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“Heads Up” Putting?


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If you haven’t listened to it yet, go check out the latest Hack it Out Golf podcast.  ALWAYS full of great content  with Mark Crossfield, Scott Fawcett, and Lou Stagner, but the latest edition (#50) includes Sasho McKenzie and is probably the best one yet.

Anyway, about 30-35 minutes in the discussion steered towards a previous lecture/video Sasho had given concerning “heads up” putting, which basically means looking at your target as you putt rather than the ball.  He gave a number of compelling insights into why it MIGHT be a better putting method for some…has anyone tried this?  And I don’t mean rolled 10 putts in your basement, I mean has anyone taken this to the course and given this method an honest trial?

I’d be very interested in anyone’s thoughts on this.  

And, by the way, if you don’t subscribe to Hack It Out, you are truly missing out…

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Been talked about before on the forum.

 

Also,  the link to the Sasho Mckenzie seminar is:  

 

 

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8 hours ago, Getoffmylawn said:

And, by the way, if you don’t subscribe to Hack It Out, you are truly missing out…

Cannot second this enough. I not much of a podcast fan but I listen to this religiously and love all of them so far. Side note, Crosafield just did a video about creating lag and how that really doesn't work how we think and it was enlightening.

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8 hours ago, Getoffmylawn said:

If you haven’t listened to it yet, go check out the latest Hack it Out Golf podcast.  ALWAYS full of great content  with Mark Crossfield, Scott Fawcett, and Lou Stagner, but the latest edition (#50) includes Sasho McKenzie and is probably the best one yet.

Anyway, about 30-35 minutes in the discussion steered towards a previous lecture/video Sasho had given concerning “heads up” putting, which basically means looking at your target as you putt rather than the ball.  He gave a number of compelling insights into why it MIGHT be a better putting method for some…has anyone tried this?  And I don’t mean rolled 10 putts in your basement, I mean has anyone taken this to the course and given this method an honest trial?

I’d be very interested in anyone’s thoughts on this.  

And, by the way, if you don’t subscribe to Hack It Out, you are truly missing out…

I'll second a recommendation for the pod, they have some great insights and are always sharing helpful information. I am intrigued by heads up putting as well, going to have to try it out on the putting green and see how I get along with it.

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9 hours ago, cnosil said:

Been talked about before on the forum.

 

Also,  the link to the Sasho Mckenzie seminar is:  

 

 

Ah, damn it, I did a search but not thoroughly enough apparently.

Thanks, especially for the video link.  Brilliant guy that Sasho.

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37 minutes ago, Getoffmylawn said:

Ah, damn it, I did a search but not thoroughly enough apparently.

Thanks, especially for the video link.  Brilliant guy that Sasho.

And for those that like to read instead of watching videos, he posted this as well

 

https://www.golfsciencejournal.org/article/5008-evaluation-of-near-versus-far-target-visual-focus-strategies-with-breaking-putts

 

 

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I tried it for a while and it works, but I’m not sure it’s any better than looking at the ball (at least for me). It can cause problems with longer putts because you can end up scuffing the ground behind the ball in which case the ball goes nowhere (guaranteed 3-putt). So for now I just use it some when practicing to make sure I’m not overly technical with my stroke. The heads up method forces you to be athletic and react to the distance/hole like you would if you were just tossing the ball to the hole. 

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4 minutes ago, CRW said:

I tried it for a while and it works, but I’m not sure it’s any better than looking at the ball (at least for me). It can cause problems with longer putts because you can end up scuffing the ground behind the ball in which case the ball goes nowhere (guaranteed 3-putt). So for now I just use it some when practicing to make sure I’m not overly technical with my stroke. The heads up method forces you to be athletic and react to the distance/hole like you would if you were just tossing the ball to the hole. 

Don’t know if you listened to the podcast but they specifically talked about not always having to do the heads up approach especially as you get to longer distances as contact starts to become more important. 
 

Expand on your first statement some more.  You say it works but then counter and say it may not be any better than looking at the ball.  If you aren’t any better then it really doesn’t work to improve your putting.  Do you have metrics over time to show putting prior to heads up to compare to heads up?  For example were you better at 6-10 footers, same from 10-20 and worse outside of 20’?  

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Lou Stagner is looking for volunteers on Twitter who have SG: Putting data to trial heads up and collect data to see if it makes a difference. 

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1 hour ago, cnosil said:

Don’t know if you listened to the podcast but they specifically talked about not always having to do the heads up approach especially as you get to longer distances as contact starts to become more important. 
 

Expand on your first statement some more.  You say it works but then counter and say it may not be any better than looking at the ball.  If you aren’t any better then it really doesn’t work to improve your putting.  Do you have metrics over time to show putting prior to heads up to compare to heads up?  For example were you better at 6-10 footers, same from 10-20 and worse outside of 20’?  

I guess I should have said it works about the same as traditional putting for me. I have no data, and gave up on Arccos already as the sensors kept coming lose probably because of how close my lead/top hand is to the end of the grip.
 

I’m basing it on my average number of putts (around 30 per round, depending on how many greens I hit/miss). The most important factor for me with putting at this point seems to be the putter I’m using and whether I get along with it. 

