more difficult to insure they are directly above the target line. Looking straight down at the ball is quite precise and you can test it by dropping a ball from the bridge of your nose and watching it hit the ball you are setting up to. How did you establish the precision of your ball position, alignment sticks?

    You ignore the point I made about the effect of ball position on the address position and the geometry of the putt swing. Moving the ball position away from the middle of the stance requires compensations to hit the ball with the putter moving parallel to the ground: compensations are unnecessary complications and make a repeatable stroke more difficult.

    I have no concept of loving a ball position, it is all about setting up the simplest geometry for perception and for the stroke.

    I take it you are trail eye dominant ? ( right eye for right handed ). Because that won’t work if you are lead eye dominant ( left eye for righty ) your dominant eye will be in front of the ball and blind to look down the line.

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  • North ButteNorth Butte Members Posts: 11,520 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @mguhler said:
    This thread is what happens when too much thought goes into the game of golf.

    I have to say, speaking as someone who overthinks everything about golf, this thread is over the top. If putting were this complicated, then hitting an iron shot or playing a ball out of a bunker would be rocket science and brain surgery combined with quantum mechanics.

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,917 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @North Butte said:

    @mguhler said:
    This thread is what happens when too much thought goes into the game of golf.

    I have to say, speaking as someone who overthinks everything about golf, this thread is over the top. If putting were this complicated, then hitting an iron shot or playing a ball out of a bunker would be rocket science and brain surgery combined with quantum mechanics.

    Lol. Yes and no.

    “ putting “ as in rolling the ball without chunking it , isn’t hard at all. “ Putting” as in holing attempts over 2 1/2 feet is the hardest thing in golf to do. Anybody can do it sure. But at the same time , zero amount of physical gifts , athletic ability , or strength will help you . It’s almost entirely black magic mixed with hypnosis , where one tries to lie to themselves so as to not recall the last 35 putts they missed just before they take it back.

    So depends on if you’re trying to putt. Or Putt.

    ( some truth. Some sarcasm , all crazy talk ).

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  • ZitlowZitlow Members Posts: 369 ✭✭✭✭

    @northgolf said:

    @Zitlow said:
    It's a scientific fact that putting is 90% mental and 10% psychological.

    Science requires empirical evidence. Please provide yours.

    It was a joint study done by a Mr. A Palmer and a Mr. J. Nicklaus. The peer revue was conducted by a Mr. T. Woods.

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @dogsbe said:
    Secondly, do you have any idea where you learned to rotate your head to determine distance? I am trying to find where this idea originated from and its body of literature. Some reason, I think it is a very old school idea that was well ahead of its time. I was taught it as Apple on a Stick. I believe this is an exceptionally powerful way to judge distance. You say that you are a good putter and use this trick, my bet is that you rarely three-putt or leave a putt short.

    I learned it from "Optimal putting" by Geoff Mangum. Book is out of print but the pdf is downloadable from puttingzone.com for $ 9.95. Somewhere he documents where he learned each tidbit, the eyes over the ball he attributes as an old school idea, as well as the proprioception of rotating the kneck. Geoff has built up a large body of literature and most of it is downloadable from his site. Unfortunately, he has gone quiet in his forum this past year.

    Up until last year, I rarely 3 putted but I left too many putts 3" to 10" short and dead online. I now focus on getting my putts to the hole on any putt where there is little danger of the putt getting away from you due to excessive slope. This year, my miss is averaging 70% past the hole vs. 35% last year. My 3 putt percentage has not increased, and I have 1.5 more one putts per round. Inside 60 feet, I expect to have less than a 3 foot second putt, on good days, tap ins and draining a couple of long ones.

    My home course has huge greens, several of which I consider the size of three greens. This inflates my GIR since a bad approach shot is often still on the green. As a result, a 30 or 40 yard first putt across two or three different breaks is not uncommon when you hit the wrong part of the green (4 club difference between hitting to the front vs. the back of the green). On a few of these holes, there are pin positions where if you are on the wrong part of the green there is no way of getting the ball near the hole. Given this, good putting (# of putts for the round) can depend as much on the approach shots as putting skill. I have only just started tracking putts closely enough to calculate strokes gained (got a shot scope v2 two weeks ago), so I won't know how good I really am until mid next season as I probably have maybe 10 rounds left in my season.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @bladehunter said:

    @northgolf said:

    @dogsbe said:
    The position of the ball is not going to make a huge difference in your distance perception. Rotating the head to the target is a relative measure and not an absolute. It is clearly relative because it works on different speeds of greens. What is important is consistency in ball position. I would not pick a ball position to help with distance judgement, the mind can compensate. Instead, I would be picking a ball position that is most comfortable and repeatable. Personally, I play the ball inside the front foot because it gives me a more precise reference point compared to the middle. Once I find a ball position that I really love, then I would not be concerned with face inserts, but loft angle to get the ball rolling properly.

    I learn the green speed on the practice green using a base putt that consists of a swing that goes from inside the back foot to inside the front foot. I do three putts uphill and three putts downhill and watch the distance. Distance is not relative and does not change with the speed of the green. 5 feet is 5 feet whether the green stumps at 1 or 15. Having the ball not directly below the eyes makes it more difficult to insure they are directly above the target line. Looking straight down at the ball is quite precise and you can test it by dropping a ball from the bridge of your nose and watching it hit the ball you are setting up to. How did you establish the precision of your ball position, alignment sticks?

    You ignore the point I made about the effect of ball position on the address position and the geometry of the putt swing. Moving the ball position away from the middle of the stance requires compensations to hit the ball with the putter moving parallel to the ground: compensations are unnecessary complications and make a repeatable stroke more difficult.

    I have no concept of loving a ball position, it is all about setting up the simplest geometry for perception and for the stroke.

    I take it you are trail eye dominant ? ( right eye for right handed ). Because that won’t work if you are lead eye dominant ( left eye for righty ) your dominant eye will be in front of the ball and blind to look down the line.

    Ambidextrous and neither eye dominant. When I used my thumb to site a target, the right eye sees a thumb on the left of the target and the left eye sees a thumb an equal distance to the right of the target; i.e., I see two thumbs bracketing the target.

    Looking down the line is accomplished by rotating the head. I can do this with my right eye closed.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead
  • Jul89Jul89 Members Posts: 153 ✭✭✭
    edited Sep 10, 2019 8:14pm #30

    On topic: So the answer is no!

  • northgolfnorthgolf Pork Members Posts: 4,101 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Which is what I said in many less words and without the reasoning.

    If I do this 11,548 more times, I will be having fun. - Zippy the Pinhead

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