SAM PuttLab Report
  1. Aiming Report [+]

    This section reports the aim at time of initiating the back stroke. The dotted line exactly represents the calibrated target direction.

    aim

    A putter face 100% square to the target exactly results in 0°. The average direction of the putter face alignment is represented by the thick red line. The area between the average alignment and the optimum target direction is filled in red colour to indicate the amount of deviation. Just below the putter head is the report of open 0.4° which represents the average of this golfer's aim.

    The two bars on the right side of the graph show the Score rating for average alignment as well as the Consistency rating over the different putts. The bars are green for ratings above 75%, yellow for ratings between 50% and 75% and red for ratings below 50%. In this case, the Score for 0.4° open results in 93 % performance. The Consistency rating is 93 % which is very high performance. This means the putter is aligned almost exactly to the same direction for the different putts.

    Bar Charts
    The aiming bar charts provide information on each single putt. The coloured stripes within the bars represent the different putts. These graphs do show both the average performance and the distribution of the single data values. For high consistency of movement execution the stripes should be grouped very closely together or should even overlap.

    The numbers above the bars correspond to the data scale. In this case the numbers represent degrees for the alignment. At the left side of the bar the name of the displayed parameter is shown. The number on the right side of the bar represents the average data value for this parameter.

    The upper bar shows the data for face at address. For this player the data are grouped very closely together which indicates the very high consistency of the aiming directions.

    The parameter "face change" shows the change of putter face angle between address position and impact. This parameter provides additional information on the compensation of the putter face between aiming and impact and can explain sources of inconsistencies at impact. If the face change is inconsistent you should work on a more smooth and regular movement inside of the backswing. On the other hand, if face change is consistent but face at impact is inconsistent, then the inconsistencies do more result from inconsistent aiming. Consequently, the player should then work on a more consistent setup and aim.

    Importance:
    The aim at address greatly influences the face alignment at impact. When the starting aim is aimed at the intended path or hole, the likelihood of returning the putter face to the same position is enhanced. If the aim is misaligned at address then the player must manipulate the putter direction during the 1.5 seconds or less from the take away to impact of the typical putting stroke. This places a great demand upon the psychomotor skills and under pressure, very unlikely that this is repeatable.

    The ball is 1.68 inches in diameter and the cup is 4.25 inches in diameter. At 15 feet, if the player aimed 1° closed/ opened, the ball would be 3.14 inches out from the centre of the cup. If the player does not have a compensatory move to open/close the face at impact or have excessive cut to manupulate the putter direction. There is no way the ball is going to enter the cup from 12 feet and up.

    Drills and Remedies:
    Research has shown that every individual is unique and each and everyone of us has our own unique visual biasses-ness. Every putter has design elements that are fundamental to the way any putter performs and, more importantly, how it reacts to your senses and stroke. The right combination of these design elements can help any golfer see the line in a whole new light – the perfect line from the ball to the hole. Following are the elements that affect aim:

    - Hosel design,
    - Head shapes,
    - Loft,
    - Lines,
    - Shaft Length,
    - Lie Angle

    The most effective cure to an aiming problem, is to get a putter with these design elements that naturally get you to aim where you think you are aiming with a sound stance. Any other drills or aids will just get you to perform compensational moves and hopefully, practice makes permanent. Nevertheless, we have here a couple of aids that we have over the years see help some golfers to “train” them to aim with that putter.

    1) PUTTron (Available for testing/loan at WizGolf, indicate your interest by dropping us a mail at enquiry@wizgolf.com.sg)

    puttron

    The unit is set up on the putting green or in doors on a carpet. It is placed up to 10 feet from the intended ball placement. The unit has two signals for confirming aim at address and at impact. One is a sound and the other is a green light. There is a reflective mirror to be placed on the end of the putter. The infrared beam is eccentric on the unit. That is why the mirror is placed the same distance from centre on the putter face as the beam emitter is from the centre of the PUTTron.

    Practicing alone with PUTTron. This may be used on the green or over any carpet/putting mat indoors. On the green, the unit can be placed over the back of the hole for a straight putt. The unit is turned on. The golfer goes through their routine and should find the putter face aligned such that the light goes green or of the setting is for sound, there is a beep. The golfer may find the aim at address is not perfect. The putter head is turned slowly right and left until there is confirmation of perfect aim with the green light or the beep.

