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Old 03-10-2011, 10:56 PM   #51
dagolfdoc
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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I lead the world in 3-putt bogies.
Too funny! At least you're the best at something, right? Ha - let's lose that title this year!
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Waiting for the practice ranges to open up here in Iowa . . . but I'm looking forward to rocking this drill. I think it will be great for me, for a couple reasons:
1) I suck at lag putting.
What part of Iowa? My cousins lived in Webster City - ever heard of it? I'm glad you feel like the routine will help - I'm sure you'll see some great improvement after spending some time doing the routine! Unfortunately, you might not lead the world in 3-putts after doing it!

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I'm a completion-nut. I can't stop playing a game until I've 100%-ed it. I bet a lot of poker players are like that. This drill will definitely force me to stay at it until I've completed the task. I anticipate that my first trip through the drill will take at least a week. Can't wait to see how I do the second time through.
Yes, lot's of poker players & musicians are like that - do it until it's done & done properly - then do it again! I love the positive attitude! Keep me posted!
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:58 AM   #52
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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I really like Phil's "hinge & hold" technique - it's a great way to develop a solid chipping/pitching game! The Runyan book is difficult to find, but worth it - he was way ahead of his time! He could do things with the golf ball around the green that I still can't explain! When he beat Snead 8 & 7 in the PGA (match play at that time, 36 holes), Snead routinely out drove him by over 100 yards! There were 3 par 4's on the course that Paul couldn't reach in 2 shots, and he still won by the biggest margin of victory in a PGA Championship (when it was MP). He would take a range ball (the old one's with the big stripe around it) and set the ball on the ground so the stripe was horizontal, and have me stand 1/2 way between the ball & hole on a 15-20 yard shot (I was off to the side, not on the target line), and he would say "Robbie, count it" and I would count how many times the ball rotated in flight - usually 1-3 times. He hit a knuckleball with a wedge! Paul grew up on sand greens in Arkansas, and learned to use height instead of spin to stop the ball. I still don't know how he hit a soft shot with so little spin! I can tell you if he was playing today, the new grooves wouldn't make a difference with his game. The day I met him, I watched him hole 15 chips in a row (he then quit, he didn't miss) from 5 feet off the green to a hole 20 feet on the green. He was amazing! I could go on & on about him, but I'll refrain from boring everyone (unless someone asks for more).

Keep reading up & practicing - once you fall in love w/the short game, your scores will begin improving quickly!

I'd love to hear more! That kinda stuff is awesome.
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Old 03-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #53
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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I'd love to hear more! That kinda stuff is awesome.
i agree, it was amazing to work with such a unique & talented player, I'm blessed to have known him & learned from him.

Paul told me a story (it's in his book as well, & I'm sure you could google some info on it), in the 30's the PGA felt that if they doubled the size of the hole, guys would make more putts & the scores would be lower. Paul decided he wasn't going to do anything different - keep putting like the hole was 4 inches. Everyone else went after more putts - Paul won pretty easily.

He is also the foundation for the modern-day belly-putter. When he got inside 3 feet, he would plant the butt of his putter (standard length) into his belly, widen his stance, and split his hands so his right hand was 1/2 way down the shaft. I don't recall ever seeing him miss a short putt. He felt this stabilized the putter on short putts and kept the face square. Years later the belly putter came out & it was just a long version of how Paul putted short putts.

He always wanted players to "get down to their work" - if he said that to me once, he said it a million times - he didn't like the very upright stance - he would have players hit 100 putts from 6 inches and would tell me - "watch them, after 30-40 putts, they'll start getting closer to the ball, their body will figure it out." He was right on- the player would instinctively get closer to the ball & begin bending down more & more, getting more "down to their work."

When I began working with Paul he said he was hitting it further than he ever had, and his driver was going about 220 - he thought it was amazing. I was a cocky young player & I'd swing out of my shoes to bomb it & impress him, only to have him whip my butt from 50 yards behind me. Graphite shafts had just come out, & he felt that was giving him the extra yardage. He regularly shot his age until he died.

