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Sports science looks at Jordon Spieth's putting

July 19 2015 at 10:15 PM
sammy  (no login)
from IP address 174.91.54.152

 
Sports science looks at Jordon Spieth's putting ....... your comments please, Geoff

1. He is among the worst inside 5' (112th)
2. He is the best at lagging and 20'-25'
3. His tempo on backswing and downswing is more uniform than most.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=13255524

 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
71.54.49.31

No "Science"

July 21 2015, 10:54 AM 

The reference is not "science", since "science" means understanding. I don't see any evidence that anyone in the reference understands anything.

Spieth's tempo is slower than most. Whether it is also "rhythmical" in the sense of "same tempo in backswing as used in the thru-swing", I cannot tell from the so-called "science", since they don't seem to understand what a TEMPO is or what a RHYTHM is, or WHY a slow tempo and even rhythm might be good at distance control.

The REAL REASON Spieth is good at distance control for long putts is because he is a student of Ben Crenshaw (who uses a gravity-tempo stroke). Although Spieth does not know what a TEMPO is or what TEMPO he is actually using or WHY it is a better tempo than others for long putts, so long as he combines that action with good spatial awareness to the target area and good movement intentionality to that space, the tempo-rhythm CAUSES good distance control even if Spite's MIND is ignorant about all of this.

So, IF Spieth were in fact EDUCATED about how this works, he would UNDERSTAND what is TEMPO, what is the body's PREFERRED TEMPO for arm swinging, WHY that is the preferred tempo, HOW the body uses that back-thru TEMPO to control impact VELOCITY by SIZING the swing in the backstroke, what is RHYTHM is loading the stroke and using the load, HOW bad rhythm of faster thru-stroke goes long and bad rhythm of shorter time for backstroke than the TEMPO goes short and bad rhythm of shorter duration in the second or thru-stroke is a deceleration that goes short. Then he would focus upon and pay attention to tempo and rhythm and spatial intentionality, but he doesn't know about these matters.

So he's pretty good at long putts but he could be better and more consistently so.

As to Spieth's short putting, that's because he lacks UNDERSTANDING of what exactly he is doing for reading, aiming, and stroking balls on line with the required pace to the hole to roll the ball on the break curve as read.

He needs a good teacher, and NO SWING TEACHER is any good for teaching putting.

Cheers!

[linked image]

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist

PuttingZone.com -- over 200 Certified PuttingZone Coaches teaching in 21 Countries Worldwide and growing strong!
The best putting instruction in the history of the game -- integrating the Four Skills of putting (reading, aiming, stroking for line, and stroking for delivery pace) by combining all putting lore in history with modern science for physics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor sports teaching and learning and performance, and especially the NEW brain science of the non-conscious processes of perception and movement action in putting skill.


    
This message has been edited by aceputt from IP address 71.54.49.31 on Aug 9, 2015 10:09 AM


 
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Russ Johnson
(Login galileoi)
73.21.156.253

Re: No "Science"

August 29 2015, 7:48 PM 

If we take the measurements shown in the video clip at face value, Jordan Spieth's
backswing duration is 440 ms and his downswing duration is 367 ms. The ratio 440/367
is approximately 1.20 or 6/5 for purposes of discussion. A follow-through duration
of 73 ms is evidently required in Spieth's case to achieve a rhythmical back/forward
timing ratio of unity. Assuming an average clubhead speed of 2 feet/second during the
follow-through, the putterhead would travel 1.75 inches after impact, slightly more
than the diameter of the golf ball. I doubt that Spieth's follow-through is ever that
short, although it appears to be somewhat abbreviated on some occasions.

The downswing duration of my forearm pendulum stroke is approximately 1/2 second or
500 ms. To achieve a rhythmical stroke with a backswing/downswing ratio of 7/6, I must
limit my follow-through to about 1/12 second or 83 ms. This results in what might be
described as a "drop and stop" pendulum stroke, which I find effective in controlling
both distance and direction.