    After the alignment is confirmed the stroke is taken. The sound is absent on the backstroke, but should be heard coinciding with impact if the putter face is aligned perfectly when the ball is hit.

    The routine is repeated until the putter head is placed perfectly and again brought back to perfect alignment at impact.

    Practicing with PUTTron and Assistance. The best way to use the PUTTron is with assistance. The assistant, sits on the ground behind the PUTTron to control the on/off switch. The PUTTron is turned off. The player goes through their routine and addresses the ball. When the player is satisfied that their aim is perfect the unit is turned on. If no noise is heard then the player redirects the putter face in and out to see in what direction they missed the aim at address. After confirmation, the process is repeated until aim at address is perfected. After the aim is perfected the unit remains on and the golfer takes the stroke. The sound vanishes on the back stroke and responds at impact if the aim is perfect at impact. If aim is not perfect at impact then the process is repeated until the impact direction is also perfect.

    2) Alignment Mirror (Available for testing/loan at WizGolf, indicate your interest by dropping us a mail at enquiry@wizgolf.com.sg)

    alignmentmirror

    This little training aid can help to get you setup with your eyes over the ball. Statistic collected by Edel Golf has shown that when your eye is outside (standing too close to the ball) the vertical plane created by the aim point and the ball, you tend to aim left, the reverse is true. I.e. if your eye is inside (standing too far from the ball), you tend to aim right. As we have discussed the factors influencing your aim, this may or may not be the cure. The only way is to test and see if you aim better with your eye over the ball.

    3) Line on ball

    linemup

    This little inexpensive tool is supposed to help you align your ball so you can concentrate on stroke and speed.

    In some cases, the line on the ball actually got the player to mis-aim. Some cases, the line helps, but majority cases that we have seen, with a properly fitted putter, the player do not need the line on the ball. Again, whether the line helps, the only way to know it to test with aids like the PUTTron or the laser we use in our centre when we fit.

  2. Direction and Path [+]

    This section shows the direction of the face and path direction at impact. The dotted line exactly represents the calibrated target direction.

    dir

    Face at impact
    A putter head 0.6° open at impact means that the face is pointing to the right. The face at impact determines ball direction to about 83%. The numbers for each single putt are displayed on the left side. Due to the high consistency this might still be good performance, if the open face is then compensated by a path pointing to the left. Please note that a putter face which is more open / closed than 1° at impact results in missing a 12 foot putt to the right / left if the path is straight.

    The two bars on the right side of the graph show the Score rating for average alignment as well as the Consistency rating over the different putts. In this case, the Score for 0.6° open results in 80% performance. However the Consistency rating is 93% which is a very high performance. This means the putter face angle at impact is very much the same for the different putts.

    Path at impact
    The blue arrow in this graph shows the putter path direction at impact. The dotted line represents exactly the calibrated target direction. A putter path pointing 100% to the target results in 0°. The average direction of the putter path is also represented by the thick red line.

    The average numerical value for the putter path direction at impact is shown beneath the arrow in degrees. In this example, the putter path is pointing 0.1° to the right. The path at impact determines ball direction to about 17%. A path which is not pointing exactly to the target can be compensated with a face pointing into the opposite direction to make the ball still go straight. For some players, if the face is pointing to the right which can be compensated by the path pointing to the left. For this player, in fact the face is pointing slightly to the right, however, it is so little and the path is almost straight, any putts within 15 feet with the right read, the ball is going to get into the cup. The numbers for each single path direction are displayed on the left side.

    Here is another example.

    dir01

    In this example, the putter path is pointing 3.1° to the left. Although the path deviates from the target line, the path direction is very consistent. A path cutting 3.1° left could be compensated by a face being open to about 0.7° to the right. Please note that a putter path which is more open / closed than 5° at impact results in missing a 12 foot putt to the right / left if the face is exactly square to the target.

    Bar Charts
    The bar charts for direction provide information on each single putt. The coloured stripes within the bars represent the different putts. The numbers above the bars correspond to the data scale. The number on the right side of the bar represents the average data value for this parameter.

    For this player some data values are outside of the preferred range as indicated by the grey areas. The grey areas correspond to the Tour player’s performance. The upper two bars show the data for face at impact and Path Direction at impact. For this player the data are grouped very closely together which indicates high consistency of movement execution.

