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Length of Stroke :backstroke vs forward stroke


Haro
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I’m overthinking this.  Two  popular web instructions (Chris Ryan and Clay Ballard) says the putting stroke length should 1/3 backstroke and 2/3 forward stroke.  
Two PGA players says the opposite.  The foreward stroke  is shorter than the backstroke 

Luke Donald.  “Like hitting a hammer”

Brandt Snedeker  “The follow through is nonexistent“

I trust this forum and the it’s insightful members to shed some wisdom  for this dichotomy 

 

Edited by Haro
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Going back, you go from zero speed to something to zero speed.  Going forward the same distance, you go from zero to impact speed, that will take less time.  The exact proportions vary by player.  I once knew calculus, I could calculate the times for the parts of the stroke, but that knowledge is long gone.

Another thing to think about, the best players have stopped accelerating at impact, their clubhead speed is steady.  So realistically, the follow through is pretty much the same as the pre-impact forward swing.

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Lots of ways to swing a putter.  Sneds uses more of a pop stroke so his distance after the ball is much shorter than his backswing.   Some people advocate accelerating through the stroke and having the forward swing longer.  Some promote equal forward and back swing.     The one thing pretty much everyone agrees on is that no matter how long the putt is,  the stroke takes the same amount of time.  Can you control your distance and hit the ball on your startline?

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It all depends on what your putt tempo is. Also I am sure the type of putter you are using will also affect how to ball comes off the club face. 

With me I have noticed my back stroke has to be shorter with a mallet putter than when I am gaming a blade. 

One thing I always try and stay consistent with since I have started playing it to hold my follow through until the ball leaves my peripheral vision. I was told "hear it drop or watch it miss" and this is something I try to keep in mind whether I am facing a long lag putt or a short putt. 

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20 hours ago, DaveP043 said:

Another thing to think about, the best players have stopped accelerating at impact, their clubhead speed is steady.

Great point.

Now I'm not a pro and I'm not an instructor, but .. have been working hard on my putting (fwiw).

Imho, the primary consideration is FOR YOU what type of putter stroke...

  1. Are you comfortable with?
  2. Can you deliver the face square at impact?
  3. Can you develop excellent speed control?

Don't "force" a method on yourself that may be the wrong solution!

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As with anything in putting, it is extremely personal and less about an "ideal" technique than any other aspect in golf. It is best to experiment in a setting where you can control and isolate as many of the variables as possible so you can observe which stroke length is best for you by tracking make rates or proximity to the target. 

I've only heard of an equal length of stroke before and after the ball, or the stroke length after impact being roughly double the backswing length as you mention above. The idea of shorter follow through is interesting, but I wouldn't apply concepts from Snedeker unless your overall stroke is similar to his which is rare. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/14/2020 at 6:09 PM, Haro said:

I’m overthinking this.  Two  popular web instructions (Chris Ryan and Clay Ballard) says the putting stroke length should 1/3 backstroke and 2/3 forward stroke.  
Two PGA players says the opposite.  The foreward stroke  is shorter than the backstroke 

Luke Donald.  “Like hitting a hammer”

Brandt Snedeker  “The follow through is nonexistent“

I trust this forum and the it’s insightful members to shed some wisdom  for this dichotomy 

 

I think the weight of the putter might have something to do with it as well. 

A light putter will be easier to control post impact to slow it down.  A really heavy putter will carry more momentum. 

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  • 11 months later...
On 10/14/2020 at 7:32 PM, cnosil said:

Lots of ways to swing a putter.  Sneds uses more of a pop stroke so his distance after the ball is much shorter than his backswing.   Some people advocate accelerating through the stroke and having the forward swing longer.  Some promote equal forward and back swing.     The one thing pretty much everyone agrees on is that no matter how long the putt is,  the stroke takes the same amount of time.  Can you control your distance and hit the ball on your startline?

Started using a metronome and it feels like most putts short distance or long distance is the same time to complete the stroke 

Though on severe uphill putts I feel like setting the metronome a bit faster settings 

Edited by Haro
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On 10/15/2020 at 4:20 PM, BMart519 said:

As with anything in putting, it is extremely personal and less about an "ideal" technique than any other aspect in golf. It is best to experiment in a setting where you can control and isolate as many of the variables as possible so you can observe which stroke length is best for you by tracking make rates or proximity to the target. 

I've only heard of an equal length of stroke before and after the ball, or the stroke length after impact being roughly double the backswing length as you mention above. The idea of shorter follow through is interesting, but I wouldn't apply concepts from Snedeker unless your overall stroke is similar to his which is rare. 

Sneds would be on the extreme side of the spectrum.   
i think the ideal pendulum is equal lengths both back and forward stroke. 
However there is lots of room for individual variation 

I starting to feel stroke length after impact double the backswing isn’t consistent for for speed control for me 

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On 10/26/2020 at 10:02 PM, Stopher said:

I think the weight of the putter might have something to do with it as well. 

A light putter will be easier to control post impact to slow it down.  A really heavy putter will carry more momentum. 

