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StoneCold's Putting Clinic

Mon, Sep 24 2018 2:25 AM by DonW468. 96 replies.
  • DirtTeeDick United States
    95 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 9:22 AM

    Thanks ... I've found myself on the green of a par 5 in 2 several times with a 70+ foot putt that I've left a few feet short, to the left or to the right.  While I have made several long putts using the "rear view" and "front view" to judge my putts, I haven't put in as much detail as you have in reading breaks on the long putts (or those 0.3 foot misses).

    Your extremely detailed tips will help.  Thanks again!

  • micheldess France
    808 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 12:47 PM

    I do not still arrive to putt well. 

    I have to live with it, I am not good in this game.

  • YankeeJim United States
    24,858 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 2:23 PM

    micheldess:
    I have to live with it, I am not good in this game.

    Not yet, anyway. You will be, just stay with it and take heed of great threads like this one.  :-)

  • gsoup United States
    2,927 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 2:30 PM

    great tips CS but you just cant fix 'cantfrigginputtworthadamnitis'

    just ask Jim!! LMAO

  • gsoup United States
    2,927 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 2:30 PM

    great tips CS but you just cant fix 'cantfrigginputtworthadamnitis'

    just ask Jim!! LMAO

  • YankeeJim United States
    24,858 Posts
    Fri, Mar 15 2013 5:34 PM

    LOL. So right he said it twice.  ;-)

  • EnglishRosey United States
    733 Posts
    Tue, Mar 19 2013 10:02 AM

    Finally made the News...

  • leonrweekes United Kingdom
    3 Posts
    Tue, Mar 19 2013 12:52 PM

    Fantastic advice & very concise. Some of it i had already guaged but some bits were new to me. Now to put into practice & see what happens. Nice one & thank you

    StoneColdKiller:

    Normal 0 false false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE

    This putting guide will mostly be dealing with the more intangible aspects of putting that no one wants to talk about and as such will be more helpful to intermediate-advanced players. I completely endorse and recommend you read Nivlac’s putting guide before reading this (especially the newer members). Certain facets of putting are near impossible to teach or put in words since it is a mixture of art and science (didn’t stop me from trying). Even though I have tried my best to make this as simple as possible, I ask you to please appreciate the complexity of putting. Too often players look for a simple mathematical formula which will make all putts for them, this will never happen; Practice is irreplaceable.

    My planning

    First I'll talk about how I 'look' at a putt. There is no wrong or right way to do this or in whatever sequence; it's what makes sense to you and what works for you, so don't take this section as a universal truth.

    My first instinct is to figure out how much speed i'm going to give the putt (Refer 1.). Since lots of good advice and charts have been provided by other members for this purpose, I will not get into details of how to figure out how much you need to hit. The speed gives me an idea of how fast to imagine the ball moving over the given grid and how much the moving dots on the grid will tend to move the ball. 

    Then i take the aimer to my first instinct/guess, and imagine hitting the putt at the speed i've decided to hit the putt at and how that putt line is going to react to the grids. If I think I’m not aiming enough, I'll move it further out and do the same; repeat till a line feels like it’s good. I'm sure you get the basic idea :)

    Getting ready to execute

    In the end i try to imagine the grids moving the ball more than i think, and then less than i think. If it seems more likely that my miss is going to be on the low side, I'll just miss the ding by 1-2 pixels on the high side. I give credit to BolloxinBruges who explained this last concept to me in my newbie days as 'playing the percentages'.

    How? If I've aimed enough and I miss the ding on the high side by 1-2 pixel, the slight loss in speed (due to missing the ding) combined with the more break i've  played (due to missing the ding) will highly likely even out. If I haven't aimed quite enough then missing the ding on high side will take care of it with only a slight loss in speed (Remember, the hole is 4.25 inches wide, especially when you play putts at dead speed like I usually do).

