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Are These Putter Science Claims Valid?

September 13 2013 at 5:21 PM
Pauly  (Login PaulyPau)
from IP address 90.225.60.9

 
Geoff,

I am a searcher for the best putter for me. Is what is said in this video something you can confirm as true or false?

http://www.seemore.com/institute/videos/instruction/32/59/

Thank's

Pauly P


    
This message has been edited by aceputt from IP address 24.172.2.158 on Nov 27, 2013 4:37 PM


 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
71.71.48.219

SeeMore is Silly

September 14 2013, 9:21 PM 

Dear Pauly,

No, what that guy is describing is simply the absence of mass in the rear of the putter head. The "bad" putter he "compares" has a completely different shape and therefore mass distribution in the putter head, specifically a center of mass that is offset from the shaft plane back a bit from the putter face and shaft. The purpose of this is to promote stability and certain characteristics of roll off the face. The SeeMore guy is ignorant about this physics.

He is also ignorant about human bodies, since the SeeMore "standard" lie angle of 70 degrees that he keeps illustrating is actually flatter than usual by most manufacturers and all of these lie angles are flatter than standard human bodies, fixed by the natural angling of the forearm hanging out of vertical -- this forearm angle is usually in the 14-18 degrees range, which translates to goofy golf-speak as a lie angle up from the ground of 90-14 = 76 degrees. So SeeMore makes an unusually unsuitable putter lie as standard for almost all humans. The SeeMore guy failed to describe whether the face stays square at, say, 73 degrees. It should if the mass is not centered back from the plane of the shaft. notice that the SeeMore guy never attempts to explain why the face stays square at ANY degree lie -- he obviously is clueless about the physics.

Comparing the "face balancing" to the face at any lie angle is just goofy. It's sort of a straw-man fake argument. There is nothing validating the way he describes the face in saying it is NOT face balancing. Those are just two different ways of talking.

When he says he is interested in the "balance" of the face at address at 70 degree lie angle (20 degrees out of vertical, not especially suited to humans), he is only appearing to describe "the proper balance" but that's not what he is actually describing. He's ignorant about that. ANY putter face that has mass equally left and right of the shaft will sit "square" to the PLANE that the shaft makes in gravity. Imagine the shaft with a plumb line dropping from the top of the handle, so the line and the shaft make a plane that is vertical in gravity. ANY putter face with equal mass left and right of this plane will sit "square" aiming perpendicularly out of this plane.

The goofy stupid false argument that since the "bad" putter does not so hang means that the SeeMore putter has some "special" design physics in it is just specious and ignorant.

SHOULD a putter NOT have recessed mass like the "bad" putter? No, it's a choice with different stroke physics. Is the SeeMore design superior? No, just different. Does the way the SeeMore putter hang mean that golfers will have better strokes? No, the golfers still have to control the putter face even of the SeeMore putter. Will the SeeMore putter face return to square by itself due to its "special physics in the design"? No, not any more than any putter with equal left-right mass off the plane of the shaft -- none of them "return" to square at all. Does the toe weight in the SeeMore design by itself re-square the putter face even if the golfer makes an unusual stroke? No, of course not. Etc.

I suppose it is necessary to point out two fundamental points of the reality of physics: First, putters "fall down" out of square in the backstroke, because something in the mass distribution in the shape "falls down" once the putting stroke lifts the putter off the support of the ground that had been preventing the falling down before that. Second, mass at the far end of a stick will have more inertia (tendency to remain either stationary or in its present velocity more than objects with less inertia), so that a "toe-heavy" or "toe-hanging" putter head design will have the following tendencies in a putting stroke: 1) at the start of the backstroke, the "toe won't go" when the heel starts back and the face closes; 2) at the top of the backstroke, the "toe won't stop" as quickly as the heel and the face pops wide open; 3) at the start of the downstroke, the "toe won't go" again when the heel starts down and the face pops even wider open; and 4) at impact the 'toe won't stop" as quickly as the heel, and the face will snap-hook closed thru impact. That's a typical Scotty Cameron putter, which is why golfers using them think they need an arcing stroke and have to bandaid this mess with a "release" of the putter head thru impact -- they just don't know what is causing what or what to do about it.

What to do about it is simply called "grip pressure" -- hold the putter handle to overcome and therefore control these physics forces. Unfortunately, stupid golf instruction to 'hold the putter as lightly as possible," like a "little girl holding a delicate bird" etc. etc., has messed up entire generations of golfers with ignorance.