    The parameter "Face on path impact" shows the relative angle of the putter face compared with the putter path at impact. The most common compensation found in PGA Tour players is a putter path pointing to the left and a putter face slightly open at impact. Many Tour players tend to aim the face to the right edge of the hole because they know that they tend to pull the putt under pressure.

    The ball direction is a calculation based on face and path direction at impact. Face angle is considered to contribute 83% and path direction contributes 17%. Please note that the effect of errors in putter path direction on ball direction is about 5 times less than errors in putter face alignment at impact. This means that a 1° open putter face at impact has the same effect on ball direction as a putter path pointing 5° to the right.

    Importance
    An open face of about 1° can only be compensated with path cutting left 5°. If we correlate path errors to putt distance, than an error of 1° in face angle will result in missing the hole in a 12 foot putt (if the putter path is square at the same time). For half distance in a 6 foot putt the error can be double with about 2°. This means that missing putts is mainly because of misaligned face angle. The ball direction as calculated with the PuttLab is considering face to 83% and path direction to 17%. A lot of time, when we correct the aim issue, path will come back naturally as the main psychomotor burden is gone.

  3. Path (Top View) and Spot [+]

    This section displays the path of the putter viewed from above during back swing (dotted lines) and forward swing (solid lines). The different putts are indicated by different colours, with the first blue putt at the top.

    spot

    Path (Top View)
    The graph shows the bird's-eye view. The small black spot represents the starting point of the movement. The backswing is going to the right. The forward swing starts at the end of the backswing, crosses ball position and then ends up at the left side where the putter stops moving. The target direction is indicated by horizontal grey dashed lines.

    For this player you find a very consistent backswing almost parallel to the target line. The consistency of the length of the backswing is very high, indicating that the length of the putts will be also consistent. The consistency of the forward swing is also high. The putter path is slightly arced to the left, and putter path direction at impact points 0.1° to the right of the target line. Deviations in putter path very often correlate to a misaimed body line.

    An irregular putter path is often a consequence of a putter length which does not fit to the player. The length of the backswing is considerable smaller as the follow through in Tour players. Backswing length is in average about only 35% of the forward swing. Short backswing is guaranteeing smooth acceleration through impact.

    Impact Shot
    The middle section with the putter face, shows where you exactly hit the balls on the putter face. The different impact spots are indicated by crosses in different colours. The horizontal and vertical lines in the middle of the putter face represent the geometrical centre of the putter which normally represents the sweet spot.

    This player shows a fairly consistent impact spot slightly right on the putter face with 7.8 mm at the toe. The corresponding score is 46% of the optimum. Consistency level is high with 76%. Consequences of off-center hits are reduced putt length and face angle errors. However for consistent off-center hits near to the sweet spot effects will be very small.

    Please note that the horizontal hit distance as measured on the putter face directly refers to the calibration. In this case the horizontal distance of about 7.8 mm indicates that the ball is hit in average 7.8 mm to the heel as compared with the calibration position (which should be exactly at the centre of the putter).

    Bar Charts
    The top view bar charts provide information on each single putt. The coloured stripes within the bars represent the different putts. For high consistency of movement execution the stripes should be grouped closely together.

    The "Backswing length" parameter shows the length of the backswing in mm. The length of the backswing should always be exactly the same for perfect distance control.

    The "Impact spot" parameter shows the horizontal deviation of impact position from the geometrical center of the putter. Especially on heel mounted putters off-centre hits at the toe are more vulnerable to a loss of energy which is transferred to the ball.

    The "Height on Face" parameter represents the vertical height of the ball on the putter face. As we do not know the true vertical height of the putter face, this measure is given relatively to the sole of the putter.

    Importance
    The length of the backswing determines the distance of the ball roll assuming all other dynamics were identical. It is important the length of the backswing be the same for a given length for speed control. Consistent length of backswing means consistent distance control. Very often the end of the forward swing is also neglected. Consistent length of forward swing is also important for a solid stroke and proper timing of speed. Consequences of off-center hits are reduced putt length and face angle errors. Which has direct impact on speed control as well.


  4. Loft and Rise? [+]

    The upper box shows a horizontal side view of the putter path during back swing (dotted lines) and forward swing (solid lines). The different putts are indicated by different colours, with the first putt at the top. The physical horizontal ground is indicated by horizontal grey dashed lines.

    loftrise

    The small black dot represents the starting point of the movement. The putter is smoothly lifted at the beginning of the backswing while moving to the right. Backswing in Tour players is generally flat which allows the forward swing to then come up through impact.

