Science of putting
As Andy’s reputation grows so does demand for his knowledge.
He has been a consultant to Swingrite UK Ltd since 2008, developing their CentreCup putting trainer into the CentreCup Pro’ and assisting in the public launch of CentreCup & CentreCup Pro. In 2011 he conducted putting stroke seminars for Warwickshire County Professionals, providing an insight to his knowledge of the putting stroke and data on fitting players correctly for their stroke and club. He has been approached to provide coaching seminars for County coaches from several counties, several leading academies and European Elite Player Programmes & PGA’s. In 2012, he will be travelling around Europe & America providing putter fitting seminars and stroke consultation to PGA Professionals and Tour Players alike. Andy saw an eventful 2011 culminate with him headlining as the Putting Coach at the hugely successful London Golf Show 11th-13th November at Earls Courts, where hundreds of golfers took advantage of his knowledge & expertise. This has continued with the National Golf Show at NEC Birmingham in April 2012, with live stage shows each day conducted in front of hundreds of golfers each time.
Andy is a regular putting consultant on the mens European & Seniors Tour. During the 2011 Seniors British Open at Walton Heath, he was approached by John Letters and asked his opinion of the prototypes for their new line of Gol11den Goose putters. John Letters had launched them at The Open and after lengthy consideration Andy agreed to taking these putters with him and help launch Golden Goose onto the European Tour as their R&D Consultant. Andy has been travelling with the putters since July 2011 and has seen an overwhelming response from the players and gained essential knowledge for the development of the next line of putters for Golden Goose. Andy has his own ‘Signature Series’ of putters coming out in the Summer 2012.
A repeatable Putting Stroke starts with a putter that fits the player. In much the same way we can’t all wear the same suit off the shelf we can’t all use the same putter. Golfers have become accustomed to having their irons & even their drivers custom fitted, but few of us give our putter a second thought to being custom-fitted or adjusted. THIS INCLUDES RETAILERS & even some manufacturers. A putter needs to be correctly fitted as the lack of momentum in the stroke allows the golfer to manipulate the putter-head causing subtle errors and missed putts. The correct setup is vital in order that the stroke is free to swing naturally & path of the club is uninhibited.
Virtually every consultation requires the putter to be adjusted to suit the individual. I have personally adjusted around 90% of all putters for golfers who have lessons with me. The most significant measurement is the lie of the putter as this determines the optimum length required and these two factors dictate the player’s ability to putt according to their own ‘specific biomechanical blueprint’. It is paramount that the club is the correct lie, length, correct weight, and loft. Andy offers a comprehensive custom fitting service for all golfers at the Queslett Park site. ZENIO analysis provides me with the data that confirms the necessary adjustments and as a players adapts to the changes, ZENIO feedback gives the confidence to the player to know the changes will work instantly.
1. Lie: The correct lie angle helps to establish the ideal posture position time and again. An incorrect lie angle on the putter will determine more than likely a poor set-up position & as with our irons, the correct lie maintains a square clubface position during the impact zone helping to ensure the ball starts on the chosen line. A putter that’s too upright will encourage a ball roll starting left of the intended line & one too flat will often see the ball roll start right of intended target.
2. Length: It is essential for the golfer to stand to the ball in the correct posture position. For me, the eyes do not have to be positioned over the ball or target-line. This compromises the arm-hang position causing the forearms, wrist and hands to move independently in an effort to control the clubface rotation. The correct biomechanical position for the arms sees the hands hanging in front of the shoulder-line and not directly underneath them. This with the parallel shaft and forearm angle from the club-head to the elbow encourages the putter-head rotation to remain square to the pendulum path of the club-head as the putter swings from the arms & shoulders. The putter-head pendulum does not move in a straight line but on a gentle arc (inside-square-inside). The correct length determines a golfer’s ability to perform with consistency in conjunction with our bodies natural tendencies. Many tour players use shorter putters, including David Howell, who at 6ft 2in uses a 33” putter.
3. Loft: The correct loft will vary from individual to individual and from one manufacturer to another. So there is no one single measurement that fits all. The roll of the ball is determined by the correct loft at impact and governed largely by the players’ angle of attack on the ball during the forward stroke, so if your putter has only 2 or 3 degrees and your stroke consistently delivers the putter to the ball with only 0 or 1 degree then an increase of loft may well improve the initial roll on the ball and allow for more consistency on distance control. Too much loft at impact will also cause the ball to roll erratically as it will lift into the air rather than rolling and bounce and skid before the roll takes effect. These factors are assessed using analysis equipment and high speed cameras to determine the optimum loft for the player. Adjustments are then applied to the putter, ensuring the correct club is made for the individual.
4. Weight and Balance: Shortening a putter makes the putter feel much lighter and requires re-weighting in order to re-balance the putter. Most putter lengths are adjusted making the putter shorter, (Scotty Cameron makes shorter putters with heavier heads, 10g per 1″) so the weight that is taken from the club needs to be replaced returning the correct balance to the club.
5. Shape & Style of Putter: All putters have differing stroke characteristics and each design affects the amount of clubface rotation during the stroke. It is vitally important to establish which style of putter-head that works most effectively with the individual stroke; the style must fit the eye as the putter is the most used club in the bag. It’s no use looking at a club that doesn’t fit your eye. Equally important is how the club reacts to the stroke. Analysis with ZENIO sports equipment instantly provides feedback on how the putter performs with the players’ stroke. For instance, a golfer who does not consistently hit the putt on or near the centre of the putter face may benefit considerably from a putter design with a much bigger sweet spot or MOI (Moment of Inertia). Also a certain style or feature can help the player align more accurately. Using specific analysis tools we are able to ascertain the correct putter for each individual. Personalised Fitting Session Your best Putting Stroke is governed by your putter suiting you! Many putters are adjustable and the cost for these adjustments are fairly low, so there is no need to buy a new putter and a few simple adjustments could see your putting scores improve dramatically in no time at all. Call me to discuss your personal fitting session and let us establish your best way to lower your scores, starting with your putter.