FUNDAMENTAL RHYTHMIC PRINCIPLE & THEOREM:
In a rhythmical putting stroke the backswing and the forward swing have the same duration.
Thus the backswing / downswing timing ratio N and the downswing / follow-through timing
ratio J are related by N = 1 + 1/J, for any admissible (positive) value of J.

The optimum putting stroke espoused in the PuttingZone features a symmetric forward swing
with matching follow-through and downswing durations. In this case J = 1 and hence N = 2.
The aforementioned forearm pendulum stroke with N = 7/6 is characterized by J = 6. Note
that a rhythmical putting stroke with J = 5 exhibits the same value, N = 6/5, derived by
ESPN "sports scientists" from timing measurements of Spieth's stroke. The video posted
in Sammy's message advanced a controversial conjecture that Spieth's exceptionally good
distance control was somehow related to his idiosyncratic putting rhythm: viz., small N.
Of course, claims of this sort would be extremely difficult to prove in a court of law
or anywhere else for that matter.






    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Jan 16, 2016 9:18 PM


 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
71.54.51.230

Not Interested

December 15 2015, 7:15 AM 

Dear Russ,

Your math is very interesting but lacks any understanding of why or how what you personally do is 1) sound, 2) good, and 3) not done better by something else. So I'm not really interested in what you "claim" seems to work -- there is no science in what you say, even if there is some math.

I am also not the least interested in Jordan Spieth and his putting. I only answered this post to be polite and against my better judgment. The truth is positing Tour players as "models" to study is about the worst possible way to try to understand putting skills. I hope this pisses people off, because that's EXACTLY the problem -- golfers are EMOTIONAL about "celebrity golfers" and lose all common sense and rationality about skill. If a Tour player is the "Golden Cow" to a sufficient number of TV viewers and magazine readers, well, then, it is BLASPHEMY to say anything critical about them.

And trying to PUZZLE OUT what exactly is happening in the player's brain and body is, frankly, stupid. After years of examining whatever Tour players verbalize about how they think they putt, the whole enterprise in unfailingly unhelpful to getting any good handle on the science of putting skills.

And talking to avid golfers about WHETHER and in WHAT SENSE one of their FAVORITE Tour "celebrity golfers" has skill or lacks skill or needs improved skill is always a frustrating NON-STARTER, because these avid golfers have EMOTIONAL BLINDERS on about their "favorite" Tour (celebrity) golfer, and just won't hear his "GREAT" golfer's "skill" questioned.

To repeat, folks, "skill" is a knowledge of how the body performs the task required for the skill plus the ability to perform the task accurately and precisely on a consistent basis by knowingly keeping the body doing what is required, maintained in the mind as a cause-and-effect understanding of how the body best performs the task and why such that the golfer can explain the skill to a 10-year-old beginning golfer. [Please don't accuse me of saying that golfers need to putt exclusively with conscious awareness as opposed to the trendy "non-conscious" performance that is only poisoned and train-wrecked by "knowledge" -- I haven't said that.]

"Talent" on the other hand is what "celebrity golfers" display -- an ability playing the same courses over and over with the same or nearly the same green conditions all the time after two or three practice rounds and a team of assistants during the week when they are playing well enough to be shown on television on the weekend, while also spending all day at a golf course either playing or practicing five to six days a week for 40 or more weeks a year since age 13 or so for 10 or 20 years in a row, often using a collection of gimmicks and tricks and gadgets and goofy-think in rabid pursuit of dollars from the Tour treasure chest, which "talent" is superior to country-club average golfers, but not "skillful", and not nearly as good a level of performance as the golfer is actually capable of, and which is not accompanied by the ability to self-coach or to correctly diagnose and fix errors.

Frankly, I haven't studied Jordan Spite's putting to decide whether his tempo is 440 ms for the backstroke on SOME strokes or MOST strokes or ALL strokes, and neither have you, so I personally do not accept that his stroke is 440 ms in the backstroke and 367 ms in the forward stroke. And I also don't care if in fact that is the case.

I would much rather spend time UNDERSTANDING how golf skills in putting works -- why human bodies best perform distance control with a certain pattern, and also other patterns of less efficacy -- in terms of how the brain and body obtain perceptions that guide and shape the movement to the space.

