Anonymous (Login aceputt) Forum Owner 184.108.40.206
January 27 2008, 5:48 PM
On every count that matters-technique, nerves, courage and determination-Tiger is the best putter ever. Tiger is the one guy who putts better as a tournament progresses and the pressure increases.
I've never seen Tiger flinch on a putt. He never seems to have moments when he accelerates too quickly or manipulates the clubhead with his hands. Tiger moves the putter at the same pace back and through, keeping the face remarkably square to the putter's path. The efficiency and consistency of his stroke are amazing. But Tiger isn't just a mechanical marvel--he lets a little emotion come into play, in a good way. His hatred of bogeys is so great that his focus intensifies on putts for par. Simply put, he's the best at closing the deal."
In the first paragraph, I agree about "nerves, courage," disagree about "technique", and don't know enough about other people's "determination" to announce a winner (and neither does Johnny). I don't think Johnny knows enough to proclaim Tiger as "the best putter ever" in pro golf or in the game.
I like and agree with about everything in the second paragraph.
Thank you for all of the good work that you do and the incredible content you provide to all of us that believe golf game improvement can come thru better putting. I read your forums on a daily basis and up to this point have not offered my insights as to the topics at hand. However, with the amount of recent mis-information regarding Tiger's putting stroke I feel compelled to provide some inside info to clear up some points. As President of Science & Motion Sports, and someone who has measured and spent time with a number of PGA Tour players, I have the unfair advantage of having seen data that most have not, and video/television cannot provide.
Tiger's stroke is actually a straight back - straight thru stroke with an even distribution of take-away length to follow thru length. On a 13 foot putt, there is absolutely no arc to his stoke whatsoever. However, he does have an incredible amount of head rotation in his stroke. In fact, at the start of his forward swing he is generally between 7-8.5 degrees open to the target line/path (which are one in the same in his case). The speed of his head rotation is generally between 45-70 degrees per second. In essence, his path stays on the target line with an incredible amount of rotation. We have never measured or worked with a player that performed the stroke in this manner.
Contrast Tiger's stroke with that of Loren Roberts, who has a slightly tilted (left) arc stroke relative to the target line. While Loren's stroke is actually an arc stroke his putter face is perfectly square to the target line thru the impact zone (10cm before and after impact). Again, we have never measured or worked with a player who performs in this manner.
Both players are highly consistent with their strokes (as one might expect) and both are regarded as excellent putters. However, they go about the task with completely different technical results. While most instructors would suggest that a player keep the face square to the path, neither of these players goes about the task of putting in this fashion.
As for tempo, most Tour Players (including Tiger) have a rhythm of appoximately 2 beats for the take away and 1 beat for the time to impact. Time to impact is generally 40% of the overall time of the forward swing.
As a point of reference, Tiger dramatically improved his putting statistics last year (from 2006) by moving from 137th to 48th in Putts Per Round, 116th to 5th in 3Putt Avoidance, and 137th to 4th in Putts/GIR. Coupled with his non techncial abilities, it is quite easy to argue that he is the best putter in the world...if not of all time.
Thanks for your insights and input into this discussion!
As someone who has been privvy to your excellent technology, I have been aware for some time as to the figures you quoted above. My questions are related to the whys, hows, and whats that one can learn from your analyses.
Why in your opinion does Tiger produce the SBST arc with the large amount of rotation?
How is that helpful to him, and to others who aspire to his levels, at least technically?
What about his body's movement processes produce his stroke and what can we learn from them?
How does one reproduce the timing mechanisms that Tiger displays? Does one want Tiger's timing? How does one work on timng in their putting stroke?
Is consistency more important than good technique?
How does your technlogy relate to brain processes, movement processes, and what do you think is more important to understand?
Apologies to David Orr for the multiple questions, but you do owe me a dollar?
Thanks for posting this info. Mike. I am curious, does Tiger make any compensations during his stroke for aim to the left or right and/or does Tiger have a consistent miss under pressure (i.e. pull to the left) like most players?
"Tiger's stroke is actually a straight back - straight thru stroke with an even distribution of take-away length to follow thru length. On a 13 foot putt, there is absolutely no arc to his stoke whatsoever. However, he does have an incredible amount of head rotation in his stroke. In fact, at the start of his forward swing he is generally between 7-8.5 degrees open to the target line/path (which are one in the same in his case). The speed of his head rotation is generally between 45-70 degrees per second. In essence, his path stays on the target line with an incredible amount of rotation. We have never measured or worked with a player that performed the stroke in this manner."
Based on Tigers straight stroke and putter head rotation, I believe what you are telling us is that the Center of Mass of the putter is moving linearly, while the putter head turns about it's vertical gravitational axis of the putter. (The axis you get when you hang the putter from it's butt end.)
If so, then Tiger's putter weighting is significant. If his putter is horizontally face-balanced, the heel and toe of the putter are rotating equi-distantly around the vertical axis, while the CofM moves linearly. If the putter is slightly toe-weighted, the toe would rotate more than the heel. I trust you can visualize that explanation.
Attempting to hold the putter face constantly square to the straight back and forth stroke may require a compensatory applied counter-rotation, while what Tiger does is more natural anatomically ... to allow the putter head rotate in the back stroke and then bringing it back into the forward stroke, and all the while maintaining a linear motion CofM.
I have tried both, keeping the putter face square and allowing the face to fan open, and the latter seems more natural and unforced.