    The average numerical value for angle of attack (Rise) at impact is shown beneath the curves in degrees. For this player the forward swing path is leading 2.5° upwards through the ball. The numbers for each single Rise angle are displayed on the left side.

    The putter path curves run very parallel. The backswing lengths are considerable consistent.

    Launch and Spin
    The middle section shows the putter face at impact in a side view and provides information on the shaft angle at impact (= dynamic loft). The average shaft angle is represented by a red line and the value is printed in red. When the shaft is pressed forward or leaning back, the loft of the putter face is changed accordingly. In this case the hands are slightly behind the ball. The effective loft applied to the ball will then be the static loft (putter loft which is individually entered in the player data, normally 3-4°) and dynamic loft of 0.6°. The static loft and the dynamic loft adding up to the effective loft applied the ball.

    The graph also shows the true average putter height at impact above ground.

    The "Rise angle" shows the angle of attack of the putter to the ball in relation to the ground. For this player the rise angle is 2.5° upward, which is in the perfect range of 3° to 4°. A positive rise angle will give the ball some forward spin, better roll and reduced skidding.

    The predicted Launch angle and Predicted Spin are estimations of ball behaviour after impact. Launch angle is mostly determined by dynamic loft with 83% and rise angle with 17% of influence (same as for putter face). The predicted spin correlates to the difference between Rise and dynamic loft angle. If Rise is higher than loft then top spin is predicted, is loft is higher than rise then backspin is predicted. If Rise – Loft is in a range of -1.5° to 0.5° then no spin is predicted (considering some friction with the surface).

    Bar Charts
    The side view bar charts provide information on each single putt. The coloured stripes within the bars represent the different putts. The more closely grouped the stripes are, the more consistent the performance is.

    The parameter "Effective Loft" provides information of the total loft applied to the ball in impact. This parameter adds up the static loft (= putter loft) and the dynamic loft coming from the player's movement (= shaft angle in impact).
    For this player the effective loft is 3.6° which is close to most of the other professional players have. If the effective loft is bigger than the rise angle the ball will get backspin – so the effective loft and rise angle should always be seen in combination of both values.

    The "Rise angle" parameter shows the angle of the putter path against the horizontal ground at impact. For this player the rise angle is 2.5° upwards, which is little less than the perfect range of 3 to 4°. A positive rise angle will give the ball some forward spin and a better roll. The skidding phase will also be reduced.

    The "Predicted launch" parameter is estimating the launch angle which is mostly determined by the dynamic loft at impact. We consider dynamic loft with 83% and rise angle with 17% of influence (same as for putter face).

    There is an inter-dependence between rise angle and loft at impact. The more rise angle at impact is found the less loft at impact is needed to properly lift the ball from the ground. High speed video suggests that you should avoid backspin and skidding of the ball for proper roll. On fast greens (10-11) we recommend only 2° dynamic loft but a rise angle of 3-4° upwards, which will properly launch the ball and will impart some immediate topspin to the ball.

    Importance
    If rise angle of the putter through impact (3-4 °) is higher than the dynamic loft at impact (2°) then the ball will immediately start launching with some amount of topspin. If the rise angle is less than the dynamic loft then the ball will start with some backspin.

    The dynamic loft applied to the ball primarily determines launch angle of the ball, like face angle determines ball direction. There is some additional minor influence of vertical angle of attack (Rise) on launch angle of the ball. High speed video shows that on fast greens (stimp 11) a launch angle of about 2° is enough for proper ball launch

    For speed control, we want the ball to go into true roll phase as early as possible. We want to reduce skidding and jumping. Here is another article with videos to demonstrate the skidding and jumping effects with different combination of rise and dynamic loft.

  5. Face Rotation [+]

    This section shows the putter face angle at different positions in the forward swing: At the start of the forward swing (right), at impact (middle) and at the end (left) of forward swing. The red lines indicate the deviation of the putter angles from the square alignment.