It's an incredibly wasteful and unprofitable detour to give attention to TV golfers.

Cheers!

[linked image]

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist

PuttingZone.com -- over 200 Certified PuttingZone Coaches teaching in 21 Countries Worldwide and growing strong!
The best putting instruction in the history of the game -- integrating the Four Skills of putting (reading, aiming, stroking for line, and stroking for delivery pace) by combining all putting lore in history with modern science for physics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor sports teaching and learning and performance, and especially the NEW brain science of the non-conscious processes of perception and movement action in putting skill.


    
This message has been edited by aceputt from IP address 71.54.51.230 on Dec 15, 2015 7:37 AM


 
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Russ Johnson
(Login galileoi)
174.63.166.120

Some Science

December 28 2015, 11:28 PM 

Dear Geoff,

I respectfully disagree with your claim that my prior post in this thread is devoid of science.
My little theorem is presented in mathematical terms, true enough, but the underlying rhythmic
principle observed in all natural swinging motion supplies the essential science. Furthermore,
the 1-to-1 timing ratio of the back and forth motion in a rhythmic putting stroke has been taught
in this Forum for many years. The impression I got is that this principle is one of the fundamental
laws of putting science concerned with good touch; viz.: distance control, clubhead speed at impact,
initial ball speed, etc. I did not think it necessary to belabor this important point since you have
presented it frequently and much more eloquently than I ever could. For instance,

Re: Geoff Mangum, Tempo versus Rhythm and Short Putts, 2009
...
If the golfer desires to make both the backstroke and then the thru-stroke also, not allowing the world to swing the forward stroke, then the golfer first determines or observes how quickly or slowly he completes the backstroke (from ball to top of backstroke), and then resolves to cover the stroke length from the top of the backstroke to the top of the follow-thru in the SAME amount of time as the specific backstroke. In other words, with whatever tempo and backstroke the golfer starts the stroke, that is ALL and the ONLY time he should take to reach the top of the follow-thru. In still other words, however quickly or slowly the golfer performs the backstroke, he has to make the rest of the stroke match in a "swing". Every putting stroke needs to have this "swing" element for optimal instinctive touch.

Rhythm, not tempo, is the essential requirement for touch. The golfer can swing with a faster, shorter, tighter swing, but he still needs to make a "swing." Failing to complete the "swing" in the thru-stroke is a "choke stroke" that stops the roll short. But completing the "swing" rhythm thru to the top of the follow-thru NEVER creates a putt that rolls far by the hole -- it only gets the ball nicely there, provided the golfer was determined to roll the ball all the way but only to the hole not short and not long.

A test of this is to aim to a distant hole and then make two putts with the same rhythmic "swing" but one with a quick tempo and one with a gravity/earth tempo. The instincts can easily use either combination, so long as the rhythm "swings" to generate the correct force of impact in both cases -- both putts roll the same distance with the same impact, so long as both are rhythmical.
...

The preceding excerpt suggests that a golfer can vary the timing pattern of his putting stroke considerably,
without sacrificing touch, provided that the fundamental rhythmic principle is honored. I have investigated
this hypothesis for the past eighteen months with generally positive results for four rhythmic "ballistic"
pendulum strokes characterized by J = {1,2,3,6}. Recall that the index J is the ratio of the downswing
duration to the follow-through duration. For purposes of this discussion, the downswing duration d is
determined solely by gravity and is always 1/2 second. Thus the follow-through duration d/J decreases
with increasing values of J, requiring a quicker tempo for the backswing as well as the forward swing or
thru-swing. I soon developed a preference for the stroke with the fastest tempo, J=6 at 103 bpm, though
I had previously devoted months of intensive practice to familiarizing myself with the slowest tempo: viz.,
J=1 at 60 bpm. There followed a shorter period primarily spent practicing with J=2 at 80 bpm. In this case
the back/down timing ratio N = b/d = 1 + 1/J is 3/2, ostensibly near the lower limit of the values measured
by Dr. Christian Marquardt in his study of tour professionals circa 2004. The decision to include quicker
tempos in my tests was made primarily for the sake of thoroughness, so I was surprised when these strokes
proved to be not only viable but actually more effective in my forearm pendulum method. On the other
hand, the Bermuda greens I normally encounter in central Florida are not all that fast; I might find that
a slower tempo is preferable on quick greens. It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway, conclusions
on my part are unlikely to be generally valid for all golfers.


Yours truly,

Russ Johnson



    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Jan 17, 2016 11:36 AM


 
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jrj
(Login galileoi)
174.63.166.120

Sports Science

December 16 2015, 5:51 PM 

ESPN is not PBS and you can't squeeze blood out of a turnip.


    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Jan 15, 2016 10:12 PM


 
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Geoff Mangum
(Login aceputt)
Owner
199.58.112.65

No Science

December 25 2015, 11:42 PM 

That's right -- no "science". Numbers are not science. Science is understanding why the numbers are what they are.

The PuttingZone teaches WHY a gravity-based tempo gives better distance control than other tempos in putting, basing the understanding upon 25 years of neuroscience about how the brain correlates body motion with the physics of the world. This ESPN "science" doesn't know anything about that.

Cheers!

[linked image]

Geoff Mangum
Putting Coach and Theorist

PuttingZone.com -- over 200 Certified PuttingZone Coaches teaching in 21 Countries Worldwide and growing strong!
The best putting instruction in the history of the game -- integrating the Four Skills of putting (reading, aiming, stroking for line, and stroking for delivery pace) by combining all putting lore in history with modern science for physics, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, motor sports teaching and learning and performance, and especially the NEW brain science of the non-conscious processes of perception and movement action in putting skill.

 
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Russ Johnson
(Login galileoi)
174.63.166.120

More Science

January 15 2016, 2:18 PM 

Dear Geoff,

You quite correctly criticized a previous post of mine in this thread as failing to convey any
understanding of what I personally do in my putting stroke. This reply is intended to remedy
that deficiency to some degree. Since I am neither teacher nor coach to anyone except myself,
I am likely to be the sole beneficiary of the following essay.

My conceptual understanding of the forearm pendulum stroke I invented is based on an elementary
biomechanical model of a physical pendulum consisting of a right-handed golfer's putter, left hand,
and left forearm. This ensemble is free to rotate about a pivot coincident with the left elbow, which
remains firmly planted against the golfer's torso during the stroke until well past impact. The left hand
and arm muscles exert the necessary forces to establish a stable equilibrium point for the pendulum at
address. The right arm is free to act or move in any way that produces or accommodates the intended
stroke. The backswing motion is generated by a force conveyed to the pendulum via the distal joint
of the right middle finger. The opposing distal joints of the right thumb and index finger provide a
sensitive mechanism for keeping the face of the putter square to the target line.

I subscribe to a "gravity-only" downswing. My shoulders, head, and body are stationary through
the entire stroke. My backswing normally concludes with an unforced coasting segment, which
commences after the pendulum is given an initial "ballistic" impulse. In other words, the take-off
is a toss or a tug. After the starting impetus ceases, the ensuing unforced motion of the pendulum
carries it to the top of the backswing and continues seamlessly into the downswing. Under benign
conditions adopted for purposes of analysis, Newton's laws show that rhythmic strokes of this type
have a follow-through duration v directly proportional to the duration w of the impulse initiating
the backswing. Specifically, the formula v = w/2 succinctly summarizes the physics governing
rhythmic "ballistic" pendulum strokes.

The backswing duration can evidently be expressed as b = w + x. Similarly, f = d + v represents
the duration of the forward swing if d is the downswing duration. The ratios N = b/d and J = d/v
generally facilitate the timing analysis of a putting stroke. In particular the relation N = 1 + 1/J
is derived from the fundamental rhythmic principle: viz., b/f = 1. A straightforward argument
then shows that the relative duration of the unforced segment in a ballistic backswing is given
by x/w = (J - 1)/2. Proof: Since w/v = 2 presumably holds, the preceding equation can be put
in the simpler form x/v = J - 1. Setting x = b - w leads to b/v = J + 1 and substituting v = d/J
then yields b/d = (J + 1) / J. Hence N = 1 + 1/J follows directly from the definition of N.
Reversing the algebraic steps establishes the desired result, QED.