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I know a spy who knows a spy that putts pretty dang well using this method. I've tried it for fun a few times and, well, it's weird to me... hell, it's weird watching him putt 😆. Having just recently switched to LHL is all the putting change I care to master right now. 

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I switched to heads up putting a few months ago based on Sasho’s research and it really helped me. There was a bit of a learning curve, but I practiced a bit at home with some rubber bands on my putter to practice strike. 
 

I don’t think I’ll ever go back. I feel much more comfortable on the greens now. My pace control and has never been better, especially on mid range putts. I have made way more 8 to 20 foot putts. While putts per round isn’t a great metric, I have definitely seen my average reduce as well about a stroke or two less per round since I began. 
 

One caveat is that I also changed putters to something that fit my stroke better. I was using a 2 ball because I aimed it alright, but since I stopped focusing too much on the putter itself, and more on the swing feel, I’ve been happier. 

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On 9/9/2021 at 10:20 AM, fixyurdivot said:

I know a spy who knows a spy that putts pretty dang well using this method. I've tried it for fun a few times and, well, it's weird to me... hell, it's weird watching him putt 😆. Having just recently switched to LHL is all the putting change I care to master right now. 

Are you referring to me??  😆

I've been putting "heads up" looking at the hole since 2014.  I switched because I was a terrible putter, and I thought Why Not?  Can't hurt!!  My big issue prior to switching was moving my head; looked up too soon.  When my head is already up, it doesn't move.  I'm a much better judge of distance and speed of the putt using this method... think shooting hoops, darts, horseshoes, corn hole, slo-pitch softball, etc.  I average about 30 putts per round, mostly because I miss a lot of greens.

It took a lot of practice when I first tried it; started with putts inside 5 feet, then slowly move back as I got comfortable.  I use it for all putts, even putting from the fringe when I don't chip.  Last year as an experiment, I tried traditional putting for a few holes and quickly decided that I will never go back!!

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I'm going to give this a try next time out. I also think I'll be doing it on most every stroke since that SIK I have has the DLT that should mitigate strike pattern misses a bit better than most other putters. I need something to jump start putting again to be honest, the start and middle of this year were very good for my strokes gained putting numbers going positive strokes gained against a 5 handicap in 9 of 10 weekend rounds, but the last month I've hit a lull, going negative strokes gained in 4 of my last 5. Part of that is proximity, but part of it is not hitting lines like I was to start the year. This could be the spark I need.

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I volunteered to provide before and after data to Lou after suffering through 45 putts during my last round of "traditional" putting (my worst ever I believe), now its a race against winter up in Canada. Got 1 round in with 36 putts (a couple from fringe) and 5x 3 putts. Was smashing the ball past the hole. Have a scramble this week which will be another chance for on course practice. I did drain a downhill, winding 45' putt for birdie on a par 3. So there are some flashes. I am making a ton of putts on my steel ruler and Exputt at home, just need it to translate to the course. 

If anything, it gives me a distraction on course as I also race to break single digits for the first time. (Also, gives an excuse if I don't make it 😆

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41 minutes ago, BMart519 said:

I volunteered to provide before and after data to Lou after suffering through 45 putts during my last round of "traditional" putting (my worst ever I believe), now its a race against winter up in Canada. Got 1 round in with 36 putts (a couple from fringe) and 5x 3 putts. Was smashing the ball past the hole. Have a scramble this week which will be another chance for on course practice. I did drain a downhill, winding 45' putt for birdie on a par 3. So there are some flashes. I am making a ton of putts on my steel ruler and Exputt at home, just need it to translate to the course. 

If anything, it gives me a distraction on course as I also race to break single digits for the first time. (Also, gives an excuse if I don't make it 😆

How are you doing heads up on your Exputt?   Are you just looking at the dots on the mat?

 

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On 9/9/2021 at 7:28 AM, BMart519 said:

Lou Stagner is looking for volunteers on Twitter who have SG: Putting data to trial heads up and collect data to see if it makes a difference. 

I volunteered to take part with Lou. Will embark on the journey this week. Will be interesting to see the differences. Long putts will take some getting used to. 

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3 hours ago, cnosil said:

How are you doing heads up on your Exputt?   Are you just looking at the dots on the mat?

 

Yes, the dots closest to the sponge. I find that much more comfortable than looking all the way to the hole. My distance control was also better on Exputt than on the course. I may use a hybrid approach of an intermediate target. Staring at the hole seems to make me more outcome focussed compared to rolling over some intermediate target. Plus I repeatedly practice the 5-50’ putts on Exputt so I was in the habit of using those stroke lengths based on the length of putt on the course. 

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3 hours ago, THEZIPR23 said:

I volunteered to take part with Lou. Will embark on the journey this week. Will be interesting to see the differences. Long putts will take some getting used to. 

It took me a couple of months to get comfortable from long range; anxiety of maybe not making good contact, but it goes away.

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1 minute ago, Kenny B said:

It took me a couple of months to get comfortable from long range; anxiety of maybe not making good contact, but it goes away.

Do you look at the hole for long range putts or some intermediate target?

I tried it on putts within 5 feet my last round (without practicing for more than 5 minutes) and made all of the putts. 

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