    General Tips

    1.Every line has a speed: Be consistent with how hard you hit your putts; Be it the suncity28 way who likes to ram 'em in or the bollox way; finesse last roll plop (General tendency, not ALWAYS; every putt and situation is different). This is the only way you'll be able to get a 'feel' for how much a given grid will break the ball with consistent results. Whether you line it up and ding, only miss the meter, or both (my usual preferred choice). Hitting it at different speeds each time will make it harder to eye/read breaks.

    2. Different green speeds:  I hear a lot of people saying they have trouble adjusting to different green speeds. It can be off-putting, but tying it in with everything I’ve said above, look at it this way: adjust your imagination of the interaction between the speed you’re considering to hit and the line you’re considering to take with that of the moving dots on the grid. That’s all a different green speed does; force you to hit harder/softer. Naturally, hitting a shot with less speed will give the slope of the green more time to move the ball in addition to a relatively greater retarding force acting on the ball, vice versa.

    3. Pick your spots: If you choose to hit putts at dead speed (ball drops in the hole on last couple rolls)  like I used to do all the time, beware, you're actually lowering your chances of making some putts because you're having to aim more; hence more chance for error. Good decision making is key.

    Some putts you HAVE to hit at dead-speed because missing might mean a possible 3 putt (severe downhill). This is usually the worst time to try to power it in and take most of the break out of the equation, although if it's only a little downhill, you can choose to do this; pick your spots.

    The ideal scenario to power a putt is on uphill putts. I used to make twice the downhill benders I did uphill benders and it drove me nuts. On uphill putts you can be much more aggressive, and take more of the break out of the equation, to an appropriate extent of course. Credit to suncity28 who in my putter-slump days gave me this piece of advice for uphill benders; it instantly improved my %age of makes on uphill benders.

    4. The Chipping Grid: The most misunderstood tool: The chipping grid is now widely known as the tiebreaker in reading a putt that shows opposing breaks from both angles. This is true, but most people have absolutely no clue how to use this tool to its potential (and for that reason i just spent a lot of time making the following). Also, it is not just to determine which read is correct, but can tell one much more about the putt if used correctly as following:

    Kia #3 left of pin 7 feet, yes the big breaker l-r. JUST long off the pin though (left of the pin)


    Click here for a larger view (click image to magnify). Please  read every note for the respective picture and ‘see’ what I mean on the magnified image.

    #1 - #2 The problem: The default grid shows the putt will go through 2 columns (center of neither) of the grid. The dots on the grid are most accurately depicting the slope of the green where the center of the column is (or underneath the center of the column). Hence when the putting line is going through 2 columns, even the corner of the respective column will tend to show the break which is actually in the center of the column. 

    #3 The incorrect way of using the chipping grid: The point of using the chipping grid is that you can move it around and center the area the putt will go thru in the center of 1 column. In cases with a camera angle squarely behind the ball and the hole, only centering the putting line on one column once will work, but in most of those cases, the default grid will majority of the times be placed in a way that the putting line will go through only 1 column. This is also the reason many players tend to rely heavily on the reverse camera, although they don’t realize ‘why’ they do it; it’s usually directly behind the hole pointing towards the ball.

    So just taking out the chipper like in this snapshot will not help at all. 

    #4-#5 Make the putting line the center of your grid-column using the straighter cam angle:  The reverse cam angle is slightly more in line with the ball, hence easier to take an accurate reading from. In #4, Only look at the first 2-3 feet of the putt since it is the area centered on the column. In #5 only look at the last 3-4 feet of the putt since this is the area centered on the column.

    #6-#7 Check the other camera angle: In #6, only look at the first 1-2 feet of the putt since this is the area centered on a column. In #7, only look at the last 5-6 feet of the putt since this is the area centered on a column.

    Note: #6-#7 also drives the point home that it doesn't matter which column you use, as long as you center it on the general putting line. If an attempt to use the chipping grid keeping the avatar pointed towards the hole was made, the avatar itself and the chipping arc would be in the way; do not be afraid to use any column, it's all about getting a clear look :)

    You can also use this tool on only a portion of any long breaking putt that you have doubts about. Also helps to clearly identify transitions in double-breakers.