The day I met him, he was wearing long pants with yellow & pink birds on them & a long-sleeve shirt (it was july about 90 degrees), as I said, I was a cocky young player & looked at him like "who on earth is this guy" - as he was talking to a friend, he continued chipping while talking - the balls continued to roll in the hole, the hole was then filled with balls, and his chips kept hitting the balls in the hole. I realized then I could learn something from this guy! He inspired me to embrace the short game & it has been the staple of my game since then & it is the focal point of my teaching philosophy. The only difference today is, the ball spins more & Paul preferred a run-out style shot due to the equipment & conditions of his era. He could spin it like crazy - he had so many different shots around the green - cut, cut pinch, cut lob, hooded pinch, etc. but he went to his stock shot of a little low runner primarily.

Paul influenced Phil Rodgers who revamped Nicklaus' short game prior to his win in the '86 Masters. Phil is also very amazing around the green - a good friend of mine (Grame McDowell's teacher, Eric Eshleman) worked for Phil & told me they had a chipping contest every day - Phil never lost.

Glad you're enjoying the routine & that you're excited to improve you game & especially the short game! Keep me posted on your improvement!
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Old 03-11-2011, 02:32 PM   #54
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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My cousins lived in Webster City - ever heard of it?

Keep me posted!
I'm in Iowa City. And I'll keep you posted for sure.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #55
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Had to work on my "swing" today as I have a lesson on thursday (after I get raped when the accountant tells me how much I owe to the IRS that morning). Made the 25 3ft putts on my first try today though. The lag putt of 20 foot was completed on the 2nd try. HOWEVER, the 25 ft lag gave me trouble (think I picked a tough put, up hill before the hole and down hill after) but no excuse. Just couldn't seem to get a feel. Guess I found my putting weakness...

Practice again tomorrow!

TC
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Old 03-13-2011, 12:30 AM   #56
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

OP, thank you very much!!

really looking forward to this. i'm up in the frozen (still frozen?!?!?!) tundra so won't be at it for a couple of months.

i think this is really going to help with stroke consistency. i think i will be giving more thought to consistent set-up and execution. i think you have alot invested when you are 15 shots into a 25 shot routine, so i think concentration will be greatly improved. maybe do it somewhat in conjunction with some golf lessons too. really square contact seems to be key to most of these repitition series.

thanks again!!
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Old 03-13-2011, 02:05 AM   #57
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

grunching

when you say,
"Lag Putting
20 in a row from 20 feet stopping in a 3 foot circle "

are these meant to be done from the same spot, or from random spots ~20 feet from the hole?
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:41 AM   #58
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

^^
here you go

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Originally Posted by dagolfdoc View Post
I prefer students to vary the line a little - for several reasons - to get different breaks, and to avoid destroying the grass from standing in 1 spot for too long. If you want to hit a bunch of 3-footers from the same spot, place a towel on the ground & stand on that. You don't have to work in a circle, but that's a great way to do it. You might find 1 particular break that you have more difficulty with than others, if so, work on making 25 in a row from that angle.

Same with chipping, I usually like to begin from a pretty level, relatively stock chip, and work from there. If you can't reach the goal from there, it's useless to give yourself a downhill-ball below the feet lie. Work up to the specialty shots once you can get it from a basic, stock shot. Ultimately, you will want to work form all lies & trajectories, but in starting out, use similar lies, from a stock, level shot.

Sorry for the confusion, hope that helps!
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:06 AM   #59
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Had to work on my "swing" today as I have a lesson on thursday (after I get raped when the accountant tells me how much I owe to the IRS that morning).
Ahh, the dreaded taxes - I'm feelin' your pain. At least you get to go take some aggression out on some golf balls afterwards! Where do you take lessons & from whom? Just wondering if I know them.

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Made the 25 3ft putts on my first try today though. The lag putt of 20 foot was completed on the 2nd try.
Awesome! It won't always be that easy, but it will get progressively easier over time!

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HOWEVER, the 25 ft lag gave me trouble (think I picked a tough put, up hill before the hole and down hill after) but no excuse. Just couldn't seem to get a feel. Guess I found my putting weakness...
That's one of the great things about this - it forces you to work those longer lag putts. The average distance from the hole on the PGA Tour is around 35 feet (on a g.i.r.) - that's the best in the world - so there's no telling what it is for amateurs! So if a player isn't consistently putting those length putts close, they are wasting shots. I play a lot with amateurs & tour players, sure the tour players hit it better & further than most amateurs, but the big difference is in the short game. Not only to the tour players get up & down from everywhere, but when they have longer putts, they almost always look like they are going in, and usually stop within a foot or two from the hole.