    The face angles are shown beneath the putter face pictures. The putter face is open 4.4° at start of forward swing. At impact the putter face is still slightly open 0.6° and then 5.0° closed at end of forward swing. Overall rotation in the forward swing is 9.3°.

    facerotation

    In the middle of the graph the face rotation for a fixed area of +- 10 cm before and after impact is shown. The rotation inside of this fixed area is independent of the length of the putter path and allows directly comparing the rotation of putts with different path lengths. In this case the rotation inside of 10 cm before impact amounts to 2.1° and the rotation inside of 10 cm after impact amounts to 1.9°.

    This player shows a rotation of 4° inside of an area of +- 10 cm around impact. The preferred amount of rotation as measured on the Tour inside of this range is about 1° to 3°. The score level of 95% is very high and corresponds to a rate of rotation at impact of 24.3 °/s. The consistency of rotation around impact is very high with 97% rating (see also next paragraph).

    Face Angle graph
    In the middle section, the graph on the left shows the face angle over time in the forward swing.
    - At the beginning of the forward swing (beginning of the curve at the left side) the putter face is about 4.4° open.
    - The impact is indicated by the small vertical stripes. The horizontal axis corresponds exactly to the putting line. The graph shows that the ball is hit with a slightly open putter face.
    - At the end of the forward swing the putter face is about 5.0°closed (right end of graphs).

    For this player the course of rotation is smoothly running from open face at impact to a closed face at end of forward swing. For a natural and smooth movement the rotation will always be symmetric to impact.

    Rotation graph
    On the right side the corresponding rate of rotation (velocity of rotation) over time is displayed. The rate of rotation graph displays the change of putter face angle over time.

    Irregularities in putter face change are magnified in the rotation data and correspond to peaks in the rotation curves. For this player you can identify some re-opening of the face directly after impact through a positive peak in the rotation curve. This "re-opening" can either be a consequence of hitting the ball off-center at the toe or can show the tendency of the player to interrupt the natural rotation of the face and to push the face more square through impact.
    A natural and continuous putter face rotation always shows a smooth and flat rotation curve and corresponds to high consistency ratings.

    Bar Charts
    The rotation bar charts provide information on each single putt.

    The "Before impact" bar shows the change of the putter face angle from 10 cm before impact until impact. 2.1° rotation before impact is slightly more than the average of the European PGA Tour player’s sample. The consistency of rotation is high.

    The "After impact" bar shows the change of putter face angle from impact to 10 cm after impact. 1.9° after impact is slightly more than the average of the European PGA Tour player’s sample. The consistency of rotation after impact is high.

    If rotation before impact and after impact are in the same range then rotation is changing smoothly through impact. If rotation after impact and rotation before impact differ, then the rotation is not naturally continued through impact, i.e. due to breaking wrists (closing more) or due to pushing the face open (closing less).

    The "Rotation at impact" bar shows the dynamic putter face change at impact. 24.3°/s is in the normal range of European PGA Tour players. If the rate of rotation at impact is high then the timing of the putting stroke becomes more important. If 50° face change per second are assumed, then a timing error of 20 ms would result in putter face error of 1° (20 x 50 / 1000). This would mean you would miss a 12 foot putt. This illustrates that high amount of rotation requires high consistency of rotation and timing.

    The "Rotation rel to Path" bar shows relative rotation on the arcing path. If the putter face is always square on the path, then the relative rotation is always zero irrespective of the amount of rotation. For more path arc there will be more rotation. This parameter is also relevant for putter fitting. If relative rotation is closing, then a toe hang putter might be selected to support smooth rotation. If relative rotation is opening, then a face balanced putter (mallet) is adequate. If relative rotation is neutral, an intermediate type of putter (Anser) or a face balanced putter is the choice.

    Importance
    For upright stand there will always be more rotation in the stroke as the swing plane will be more tilted. In contrast, for a truely vertical swing plane, there will be no rotation inside of the stroke.

    In amateurs you often find additional hand and wrist action adding more rotation to the stroke. On the other hand, a lot of the skilled players tend to reduce rotation by blocking the face through impact. These are both not very helpful strategies, as they alter the normal pattern of rotation and add some amount of inconsistency.

    To quote from Dr. Lanny, if one player is rotating the face 5° and another is rotating the putter 15°, it will be easier to repeat 5 than 15. In the same way, if one player's rate of rotation is 10°/s at impact and another player's rate of rotation is 50°/s, it will be much easier to repeat 10 than 50 especially in competition.