I’m feeling just the opposite.  Heavier head will reduce overall swing length 

light head or counter light at the butt generate more momentum at the bottom of the arc 

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I have a relatively short back stroke and accelerate thru impact according to how long the putt is.  Recently I was fitted by Edel and with counterweight it in the grip the fitter made the head feel light.  He mentioned that a heavy head would be terrible for my style.  Loving the Edel and it’s almost instinctual now as how hard to hit it, it’s almost and extension of my hands.  Very eye opening fitting session.  

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On 10/15/2020 at 5:20 PM, BMart519 said:

As with anything in putting, it is extremely personal and less about an "ideal" technique than any other aspect in golf. It is best to experiment in a setting where you can control and isolate as many of the variables as possible so you can observe which stroke length is best for you by tracking make rates or proximity to the target. 

I've only heard of an equal length of stroke before and after the ball, or the stroke length after impact being roughly double the backswing length as you mention above. The idea of shorter follow through is interesting, but I wouldn't apply concepts from Snedeker unless your overall stroke is similar to his which is rare. 

It’s a fairly common idea.  Stan utley and many others want a shorter forward stroke.

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I've gone to a shorter followthrough over the last year.  I had a pendulum motion, but I found that I couldn't control the speed very well; short most of the time.  I watch Snedeker and tried that pop stroke with mixed results.  This was the stroke used by pros many, many years ago when the green speed was quite slow.  An old local pro here still uses it today.  

If you watch Spieth putt, he has a short followthrough; seems to just hit the ball firm enough to get the ball rolling the pace he wants; almost a strike then pullback stroke.  I like it, and it's working pretty well for me.

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12 hours ago, Kenny B said:

If you watch Spieth putt, he has a short followthrough; seems to just hit the ball firm enough to get the ball rolling the pace he wants; almost a strike then pullback stroke.  I like it, and it's working pretty well for me.

An instructor I used for awhile starting in 2013/14 had me change to this type of putting approach. It changed my putting consistency especially speed and distance control. 

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I found when my through stroke got long (longer than my backstroke) I tended to push the ball more. Almost like I was guiding it. The advantage I have seen with a shorter follow through (this is very recent as I have been GRINDING on putting the last few days) is that I have less face manipulation/rotation in my through stroke. Basically getting myself to get my follow through equal to or shorter than my backstroke felt like I was doing Sneds' popstroke but on video it just looked like a normal stroke. I was just so used to trying to have this long languid guided through stroke that I unlearning that was quite uncomfortable at first. 

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15 hours ago, VtheGNMan said:

I have a relatively short back stroke and accelerate thru impact according to how long the putt is.  Recently I was fitted by Edel and with counterweight it in the grip the fitter made the head feel light.  He mentioned that a heavy head would be terrible for my style.  Loving the Edel and it’s almost instinctual now as how hard to hit it, it’s almost and extension of my hands.  Very eye opening fitting session.  

Very nice! I also recently splurged on an Edel (the 4.0) and while I cannot say it instantly transformed my putting ☺️ .. I can say it's definitely helping me with distance control!

 

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Back in the 80s, I had a putting lesson where the instructor taught that the backswing and forward swing should be about equal. For a flat 10' putt the backswing should be the length of the width of the putter head.(I use a blade putter).And the forward swing the same. For a 20ft putt two putter heads and so on. Obviously a little more or a little less if slope is involved. Has worked well for me over the years.

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The Sik Putter face technology is obviously the furthest forward thinking, Now Cobra Due to Bryson have adopted their face technology on their putters and their MOI 3d printed putters must be the best tech out there for MOI forgiveness and for roll as physics says it must be. Bryson is pushing the bounderies as he uses the Sik putter with armlock but everyone could benefit from the Sik design face that has been incorporated by Cobra that gives extra forgiveness no matter where on the face you actualy strike the ball. The computer read outs do not lie.

Edited by Grasper Parsnip
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^^ ummm so.... ^^

I usually don't call out people here but - what does any of that have to do with the length of a putting stroke??

Advertorials should be posted elsewhere (imo).

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12 hours ago, cksurfdude said:

^^ ummm so.... ^^

I usually don't call out people here but - what does any of that have to do with the length of a putting stroke??

Advertorials should be posted elsewhere (imo).

Yes, due to the grooves on the face being a different loft from top to bottom on the putters face it alters the length of the putting stroke required to get the ball roling, quicker rolling means more distance.   I meant to add that Putting stroke length and distance putted works on a players tempo, slower even tempo means slower longer stroke to get a similar distance to a faster through stroke style.

 Forgive me but I just got distracted with something more important while posting last night.  My tempo works out that if I take the putter back 8 inches, then with my  tempo of 442 twice as fast coming through than taking away, the ball goes approx 10 feet on a normal green. 12" take away gives me 20 feet and 16" gives me 30 feet.

I would think that this distance gapping on a putt would change by a foot two which could be crucial,  depending on the type of putter I were using and how heavy it was and how quickly it rolled off the face.  For the record I use an old Yes victoria putter mallet style but I was interested in the ball roll from the face technology of the Sik multi loft faces.

IMO Why would anyone bother to post anything that wasnt constructive to this conversation or is it that we can only talk about the Edel brand putters which are fine putters too ?

Edited by Grasper Parsnip
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