Which brings up the first point above: putter heads, in addition to the inertia forces that will ruin a stroke unless managed with the golfer's grip pressure, will "fall down" in the backstroke and the face pop open from extra mass locating the total putter head center of gravity back from the face (to the rear or right of the face for a right-handed putter). That's illustrated in the SeeMore guy showing what a putter head shape with a high "moment of Inertia" design will do with the center of gravity recessed back from the face as is true in most so-called "big head" designs. That's correct enough if the golfer uses a very light or nearly no grip pressure -- such as the tee pegs in the SeeMore film INSTEAD of two hands on the handle. True enough, but the SeeMore guy doesn't know how grip pressure overcomes and controls these pretty minor physics forces that otherwise disrupt the stroke. But the idea that the SeeMore design is "special" and will "return" the putter face to square is just absolutely stupid. Nothing ever "falls up", ever, and inertia never reverses itself into anti-inertia! No putter head that opens in the backstroke will EVER resquare itself in the forward stroke, ever. No design in the known universe can accomplish that. Only a golfer can resquare a putter face. And since a golfer can also PREVENT a putter face from coming out of square, he can also make the "resquaring" job a lot easier.

People like the SeeMore guy are just completely ignorant about basic physics and how that works in putter design and the use of these designs in the stroke, and how the human has the job of appreciating the weirdness in the putter and controlling it. The best putter design has the least weirdness that taxes the human to control. A good putter design for golfer X is one that happens to work well with golfer X's stroke motion and muscle tone without much awareness of the golfer's action or choosing good from bad action for improvement. A better putter design is one that works well with a better stroke motion and muscle tone that is sound in physics and with know-how about what is causing good or bad strokes, as this is not only simple, understood, and easily repeatable, but it also avoids the streakiness that ruins golfers by the hundreds on Tour every year when their "special" putting goes off for two or three weeks at a time.

SeeMore is especially studded with silliness. Pat O'Brien recently commented on Zach Johnson's putting by saying that the "putter design" does the goodness in the putting and all Zach has to do is "allow it." This is completely stupid, people. "The stroke just happens," said OBrien. "Zach allows it to happen. The putter is designed to swing (perfectly) on a plane."

So, why does Zach say this about his putting being off for weeks before the BMW?:

"I putted phenomenal [THIS week]," Johnson said. "I've been hitting it good, and I have not putted like that in weeks. Its nice having everything come together."

http://golfweek.com/news/2013/sep/16/5-things-zach-wins-championship-field-set-more/

Obviously (SARCASM), Zach must not have been allowing his SeeMore putter to work correctly for weeks and weeks! Well, I guess that might be down to poor putting instruction as to how to "allow the putter" to do the strokes for Zach, or perhaps Zach just can't "get it".

Never listen to people selling putters who do not also KNOW how to teach putting and also KNOW real physics -- even if they pretend to be golfers or golf teachers. Golfers don't know any science and putter selling golfers are inherently suspect if not outright untrustworthy. You will only get sales hype that is goofy science claiming to be real science that doesn't matter to how the tool is used with skill.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist
PuttingZone.com

100_1433x.jpg


    
This message has been edited by aceputt from IP address 71.71.48.219 on Sep 18, 2013 9:21 AM


 
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Pauly P
(Login PaulyPau)
90.225.60.9

Help in choosing putter

September 15 2013, 3:47 PM 

Geoff,

Thank´s for your reply!

I rate myself as a good putter but want to become better, a great putter. Reading on this forum about your studies, seeing your youtube movies, buying your video with Elk and also taking putting lessons from my Swedish pro Javier Nigard I think I am on the right track.

But now, instead of a putter choosing me I want to choose a putter. I have always preferred a flater lie than standard, my current putter is a customized Edel with a lie of 68 degrees. Working on my posture with Javier I am lifting the heel to play more upright. Question one: Will lifting the heel (like Stricker) affect the putters mass so it performs less consistent?

Question two: If I now want to buy a new putter that suits my new better posture, is my thinking of an 32 inch (today 33 inch), face balanced and at a lie angle of 76 degrees to prefer? And if so, where to find one and which brand to choose. Most putters at store are 35 inch and if I buy a 35 inch and shorten it to 32 it will affect the head weight, right?



Thank´s for a great forum!

/Pauly P



    
This message has been edited by PaulyPau from IP address 90.225.60.9 on Sep 15, 2013 4:31 PM


 
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Keith Behrens
(Login TheGreatGooglyMoogly)
68.183.133.99

Take a look at Yar

September 15 2013, 4:50 PM 

Pauly,

I am fan of Geoff's and of the information that he has passed along in his videos, book and on this form. I purchased Yar putter and along with Jeff's information my putting has improved dramatically. I would suggest taking a look at Yar putters and going as far as calling Dr. Vanderbilt. She was a tremendous help in going to the fitting process for the Putter she also explained the benefits of the Putter clearly.

Best of luck, Keith

PS - don't be put off by the looks of the putter

 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
24.172.2.158

Too-Flat Lies Harm Strokes

November 27 2013, 4:35 PM 

Dear Pauly,

You are overly worried about the mass properties of the putter. The length, lie, and non-goofy physics are more important than some supposed benefit from putter head design and mass dynamics.

What you need is a putter pretty close to the natural angle of your forearm when bending slightly forward with the upper torso at address. The upper arms hang vertically, but the forearms do not continue on the line of the upper arms but the muscle tension either side of the elbows make the forearms angle off vertical. If you held an aiming stick in the left hand so the stick aligned with the left forearm when bending forward at address, and then extended the stick out along this line until it met the ground, that is the lie angle you want for simple physics when you make a stroke with the mass of the two arms plus a putter.

Typically, this stick will meet the ground about 8-9 inches out from the end of the golfer's toes. The "lie angle" of this stick will be the same off vertical as the forearms naturally hang out of vertical. If, for example, the forearm hangs out of vertical 14 degrees, the stick will meet the ground leaning back from vertical also the same 14 degrees. Measured up from the ground, as done in goofy golf culture, the "lie" angle will be 90 - 14 = 76 degrees.

Why is this better than the 68 degrees of David Edel's putters? Simple physics: the greater the lie angle diverges from the forearm angle, the more the torque force on the end of the stick tending to drop the putter head inward out of the golfer's stroke plane, no matter what putter head design shape and mass there is. This unnecessary, unhelpful, disrupting torque corrupts whatever stroke motion the golfer uses and therefore places the golfer at the mercy of the ill-conceived physics. That's completely unhelpful.

Even more fundamentally, putter designers typically have zero appreciation of how putter design needs to fit the human. For example, designers across the board are completely unaware of the natural angle of human forearms and what this means for good putter design. That's typical of golf culture. Designers do not know, for example, how much mass is in a typical adult male arm -- about 7.5 pounds! Two arms have nearly 15 pounds of mass, and putters are no more than one tenth of this mass, about 1.5 pounds. This means golfers are not really swinging putters, but are actually swinging two arms across the front of the body holding a putter along for the ride. In physics, unknown to all of these folks selling their weird golf-culture bad-physics putters, the ten-times-more mass of the arms swing left-right across the front of the body with least trouble and complication when the two arms hang neutrally in gravity -- not held up and out in gravity as required by the 68-degree flat lie angle -- too flat and too long to hold as designed without reaching out to the handle, thereby battling against gravity in the setup and of course in the stroke motion also. That's just not smart design.

Arms hanging neutrally are the first order of business for putter designing. Arms that hang neutrally not only avoid fighting gravity but also gain a good ally in the stroke that helps channel the arms back and thru in plane for a good straight stroke, that is especially trouble free when the forward stroke is transiting between the feet. After all, any stroke that is "bad" to the inside or to the outside requires sending the arms "up" out of their neutral hanging in gravity. So gravity "opposes" moving the arms up either to the inside or t the outside of "straight along in the neutral channel."

If you hold you putter's heel up a bit at address, that is not "doing a good thing like Steve Stricker," but is owning a putter that was not designed to help you and using it in a better way any way. Stricker should get a better putter. So should you.

But your concern that using the badly designed putter heel up is going to generate bad physics is particularly illogical. Get a more-upright design or bend the bad design you own. But if you don't do that, the "worry" that the heel-up use in a stroke will inject such troublesome mass dynamics that you shouldn't do it is easily answered by just trying it! Duh. It's a better way to use a too-flat putter than to set a too-flat putter down soled flat to the surface on too-flat a lie angle with arms fighting gravity and too much unnecessary torque from the flat lie angle trying to ruin the stroke by sinking the putter head inward towards the feet in the stroke along trajectories that are different whenever the grip pressure and arm muscle tone differs from stroke to stroke.

