a study by Mr Peter
3Bays GSA Putt
The 3 Bays GSA PUTT analyzer fits into the butt end of your putter, and gives you instant accurate feedback on your putting stroke. It’s 9 motion sensors are so sensitive it can detect movements with accuracy to a tenth of a degree. DATA on your stroke is sent to you smart device via Bluetooth, and includes details on Tempo, club head speed and path, angle of attack, and club face angle at address and impact. The free app displays the results immediately using cool graphics and simple terms that makes it easy to use and understand. You’ll see your entire swing path in 3D from 2 different perspectives, with zoom and multiple playback speeds.
There are many different putting styles. All the data points collected can be affected by different styles of putters, grips, posture and club head paths, just to name a few. While there is no one “right way,” there are certain things that all good putters do, and certain things they don’t. Part of getting better at putting is learning about the process, trying new things, studying the research that’s been done, experimenting and practicing., To help get started, I have found some online putting research done with tour players (see details posted below) with recommended targets and ranges for the data provided by the 3Bays Putt. (i.e. recommended rise angles, desired loft options to control initial ball spin, thought on tempo, and more. Some definitions are included too. Try and see how you compare.
Remember, there are many ways to putt…. the best way……
puts the ball in the hole. Good luck!
Goals for the data points provided by the 3 Bays GSA PUTT*
*How did I come up with these Goals??
Read below for detailed explanations "from the experts"
Technical Terms Defined, and
Putting Theory Discussed
Loft and angle of attack
When the net loft of the putter is greater than the angle of attack, the putt leaves the face with backspin.(skid plus bounce)not so good. When the net loft of the putter is equal to the angle of attack, the putt leaves the face with no spin (better) .
Current research shows that the ball begins to roll forward soonest when struck on a 3 to 4 degree upward angle of attack with the loft of the putter at the moment of impact being 1 degree(best)
Consider 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°.
Face at impact
The ball is 1.68 inches in diameter and the cup is 4.25 inches in diameter. At 12 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.
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%. 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.
(info from SAM putt Lab and Tom Wishon.)
Mathematics Reveals New Approach To The Perfect Putt
A mathematical analysis of golf ball trajectories along a flat gradient reveals a new and simple strategy for judging the perfect putt
With a creak of the knees, you bend a fraction closer to the ball. You identify the gradient of the green, size up the distance to the hole and estimate the length and grade of the grass. Following a couple of finely judged practice swings, you're ready to sink the perfectly judged putt.
That may be the time honored way. But it turns out you've got it all wrong. According to Robert Grober, a physicist at Yale University in New Haven and a world expert on the science of golf, there's a much better way to line up a putt.
Grober's new insight comes from a simple mathematical analysis of the problem. To understand this insight, imagine a flat green with a small drop (ie at a small gradient to the horizontal. Now imagine a ball sitting a few feet from the hole on a line that is perpendicular to the fall.
Obviously, the place to aim for is slightly above the hole, so that the fall steers the ball to its target. And that's about as far as golfers have got with this problem. But Grober has gone further. He places other imaginary balls on an equidistant arc around the hole and then plots the targets to aim for for each one.
Now here's the the surprise: it turns out that each of these targets lies within a small diamond-shaped area just above the hole. And for longer putts against steeper gradients, the smaller and further away from the whole this diamond becomes.
Grober says this insight can be put to immediate use: "While these computational results may seem esoteric, in fact they suggest a very simple technique for reading putts that can improve the probability of properly choosing the proper target line."
Instead of determining a target line for a single putt, golfers should determine the target line for several equidistant putts along a 30 degree arc around the ball. The point (or small area) where these target lines coincide, is the place to aim for.
As Grober puts it: "By considering a family of putts all known to share the same target point, the golfer increases the probability of correctly identifying the target point, and thus the correct target line."
Simple really. From now on, it'll be impossible to miss.
Ref: arxiv.org/abs/1106.1698: The Geometry of Putting On a Planar Surface
Loft and Rise angle
This section of the SAM Puttlab report 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 colors, with the first putt at the top. The physical horizontal ground is indicated by horizontal grey dashed lines.
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 lower than 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 behavior 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).
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.
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.
Putts from quadrants A and B are downhill, and C and D uphill.
Putts from quadrants A and C break right, and from B and D break left.
But let's assume that a person can read a putt accurately and knows to aim at the X that I've marked on each of the putts (the "AimPoint" if you want to use that lingo, but basically the immediate starting direction of the putt).
