1. Setup and Aiming
A proper setup position is a prerequisite of a good putt. Setup includes body posture, gripping the putter, alignment of body relative to the ball and the target line, and aiming of the putter itself. In a neutral setup with a square putter face you can simply swing the putter back and forth like a pendulum to start the ball on the intended line. The setup is in particular important for direction control in putting. (Read more…)
2. Face and Path Direction
The putter face angle at impact and the swing path direction at impact are the critical factors which determine the initial direction of the ball, as rhythm and timing of the swing are the most important factors for distance control. Direction control starts with a neutral setup position where all body lines are aligned parallel to the intended target line. (Read more…)
3. Putter Path and Impact Spot
The consequence of hitting the ball outside of the sweet spot of the putter is poor ball contact with corresponding direction and distance errors. Critical aspects for proper impact spot are solid setup and a consistent swing path. Often an inconstant impact spot is consequence of a corresponding inconsistent swing behaviour. (Read more…)
4. Spin and Launch
The effective loft of the putter at impact and the vertical putter path angle through impact determine the launch angle and the spin of the ball. On fast greens a flat launch angle of the ball and initial top spin are preferred, to avoid skidding. (Read more…)
5. Putter Face Rotation
Controlling putter face rotation is crucial to hit the ball with exactly the intended face angle and thus the most important dynamic aspect of putting to control the direction of a putt. (Read more…)
Yips is the inability to complete a normal putting stroke. Typically Yips is assigned to the occurrence of involuntary movement jerks, spasms or freezing. Between 20% and 30% of golfers are affected by Yips. Yips has been described as an organic problem (dystonia), a psychological problem (choking), or a continuum between both (studies of the Mayo Clinic). Our research however reveals that Yips is the consequence of exaggerated self-perception and conscious control, and is very much task specific. By changing specific aspects of the putting context Yips can be switched on and off.
Phil Kenyon and Christian Marquardt talk about Yips (Instagram live session, Mai 7, 2020):
1. Yips Diagnosis
As Yips mainly consists in a twitching of the wrist of the right hand before or directly at impact, the SAM PuttLab data shows Yips problems mostly in the face rotation data, in particular in the rate of rotation curve at impact. Oscillations found in the rate of rotation graph indicate the jerks.
As the problem normally emerges from the right hand, it makes sense to also test playing 2-3 m putts with the right hand only and then inspecting the face rotation report.
Yips after training:
Science&Motion (SAM) Academy has developed a revolutionary approach to the treatment of the dreaded golfer’s cramp. Our studies prove that Yips is mainly made up of complex motor strategy problems. Where avoidance strategies or mental training programs permanently fail, the SAM Academy YipsCure is the first treatment getting right to the heart of the problem.
First the movement problem is precisely diagnosed with the SAM PuttLab. Then an individual training program is tailored to systematically isolate the problems and to “unlearn” them step by step. After the training the original movement competences are widely regained.
Claw grip for putting:
Some very easy adjustments can help you to better handle your Yips problems:
Take the right hand out of the game: As Yips is most often a problem of the right hand only, try to take the right hand out of the game. This can be done by using a claw grip. Basically the left hand is then responsible to move the putter. It is important that the right hand is only lying on the grip, but not really gripping the putter. Try to reduce the grip pressure in the right hand as much as possible. You can also try to bring the right hand to the grip just before you start the backstroke.
Play left-handed: Surprisingly often only putts to the left are affected by Yips. Simply using a left-handed putter and playing putts to the right can help you to hit normal putts. You can first try to play putts with the back side of your normal putter and check if the hands are still twitching. If good, get yourself a left handed-putter. You will wonder how good the putts can feel again.
Scientific Research on Putting
SAM PuttLab suits perfectly for doing scientific research on putting. Many international Universities already use SAM PuttLab to conduct putting studies. The data can be very easily collected, and subsequent data analysis is completely automated in the PRO edition. Even group data can be analysed by key press. Different levels of analysis are available: data per stroke, data per session (averages and SD), both stroke and session data per group, and a full player data listing. Export formats allow to directly read in the results e.g. in Excel or in SPSS.
SAM PuttLab data has been also used in a couple of own studies:
Land, Tenenbaum, Ward & Marquardt: Examination of Visual Information as a Mediator of External Focus Benefits,
in: Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 2013, pp 250-259.
C. Marquardt: The Vicious Circle Involved in the Development of the Yips,
in: S. Jenkins (ed.) Annual Review of Golf Coaching, 2009, pp 67-78
C. Marquardt & M. Fischer: Movement kinematics of the Golfer’s Yips,
in: D. Crews & R. Lutz (eds.) Science and Golf V, 2008, pp 216-223.
C. Marquardt: The SAM PuttLab: Concept and PGA Tour Data,
in: S. Jenkins (ed.) Annual Review of Golf Coaching, 2007, pp 101-114.
T. F. Stickney II: Length of Stroke and Timing Signatures in Varying Handicap Levels,
in: Annual Golf Coaches’ Review Research Paper, 2007.
In this section you will find educational videos about the SAM 3D-Putt 2.0 software add-on, including many new functions like the Swingplane view, the 3D Putting Template and the Launch Report.
In this section you can find educational videos about the SAM BallTracker. We will show you the data sets of a Tour & an Amateur Player and the ball performance analysis on straight & breaking putts.
High Speed Video Study
This high speed video study shows the effects of Loft and Rise Angle to ball roll.
The force vector applied to the ball determines launch angle and ball spin:
The effective loft at impact determines launch angle (appr. 80%);
The difference between loft and rise determines ball spin (effective loft > rise = backspin, effective loft < rise = topspin).
General mechanismus of impact to the ball:
LOFT imparts BACKSPIN to the ball:
RISE imparts TOPSPIN to the ball: