November 3, 2006
In this article I’ll discuss some mis-understandings of how the putter face moves on an Inclined Plane.
There are a couple of training aids on the market that advocate using an arc when putting and while the putter does indeed work on an arc the player needs to understand WHICH arc this is.
There are two ways to view this “arc”,
(1) on a horizontal plane or
(2) on a vertical plane.
Let me explain, if you were to lay your putter on the ground, clubshaft and all, and move it back and forth you would see that it moves on an arc, a semi-circle. Now looking at this arc how important would ball position be? It would be absolutly critical! Too far back and you would push the putt and too far forward and you would pull the putt.
Now the dynamics of the stroke, with any club, dictates that the club move in a 3 dimensional motion - backward, upward and inward simultaneously.
Now find a 2×4 and set it up so that the 2 inch side is laying on the ground and the 4 inch side is standing up. Set up to the 2×4 with the heel of your putter flat against the 2×4. As you make your putting stroke keep the heel of the putter on the face of the 2×4 and make sure that it stays flat against it, not opening or closing. DO NOT try and keep the putter low to the ground - this creates a flat spot and there are NO flat spots in a circle!
Allow the putter to follow these three dimensions. If you do this you will notice that the putter is working on an arc - but a vertical one! It is going backward, upward and inward all at the same time. So while it APPEARS to be straight back straight through in reality it is opening to the base of the plane - target line - but is at right angles to the arc.
NOW ball position is NOT critical!
If you rotate the putter face closed the ball will hit the front part of the 2×4 and if you open the putter face you will push the ball. In either of these two cases the heel of the putter would would come off the 2×4.
We have students doing this at our Medicus Golf Institute Schools and they make 90% of their putts from 10 feet and 75% from 15 feet!
Try this drill and you’ll quickly see how your putting will improve.
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