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  • Arm Swing Putting ?

    I've always thought shoulder rocking putting was the correct way (if there is one) for putting but now I'm thinking differently. Not sure why I haven't considered 'Arm Putting' before but I did a little test at home comparing the putterhead path using a shoulder rocking vs arm swing.

    Shoulder Rocking Set-Up : Similar to Tiger Woods to be honest and tried just rocking the shoulders up and down to move the putterhead.

    Result : The putterhead path was conical but the radius was small and moved quite a lot inside -square- inside. Why?

    Theory: I'm not really rocking the shoulders independently up and down , I am actually twisting/untwisting my upper spine/shoulders together. My upper arms are closer to my pecs (from this more upright posture) so I need to get the pecs 'out of the way' by twisting my 'shoulder/ upper spine' to allow the putterhead to move back and forth, albeit on an arc with a smaller conical radius (ie. if you looked at the path from above view).

    Arm Swing Setup - Wider stance , elbows bent 'chicken wing' with upper arms further away from the pecs. My spine more tilted over and my arms sort of hanging loosely from the shoulder sockets . Then I just concentrated on keeping my head and upper spine still (without any twisting) and then just allowed the arms (ie. humerus) to swing the putterhead back and forth in their stable shoulder sockets.

    Result : The putterhead path was still conical but the radius (when looking from above) so much larger - drastically less inside -square- inside.

    Theory: There is quite a large degree of freedom for the humerus to move in their shoulder sockets that can allow the arms and putterhead to move appreciably back and forth along a less curved path if you allow quite a distance between the upper arms and pecs at setup.

    I'm convinced I play better golf by allowing my arms more degrees of freedom rather than restricting motion (to limit possible error) and am going to give this a try on my golf holiday next week (will report back on my experiment).
    Last edited by Schrodinger; 4 weeks ago.

  • #2
    Hi guys,

    (WARNING…..long post warning….WARNING…)

    This is a putting post that has been long since brewing…

    Perhaps I take our Chairman’s aversion to “body-part-analysis” more to the extreme than most?

    As many of you are aware, I’ve been working at this great game for almost SIX decades?

    And after all this time, I cannot for the life of me tell you or otherwise describe HOW or WHAT my arms or shoulders are doing as I stroke my putter??? (it is entirely plausible that my basic, INSTINCTIVE putting stroke is “serviceable”??)

    Hole is “over there” and I need to launch the ball in “that” direction to allow the ball to “flow” over there?

    IMHO, there is basic “law” of shotmaking that states: “…the ball tends to come off the face IN the direction that the face is POINTING at impact…”

    That goes for drives, irons, and most importantly putting.

    So, in contrast to conventional putting instruction, I spend way less time worrying about WHERE my putter head is travelling, but way MORE attention to where the FACE is pointing at Impact.

    So….now that you’ve caught me in a bald-faced lie, I must confess that my “worrying” is a bit of a mis-direction? I’ve come to understand that the LESS I concern myself with my putter FACE-angle, the BETTER my putting becomes?

    Quite frankly, I’m working diligently on NOT trying to CONTROL my putter-face as I swing?

    Rather, I’m just ALLOWING my MIND to “find” that necessary face-angle? (trust me, your mind KNOWS what that face-angle is and how to find it….)

    Here’s the “math”-reasoning…

    IF you recall your high-school Geometry, the INTERSECTION of a SPHERE (ball) and a PLANE (putter-face) is ONE singular point. (just call any math teacher to confirm?)

    There is ONE, and ONLY ONE “face-angle” that will be successful in contacting that singular point.

    Every other angle will MISS that point, either INSIDE or OUTSIDE.

    The hole is 4.25 inches in diameter. From FIVE feet, that “angle of deflection” that will result in the ball MISSING the hole (to either side) is +/- TWO degrees. From further distances, the deviation gets WORSE!

    Now, do you have ANY conception of how small two degrees is?

    Picture a clock-face. You know, the kind with the numbers around the outside and the hands that point to different locations???

    How many degrees in a circle? Answer: 360

    How many minutes in an hour? Answer: 60

    Therefore, how many DEGREES in a MINUTE? Answer: SIX.

    In other words, from five feet, the face-angle error that will result in you MISSING the hole (to either side) is LESS than ONE-THIRD of a tick-of-the-clock?

    Do you really think that YOU can control the face of your putter to THAT degree of PRECISION.

    I don’t know about YOU, but I DO know that I, despite my best efforts, cannot??

    As a result, I have given up trying…

    I’m VISUALLY focusing my eyes on that point on the REAR of the ball that is precisely OPPOSITE the direction upon which I wish to LAUNCH the ball…. And let my SUBCONSCIOUS take care of finding that face-angle that will create that point of contact.

    Call it a “leap of faith”?

    I no longer concern myself with what PATH my club is travelling?

    I figure that I’m capable of being pretty close regardless.

    I’m GIVING UP control of the FACE-ANGLE, rather than trying to MAINTAIN control?

    I’m dead serious here guys…..LESS is MORE.



    Sorry Schrodinger if I hijacked the thread.

    Love this place and you guys

    dude abides
    Last edited by COSTA103; 4 weeks ago.
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    • #3
      Costa I'll give you the math permutations but I will also throw in the variable of side spin to the degree of error in missing the hole as well as centeredness of face sweet spot momentum. With all of those variables it STILL comes down to what your mind and body believe it sees as the proper physical picture. Many great putters of the ball have horrible putter form when compared to the text book set up. But they all believe when they roll the ball it will fall in the hole, so roll it the way that YOU see it, if it works for you great if not keep looking. ;>)

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      • #4
        I'm guilty of preconceived notions (ie. golf instruction) about putting setup because I used to putt well using a wide stance and an arm swing 10 years ago . I should have just stuck to what felt right rather than thinking that I was somehow 'sowing the seed' to a long term improvement on my technique/mechanics.

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        • #5
          Just returned from my golf holiday in France (Saint Saens- quite a challenging wonderful golf course) and played really well . Ended up beating my playing partner (hcp 8) by 7 with 6 to play (2 rounds per day for 2 days) although he does give me an extra shot for the 8 most difficult holes . Only 2 bad drives over 4 rounds , pitching , chipping and putting all above average for me . Ended up using arm swing putting stroke with a right hand claw grip and found this gave me far more distance control feel and a better quality stroke, so going to stick with it.

          If you ever get a chance to play in France , go for it as there are some fantastic golf courses to experience.

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