If you can't aim your putter at that point, how are you going to consistently make putts?
Did you know that 80% of even PGA Tour level golfers can't aim their putters inside the hole on a straight putt from six feet away?
Consider that for a second. The average amateur isn't much worse, but how much worse could they be? 80% is already bad enough!
In other words, consider the image above. When the average golfer is asked to aim his putter at the hole, 80%+ of people can't hit it from six feet away. The guy above thinks he's aimed his putter at the hole, but it's aimed left. Some people aim to the right.
It's simply the way our eyes see things. The geometry of a putter - the colors, shapes, lines, edges, shaft length, hosel, offset, lie angle, etc. all combine to create a shape that looks square even when it's not.
Have you ever picked up a putter that "looked closed" to you? You open up the face until it looks good. Yet you might aim that putter better than your current one, because maybe you aim your current putter left and being forced to "open the face" because a putter "looks closed" is a good thing.
Consider the putt geometry again. If you tend to aim your putter to the right of where you think it's aimed, you'll hit putts B and D softer because they'll start higher, and you'll hit putts A and C firmer because they're starting on a lower line.
Vice versa if you're a left aimer. An aim bias will also lead to a stroke deficiency that's sub-optimal and/or difficult to repeat. For example, a left-aimer will tend to mis-align their elbows and will try to push their putts with the path going well right and the face "blocking" open. A right aimer will tend to rely on toe rotation (Tiger Woods tends to aim 4 degrees right - consider how many times you've heard him talk about releasing the toe of his putter...) to square the face. When you're not hitting 1000 putts per day (cough, ahem, TW, cough), it can be tough to time.
If you're having a bad day putting, what variable do you blame? Is your aim off? Is your stroke and timing off? Is your speed inconsistent because you're jamming putts that break one way and trying to glide putts that break the other way?
I think that there are three fundamentals to putting. The first is that you've got to be able to read the green. This led me to AimPoint ( ). The second is that you've got to be able to get the right speed of your putts. The third is that you've got to be able to start your putt on the intended line.
1. different putter heads (shape)
2. a template for drawing different lines on the top and bottom of your putter
3. different faces with varying degrees of loft
ALL of those combinations of things can affect the way you "see" your putter. They will also help you with your speed control.
Here's a brief example as a test. Look at these three putters. The fact that they're all very close to each other greatly diminishes this effect, but it's still there:
Are these putters all pointing at the same place? Are they square to the left edge of the window or post?
It turns out that they all are, yet a lot of people will see perhaps the mallet as looking closed and the thinnest blade on the right as being a bit open. We see these shapes differently.
So in a typical fitting, you're asked to line up at a target six feet away. A ball is quickly removed so the fitter can see your aim (but you cannot - lest you start to "try" to correct for your aim bias, defeating the purpose of being fit in the first place...). The fitter will then build a series of putters with different components to see how you use the various shapes, angles, lines, hosels, etc. to line up a putter. It's unique to you, and in the end, you will get a putter you can aim at the center of the hole time and time again.
And this aim won't change over time. It's kind of just the way you're wired - you see certain things a certain way, and if the testing is done in a good environment, you'll always tend to line that putter up the best.
The second part is speed fitting. You're asked to putt to a string 15 feet away. With a poor weighting setup (head weight, grip counter-weight, and mid-shaft weight combinations) you'll have a heck of a time doing this consistently. Some putts will roll long. Some will stop short. The stroke will appear jerkier than normal.
With the right combination of head weight and counter-weight, you can stop balls within an inch of the string time and time again. It's not just a matter of practice, either - you can drop 10 balls in a row on the string with your ideal setup and then change one piece by only 20 grams and go back to being erratic again
Then, any time you're on a new green, you should drop a piece of string and hit some 15 footers to quickly calibrate yourself.
So consider all of this, and consider whether your putter truly "fits" your eye or not. Most people who have a lot of putters tend to go back to one putter time and time again - a trusted classic... Many times the weight will be better, or the shape will help the guy line up his putter better (or both!).
With a putter that you aim where you think you're aiming, you'll quickly adjust and putt much more naturally. Pulls will be obvious pulls, pushes will be obvious pushes, and you'll be able to remove one of the variables from your putting - the fact that you probably aren't aiming where you think you're aiming. Remove that variable, and you can remove the compensations and build yourself a better putting stroke.