    If the rate of rotation at impact is high then the timing of the putting stroke becomes more important. If 50° face change per second are assumed, then a timing error of 20 ms would result in putter face error of 1° (20 x 50 / 1000). This would mean you would miss a 12 foot putt. This illustrates that high amount of rotation requires high consistency of rotation and timing.

    It is usually difficult for a player to realise they have excessive rotation since there is other movements going on simultaneously. Only SAM PuttLab will/can show the problem.

  6. Movement Dynamics [+]

    This section shows movement dynamics. This includes velocity/speed and acceleration within backswing and forward swing. Movement dynamics are not directly related to putting technique. Movement dynamics rather show the motor skill level and the movement strategies underlying movement planning and execution. Backswing and forward swing curves are separated and displayed in two graphs only for educational purposes.

    move01

    Velocity (upper graphs)
    Movement velocity is always zero at the beginning and the end of a swing. The maximum velocity lies approximately in the middle of the movement (bell shaped profiles). The velocity curves should be smooth and regular for automated movement execution.

    The velocity on the backswing approaches 600 mm/second. The more typical speed on the PGA Tour is 500 mm/second for a 10 foot putt on a green with a Stimpmeter recording of 12.

    The speed at impact (the red arrow) on the forward swing approaches 1400 mm/second. The average speed at impact on the PGA Tour for a 10 foot putt on green with Stimpmeter 12 is 1500 mm/second.

    Acceleration (lower graphs)
    The acceleration signal directly corresponds to the velocity signal: Acceleration is the change of velocity over time. High acceleration means fast increase of velocity. Zero acceleration means constant velocity. Negative acceleration means decreasing velocity.

    Impact
    The moment of impact is indicated with a vertical stripe in the velocity data. In the acceleration curve the impact with the ball can be identified by a steep cusp because the impact decelerates the putter face for a short moment. As the data is filtered, the cusp is wider than in reality. The exact impact is at the bottom of the cusp.

    The characteristic of velocity and acceleration signals provide important information on the movement strategy of the player.

    Backswing
    Backswing duration is generally shorter than forward swing duration. The backswing starts smoothly. At the end of the backswing there is a sharp edge at the change from back to forward swing in the acceleration signal. Backswing and forward swing should not be two separate movements. This graphs show the typical characteristics of a committed putting technique. The backswing duration of 600-700 ms is in the optimal range.

    Transition
    The transition from backswing to forward swing is fluent without any pause. This is indicated a steep change from backswing into forward swing. This can be supported by a slight release of the putter at the top of the backswing. Hands and arms should be stable and firm but not stiff. Stiff limbs hinder smooth movement and do not provide proper feedback.

    Forward swing
    Forward swing starts approximately at the level where the backswing ended. So a committed begin of forward swing is preceded by a committed end of backswing and a steep transition.

    The acceleration profile allows identifying the putting technique of the player. For a swing putting technique acceleration starts at a high level and is then kept constant until impact. For a hit putting technique acceleration starts at a lower level, increases steeply just before impact (to more than double), and decreases steeply after impact. For the player shown in this graph, acceleration increases slightly, but indicates still a swing type stroke. Forward swing duration of 800-900 ms is in the optimal range.

    Deceleration at impact is rare dynamic among the PGA tour players. It is not recommended as an efficient method of putting. There is potential lack of control with deceleration at impact. The biomechanics required in the short time to have muscle contraction followed by abrupt muscle relaxation requires what might be called "real gymnastics". The two psychomotor functions are in opposition to one another and very difficult to coordinate. One is fast and the other is slow. - Dr Lanny Johnson

    Consistency
    Automated movements should be executed each time in exactly the same way. In particular the acceleration signal is extremely sensitive to muscle action and shows all details of movement execution. This refers to the shape of the curves, the height and position of the peaks, and to duration of the movements. For this player the repeatability of the curves, the duration of the movements and the position and height of the peaks is very similar. This indicates a high degree of movement automation and a high skill level.

    Importance
    The PuttLab movement dynamics data directly reflect the movement of the putter face. This data is extremely sensitive and shows even smallest changes of the movement. For repetitive skilled and automated movements, the trajectories, the velocity and acceleration curves, the height of the peaks and the timings will always be exactly the same. So if looking at the dynamic data, we always look at smooth and coherent curves. All the curves should be superimposed and look alike.