    5a. Why mathematical formulae are only a guideline:

     Oakmont #10 left and long 11 feet.


    Click here for a larger view (click image to magnify)

    #1-#2 Seemingly innocent putt, it actually is not. This putt shows 11 feet 1 inch uphill. There are many times when I hear people complain about putts coming up 0.2 -0.6 short for no apparent reason when they ‘hit it for perfect distance’. Such putts are usually attributed to ‘WGT’ or ‘deviation’ or ‘VEM’ and cause frustration.

    #3 This picture explains why the above happens. A lot of virtual golfers will look at this putt and use the following thought process: ‘11 feet 1 inch up, that’s 12 feet … 12 feet X 1.3 OR 70% OR 75% = 9.2 feet OR 8.4 feet OR 9 feet’ (whichever mathematical equation you use to gauge distance on your putts). All the above will come up short.  

    Why? Taking the aimer hardly past the hole we see that it now says 11 feet 2 inches up as opposed to 1 inch up at the hole. Since WGT only shows full inch changes in elevation, a fraction of an inch will not be indicated. Also the wind is straight into your putt; yes, the wind does affect putts, even if fractionally so in this case (short putt, not a very strong wind). Every time you leave a putt begging short, look up at the wind, you’ll ‘facepalm’ quite a few times.

    Going deeper into the rabbit hole, this putt is flat the first 7.7 feet, 1 inch up at 7.8 feet, 2 inches up at just past the hole, 3 inches up at 13.8 feet, 4 inches up at 16 feet, 5 inches up at 18feet. This clearly indicates that there is a steep change in elevation at the end of this putt hence also creating the visual effect ‘the ball pulled the brakes when it saw the hole’.

    Nivlac explains this eloquently in his putting guide through the colors of the grid. Notice how the putting grid is turning from red (behind the ball) to black and then blue – bright blue, indicating a steeper change in elevation than a ‘1 inch uphill’ putt would usually show.

    #4 To make my point, I hit this putt for a little more than 9 feet, even with a better aim, it would be 0.2-0.6 feet short. This putt needed to be hit at least 10 feet for it to barely get there. This is another reason I recommend point 3. Para 3. The same concept will be magnified with longer putts and/or stronger winds.

    Hope this helps.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Any questions are welcome. More to come soon.

    Stone.

     

  • BigDaveBlaze United States
    2 Posts
    Tue, Mar 19 2013 8:53 PM

    Thanks to you StoneCold for your putting guidance.  My putting has been stopping me from finishing higher up in the tournaments that I enter, although I am recently improved in this area.  The most troublesome area for me is the downhill right to left breaking putt, and that is the putt that I try more often than not to die into the hole by aiming a little higher than I would otherwise and  hitting the putt on the high side as well, similar to hitting a downhill putt on the toe of the putter on a real golf course.  It takes some speed off the putt and allows the natural contours of the green to take over and roll the ball at the hole.  This approach seems to be in line with your explanations of getting the image of the ball rolling across the green to the target.  However with your explanation of using the chipping grid (which I haven't done) I may get a more true sense for the contours and become more accurate, not only of the downhill but on other breaking putts as well.  Again thanks for the guidance and I will put it to work.  BigDaveBlaze

  • rickm334 United Kingdom
    78 Posts
    Wed, Mar 20 2013 1:32 PM

    I think it's important to try to be positive and always look to give the putt enough 'legs' to actually go in. There is nothing more frustrating than reading the break correctly only to leave the putt a few inches Short. Having said that, I don't mean whack the cover off the ball every putt! Above all though, take your time and way it up like the prosdo! It helps, of course to have a good sort game in general. And a consistant drive that finds the fairway helps too. The approach shot is the key, nail that and land consistantly within 5-15 feet and you will hit a lot of birdies. My outlook is that anthing over 15 feet is a bonus if it goes in. Only under 10 feet do i expect to put it consistantly.

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