The invariant gravity tempo of my downswing ostensibly endows my stroke with good touch
for any intelligent choice of the rhythmic index J = 1/(N - 1). All positive values are admissible,
mathematically speaking, but very large values are physically impractical. Small integer values
generally yield strokes with musically recognizable backswing rhythms. It is perhaps noteworthy
that integer values of the internal backswing timing ratio X = x/w stem from odd integer values
of J = d/v. Stated more explicitly, J = {1,3,5,7,...} implies X = {0,1,2,3,...} and vice versa. For
a downswing duration of 1/2 second, a rhythmic backswing and thru-swing tempo in terms of
metronome beats is, to wit, bpm = {60, 80, 90, 96, 100, 103-, 105} for J = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7}.
Of course, the metronome settings can be easily scaled to reflect any natural pendulum tempo;
e.g., bpm = {70, 93+, 105, 112, 117-, 120, 122.5}. The available range of tempos is apparently
large enough to accommodate the vast majority of golfers.

The objective of the testing I have done thus far has been to determine the best rhythm/tempo
choice(s) for my personal situation. I have also tried applying the backswing rhythms discussed
here to more conventional pendulum strokes, without encountering any problems that appear
insurmountable. Some appreciation of the psychological and/or physiological issues that may
arise within the context of the above "suboptimal" backswing rhythms would be desirable,
and I would be grateful for any knowledge or insights you are willing to share.


Yours truly,

Russ Johnson



    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Feb 8, 2016 4:36 PM


 
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jrj
(Login galileoi)
174.63.166.120

Science and Numbers

January 15 2016, 10:10 PM 

There are very few pure numbers in science. Some physicists recognize only three or four numbers
as truly fundamental. Probably the most interesting of these is the fine-structure constant introduced
by Arnold Sommerfeld a century ago.

The fine-structure constant so intrigued physicist Wolfgang Pauli that he collaborated with psychiatrist
Carl Jung in a quest to understand its significance. Max Born believed if its value were any different,
the universe would be degenerate and therefore 1/137 was a law of nature. To this day no one understands
it, as witnessed below by a famous American physicist.

Richard Feynman, one of the originators and early developers of the theory of quantum electrodynamics,
referred to the fine-structure constant in these terms:

There is a most profound and beautiful question associated with the observed coupling constant, e – the amplitude for a real electron to emit or absorb a real photon. It is a simple number that has been experimentally determined to be close to 0.08542455. My physicist friends won't recognize this number, because they like to remember it as the inverse of its square: 137.03597 with an uncertainty of about 2 in the last decimal place. It has been a mystery ever since it was discovered more than fifty years ago, and all good theoretical physicists put this number up on their wall and worry about it. Immediately you would like to know where this number for a coupling comes from: is it related to pi or perhaps to the base of natural logarithms? Nobody knows. It's one of the greatest damn mysteries of physics: a magic number that comes to us with no understanding by man. You might say the "hand of God" wrote that number, and "we don't know how He pushed his pencil." We know what kind of a dance to do experimentally to measure this number very accurately, but we don't know what kind of dance to do on the computer to make this number come out, without putting it in secretly!

— Richard Feynman, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Princeton University Press, p. 129, 1985.




    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Jan 17, 2016 2:38 PM


 
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jrj
(Login galileoi)
174.63.166.120

Re: Sports science looks at Jordon Spieth's putting

January 15 2016, 5:48 PM 

The ESPN link in Sammy's original post is broken.
A link to the Sports Science video is provided here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXORZ99eLIo

for the convenience of those who choose to spend time
investigating this topic.




    
This message has been edited by galileoi from IP address 174.63.166.120 on Jan 20, 2016 1:53 AM


 
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