A great way to track your putting progress is not with how many putts you had, but the length of putt you made. Give yourself 1 point per foot made, with a tap in = 1, and anything over 10 feet = 10 points. The goal is to get the highest score possible. If you're putting a bunch of 1's & 2's down, you're rolling the ball close, you're not making many longer putts. The higher this number, the lower your score!

Keep me posted & good luck w/the taxman!
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:20 AM   #60
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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OP, thank you very much!!!
You're welcome! Thanks for taking the time to read it, & I hope you enjoy the challenge! I'm sure it will help you reach your scoring goals if you stick with it!

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really looking forward to this. i'm up in the frozen (still frozen?!?!?!) tundra so won't be at it for a couple of months.
Where are you? Canada? I'm not a big fan of cold weather, unless I'm skiing. You can start by rolling 5-10 foot putts on carpet to an old coffee mug to get a feel.

Here's a great drill/training aid that I use all the time - and it's built for indoor practice. Get a laser level (get one that hits 2 walls - Home Depot or any hardware store will have them - they are between $15-30 here.) and mount it on something that will point the laser so it's running along the floor (I use a camera tripod, but angling it on a table or chair would work as well). Place a ball at one end of the laser (so the laser runs through the middle of the ball - if you use a line on the ball for alignment, line it up with the laser) and try to roll the ball along the laser - after about 3 feet it might come off, and that's o.k. - you really want to keep it on the line for 2-3 feet. This will get you in touch with squaring the putterface at impact - if it's closed or open, the ball will roll off the laser immediately! I keep this in my living room & roll putts while we're watching tv at night. My 2 boys (7 & 9) love this because it's like a game & it's very challenging! If the description isn't clear & you'd like a picture, let me know & I'll post one of my setup.

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i think this is really going to help with stroke consistency. i think i will be giving more thought to consistent set-up and execution. i think you have alot invested when you are 15 shots into a 25 shot routine, so i think concentration will be greatly improved. maybe do it somewhat in conjunction with some golf lessons too. really square contact seems to be key to most of these repitition series.
You're exactly right - you have a lot invested & it will improve the focus! And, yes, you are also right on with the contact - developing center face contact is crucial to being consistent, and that will improve dramatically after a few weeks with the routine.

Good luck & let me know how it works when you can get outside & practice!
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Old 03-13-2011, 03:57 PM   #61
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

25/25 balls onto the green from 70 yards away? rly?

Seems ambitious....but it beats sitting on the couch doing nothing i guess
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:14 PM   #62
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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it beats sitting on the couch doing nothing i guess
Ha ha! Yeah there's worse things you could be doing right?

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Seems ambitious
It is! But, then again, trying to get to scratch is ambitious also. For the tour players it's 25/25 in a 10x10 square - that's ambitious compared to a 4,000-6,000 sq ft green!

As I mentioned though, this is just a recommendation - if it's too difficult, you can set your own personal goals -- maybe 15/20 to start & work up to 25/25. By all accounts, however, improving the wedge game for the average player is a must to lower their handicap. I can't recall a 10+ handicap player I've ever seen or worked with who had a good (or even above-average) wedge game. I'm not saying there's not one or two out there, but it's not the norm. Throw a +1 or +2 at inside 100 yards & they are deadly from there (and ask them how they rate & most will say it "needs work").

I play a lot with Matt Kuchar, and he is easily in the top 5 wedge players in the world - it's amazing to watch him hit wedge shots. I took a junior player over to introduce him a few months ago & I asked Matt to describe what he did over a wedge shot to the junior. His reply was, "I try to make my grip & forearm pressure as soft & light as I possibly can, then right before I hit it, I get softer."

Let me know what you think after you get a chance to try the routine!
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:53 PM   #63
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Just sayin that 25/25 is rough business.....

25/25 ANYTHING is rough business lol.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:14 PM   #64
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Most of these are decent, but I would say that the putts from 20 feet should have the additional stipulation of making it to the hole (maybe even some minimum # of holed putts as well). I don't think scratch (or better) players are looking to 2-putt from that distance.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:33 PM   #65
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Most of these are decent, but I would say that the putts from 20 feet should have the additional stipulation of making it to the hole (maybe even some minimum # of holed putts as well). I don't think scratch (or better) players are looking to 2-putt from that distance.
This practice routine is meant for mid to high handicappers.