    Generally, the backswing movement should start smoothly. The backswing should not be initiated through the hands rather than with the upper right arm. To end of backswing the acceleration is becoming more steeply with a sharp edge at the top of the backswing. The transition from deceleration at top of backswing to acceleration at begin of forward swing is associated with the change of movement direction. Backswing and forward swing should not be separated by stopping at top of the backswing. Backswing and forward swing should be ONE movement.

    Until impact, acceleration is then constant for swing putters. Constant acceleration means that the speed of the putter is constantly increasing. This is represented by a constantly ascending curve of velocity at begin of forward swing (upper right graph). In contrast, acceleration is steeply ascending for hit putters. Deceleration is definitely not something we want as it place too much psychomotor burden on the player.

    Rhythm and timing

    move02

    Rhythm and timing are generally guiding human movements. Consistent rhythm and timing are crucial for high consistency of the complete stroke. Proper rhythm and timing are the basic principles in skilled movement performance.

    The graph shows the time of backswing, the time from beginning of forward swing to impact, and the time of the complete forward swing in bar charts. Time to impact is also marked with a horizontal line inside of the forward swing bar. The grey areas indicate the preferred range of the timings of the PGA Tour sample. The average time values are shown below the bars.

    Backswing time
    Backswing time should be generally about 100-200 ms shorter than forward swing time. Backswing duration of 600-700 ms is in the preferred range of PGA Tour Pros.

    Time to impact
    Time from beginning of forward swing to impact is approximately half time of backswing time which would mean 300-350 ms.

    Forward swing time
    Forward swing time should be generally about 100-200 ms longer than backswing time. The putter swinging on its own has a cycle time of about 950 ms. Forward swing time is approximately in this range. Forward swing duration of 800-900 ms is in the preferred range of PGA Tour Pros.

    The absolute times can differ between different stroke types, more aggressive (committed) players generally show shorter times and more cautious (anxious) players show longer times. However, rhythm and timing (the relation of the components) should then still be in a preferred range. In other words, the complete stroke can be somewhat slower or faster, but rhythm and timing are always the same range.

    Bar Charts
    Backswing Rhythm

    The Backswing rhythm describes the ratio of backswing time to impact time. Backswing time should be approximately double as compared with impact time. The Tour average is 2.1.

    - Fast rhythm: Players with a fast rhythm (< 2) are normally faster and more aggressive in the backswing. They tend to go for the ball and do not monitor details of their putting stroke, especially in the backswing. Another reason can be a long backswing with deceleration to impact.

    - Slow Rhythm: High numbers for backswing rhythm (>2.2) identify players with a cautious backswing who tend to control the technique during the stroke. Processing of information during the backswing needs time which will slow down the backswing time. Another reason can be a short backswing resulting in steep acceleration to impact.

    Impact timing
    The "Impact timing" parameter indicates when you hit the ball during the forward swing. Impact timing describes the ratio of impact time to forward swing time. For beginners impact timing can be 0.5 or even higher because the ball is in the center of their stroke. For professional players the timing comes down to about 0.35-0.4. Hitting the ball early in the stroke ensures impact before maximum velocity, and hitting before maximum velocity per definition means accelerating through impact. Average impact timing of the Tour Pros is about 0.39 which means the hit the ball after 39% of forward swing time.

    Speed at impact
    The "Speed at impact" parameter shows the velocity of the putter face exactly at impact. High consistency of impact velocity is most important for distance control of the putt. Inconsistent impact velocity can be consequence of poor timing and / or inconsistent backswing length.

    Importance
    Rhythm and timing are generally guiding human movements. In skilled and automated movements we try to keep this sequence of action and the underlying timing constant. This principle is called the isochronic principle.

    Movement duration will tend to be constant irrespective of movement amplitude. What will be adapted is just the amount of activation, more activation for longer putts, less activation for shorter putts. This results in a movement behavior where rhythm and timing will be almost independent from putt length.

    Consistent rhythm and timing are also crucial for high consistency of the complete stroke. With a good rhythm and timing often everything seems to be in place automatically. While executing the stroke, we feel the rhythm which is guiding us through the process of moving. Good feel in fact means that timing is perfect, everything is in place, everything happens as planned.

    More than that, feeling the rhythm is also helping the brain to relax and to more focus on the task. In other words you will be more connected to the task. The more you automatically execute the movement, the more you will be able to connect yourself to the task – holing the putt.