Think of it this way: the troublesome physics caused by reaching the arms up and out to accommodate a too-flat putter sitting flat to the surface is much worse than the troublesome physics caused by swinging a too-flat putter slightly heel-up but with the massive arms NOT reaching out of gravity to hold the putter. If you've been suckered into buying a putter that is designed too flat for you (and almost all golfers except weird ones), then using it slightly heel-up is not that harmful and is probably better than using the putter as ignorantly designed.

You can also increase the muscle tone in the arms and hands to overcome the bad physics of lifting the arms up and out to accommodate the too-flat putter design, but that's part of the reason why the design is bad. It's not just "tighter makes it all righter", but it has to be "same tightness exactly throughout the 1.5 second duration of the stroke, or you get bit by the bad physics of unnecessary torque waiting for your muscle tone tolet off in any appreciable degree, and then the stroke gets "dropped" and corrupted."

In fact if you take any poorly designed putter and hover it slightly off the surface and turn it sideways at address, as if to putt the back of a ball down the line with the toe end of the putter, this presentation of the putter will immediately unflatten the lie angle of the shaft so the shaft matches the forearm angle. Making strokes with the putter held this way is a lot better stroke than almost all putters sold today -- the putter aimed toe-first like this swings very true back and forth with minimal grip pressure to manage bad torque influences. If you then turn the putter head back to normal but keep the lie angle and settle the sole back to the ground, you will see that the heel sits up. This is an exact measurement of just how BAD the putter was designed.

Rather illogically, Stan Utley teaches that if you turn your Ping-like putter toe-first and make strokes, that the stroke that results is what you should use when you hold your putter normally. Boy, is that ever confused! What the toe-first stroke shows is what you SHOULD get from a well-designed putter, not from the bad design you are holding! The stroke you get when you return your badly designed putter to the normal position is not at all the same as the toe-first stroke -- it's corrupted by the poor physics! And Stan USED to say that this corrupted stroke path was "natural" and "just like a miniature full swing." No it's not -- it's just bad physics messing up the golfer's motion, and the toe-first stroke shows just how much the golfer is forced to contend with. For heaven's sake, people -- golf is stuck in the dark ages with this stuff.

Here's an image of me setting up with a conventional putter at the usual lie angle of 19 degrees off vertical (so-called 71 degree lie), the off-the-shelf standard according to putter manufacturers who do't know much about human bodies or about the skills of putting for setup and stroke motion. The vertical line cuts thru the shoulder and the balls of the feet. The blue line traces the forearm out of vertical down the conventional shaft angle 19 degrees out of vertical. The steeper green line is where the forearm line hangs naturally about 14 degrees out of vertical, and is the lie of a putter that swings with superior physics with less demands for controlling path and face on the golfer. The pink line is the flattest of the three, and is the Edel lie of 22 degrees out of vertical (68 degrees up from the ground) -- the putter with the worst torque bending the stroke and demanding attentiveness by the golfer to control path and face angle back and thru. If the grip pressure or arm muscle tone relents during the stroke, the stroke path and face angle get corrupted by the unnecessary torque, the hands sink inward, the putter head curves and sinks inward, and the face comes out of square. In the case of the green line, the hands have already sunken to their point of equilibrium before taking hold of the putter, and then the putter has only a modest torque to the arms that is controlled with modest muscle tone -- the golfer would have to have a serious change / lessening of grip pressure or muscle tone in the stroke to dip below all that is required to support the modest torque for the natural forearm angle.

GeoffSetupLie.jpg

If you want to experience the differences in torque, set any putter down flat on the surface, and then place the hands on the handle and then unbend the upper torso so the arms and hands and putter all lift slightly and the putter comes off the surface. Relax the grip pressure to "as light as a bird" and the putter head will droop inward towards the feet to hang vertically from the hands. Then, with progressively increasing "squeeze" in the left hand, squeeze until the left hand returns the putter head back to its original position flat on the surface, and NOTE the level of muscle tone in the hand required to place the putter head back. (This is the LEAST muscle tone required to be maintained by the golfer to prevent the torque for that putter head and lie angle from corrupting the stroke path and face angle.) Then repeat this and NOTE the level required to move the putter head out 14 degrees, then 19 degrees, then 22 degrees -- paying attention to how much more torque is required to be controlled with the increasingly flat lie angles.

As to cutting down a 35-inch putter, don't bother until you change the lie angle by getting something bent (no crimping of the shaft is allowed in the Rules). First, bend the lie angle more upright, then cut off maybe one inch, not 3-4 inches. Even if you think a 32-inch or 33-inch putter is good for you, keep an extra 2-3 inches above your wrist line for those cases when you might want to bend a bit less. Once cut off, there's no good way to go back, but the extra "reserve" length never bothers anything.

As to losing some mass by cutting off an inch or two, don't worry about it. Golf culture has a made-up thing they call "swingweight" but it has next to nothing real about it for putting unless your stroke has some weird and unhelpful lag changes in your wrist angles in the stroke. Without "lag" there is NO SWINGWEIGHT that gets registered in the "feel of the hands" -- only handles changing angle inside the hands make this feel, and that means thewrists and putter face angle is getting out of hand. You don't want to use a flipping lag action with a putter, so a slight reduction of swingweight is not anything to worry about, since you shouldn't want to "feel" the putter head anyway by wrist breakdown, grip tone changes, and face angle / path changes that need unchanging back to impact.

Instead, the overall mass of the putter needs to satisfy your body and natural tempo and level of violence on the greens you usually play. A neutral grip that stays the same muscle tone is a "dead hands" simple no-angle-changes motion, and has no use for so-called "swingweight". Generally speaking, putter designers have really missed the boat on this overall mass for typical adult male golfers, and have been dragged into better design despite their natural ignorance only recently. A putter head for most adult males should have at least 365 grams of mass and probably up to 390 grams for shorter putters. Putters in the past few years are starting to sport 365-gram putter heads, and then there is that completely worthless Heavy putter design grossly too heavy even for John Daly.

If you cut down a putter that you bought from one of these dumb designers, it will likely have less overall mass than is suited to a typical adult male since it probably didn't have enough mass to start with, so perhaps you can a) add lead tape, or b) add backweighting in the top of the handle, or c) put salt or some sort of powder down inside the shaft. If you add lead tape, it matters where exactly the tape goes, as different placement can corrupt the stroke and require unnecessary muscle tone to control.

Basically, anyone selling putters or doing putter fitting that does not understand good stroke motions and human bodies swinging tools and who does not adhere to the fundamental principle of "good posture and movement of the arms first, then the putter that matches that posture" should be avoided.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist
PuttingZone.com

100_1433x.jpg

 
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sammy
(no login)
184.147.223.241

FYI.....

November 28 2013, 1:40 PM 

Geoff.... The putter designers are not "dumb" because they know what tweaks the market, and it's glitz for gearheads. They are in the game for the money, and not to provide a simple basic putter design. They know that colorful face inserts, highly machined faces, wings, faux-balls, fangs, colorful graphic designs, annual model changes, pro endorsements will sell sell sell the toys for boys.

Just admit it, Geoff, most who "play" golf are not serious about the game and only participate for the magical toys and socializing. So don't sound like a curmudgeon who is mired in intellect. Also please don't accuse me of "misanthropy" when my assessment is a lot more realistic than yours.

 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
64.134.188.134

Putting a Twist on It Without Helping

November 29 2013, 6:52 PM 

Dear sammy,

The effort here is to help golfers, not get the accusations correct. The only legitimate purpose of criticizing the way golf culture in the persons of putter designers, training aid makers, media, and the like take such an insubstantial approach to what they call helping is to HELP GOLFERS, not put golfers down.

The distinction is between condemning golfers generally (you) versus condemning an approach by those purporting to be teachers, guides, leaders of golfers (equipment and training aid designers and manufacturing companies, golf professional organizations, golf media, and the like) (which is what I'm talking about).

My criticism is against those claiming more than they offer because they are not really serious in the effort, since they obviously don't start with the SKILL before making STUFF and teaching STUFF that supposedly helps but actually doesn't pass the laugh test of common sense. It's HELPFUL to golfers to get this straight, even if it comes across a bit "tough-lovish". It's not at all negativity for negativity's sake.

I leave all that to you, since you don't seem to be trying to help.

Cheers!

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist
PuttingZone.com

100_1433x.jpg


    
This message has been edited by aceputt from IP address 66.255.115.74 on Nov 30, 2013 8:04 AM


 
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