For scratch golfers, it's probably a waste of time to lag from 20 feet. Most would do it first try.
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:56 PM   #66
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Just sayin that 25/25 is rough business.....

25/25 ANYTHING is rough business lol.
Amen to that!
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:16 PM   #67
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Most of these are decent, but I would say that the putts from 20 feet should have the additional stipulation of making it to the hole (maybe even some minimum # of holed putts as well). I don't think scratch (or better) players are looking to 2-putt from that distance.
Quote:
This practice routine is meant for mid to high handicappers.
thx _Mantis_

Yes, this was designed for a mid-high hdcp to get down to low single digits. From post #1:
Quote:
It's designed for mid-high hdcp players. I don't have tour players do this, and if you're already a low single digit hdcp, it's probably not much use to you, but you may find it helpful to identify a weakness
The biggest part of the lag putting section is getting a mid-high hdcp to learn feel & touch and start 2 putting from longer distances. If they make some (which they will), that's a bonus. But 3-putting from 20, 30 feet, is unacceptable, & that's what I want them to eliminate!

However, regarding making it to hole, I don't subscribe to the Pelz theory of getting the ball 17 inches past the hole (why would I hit a ball 1 1/2 feet past the hole - if I had that kind of touch, I'd stop it 2 inches past), but more to the theory of "I won't be upset if it's 1 inch short but right in the center." Loren Roberts told me his mentality had always been "leave the ball on the front lip" - he said more times than not, it would fall, and when it didn't you had an easy tap in.

For most of the scratch & better players I work with, I design a custom routine of sorts for them based on their individual weaknesses & what we want to work on specifically. These are usually pretty short-term as well since a player of that caliber can grasp the fundamentals & concept pretty quickly & I don't want them to overdo certain things. If a +2 was having problems with 15-20 foot putts, I would have them putt several putts of that length to a tee, not a hole, with the goal to hit the tee & improve their focus. However, giving that to a player who struggles with rolling 20 putts in a 3-foot circle would be absolute frustration.

I hope that makes sense & clarifies how the practice would differ based on hcdp/skill level. Sorry for the confusion
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:13 AM   #68
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Cool concept, but I'm with ntnbo . i think the numbers need tweaking..
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:55 AM   #69
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Cool concept, but I'm with ntnbo . i think the numbers need tweaking..
You're like the 10th person to say that, congrats.


Like golfdoc said, change the numbers if you think it's too hard. The whole point of this is the concept and not the numbers, mid to high hdcpers need to adjust their practice routines because all they are worried about is their long game, and not worried about their short game as much (I know I'm guilty of it). You can tweak it to 10 in a row if you want, there's no doubt it'll still improve any mid to high hdcper's score, even if they still only get a chance to play once a week. I know for sure as soon as I get a chance I'm going out and doing this thing, it makes a lot of sense.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:24 AM   #70
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Cool concept, but I'm with ntnbo . i think the numbers need tweaking..
Feel free to tweak to whatever numbers work best for you.

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Like golfdoc said, change the numbers if you think it's too hard. The whole point of this is the concept and not the numbers, mid to high hdcpers need to adjust their practice routines because all they are worried about is their long game, and not worried about their short game as much (I know I'm guilty of it). You can tweak it to 10 in a row if you want, there's no doubt it'll still improve any mid to high hdcper's score, even if they still only get a chance to play once a week. I know for sure as soon as I get a chance I'm going out and doing this thing, it makes a lot of sense.
Well said! It's like working out, losing weight, or basic training - it's not for everyone & it's certainly not easy! This is more like a boot camp for the scoring range. A 10+ hcdp will most likely find it difficult, & some will say "screw it" & go back to what they have been doing - those that stick with it will improve. Getting from a double digit hdcp to scratch is not easy - just as losing 30 lbs is not easy - there's no pill or magic elixir - just hard work. Most scratch/+/low handicap players got there by starting the game early & spending hours at the course as a kid - they had fun & improved over time, but they didn't have work, kids, mortgage, etc. & most times they don't either realize or remember how hard they really worked to improve - because it was fun & they had all day. An adult wanting to improve with limited time and several other responsibilities has a different challenge - how can they get better with only a few hours/week. I designed this for that player - I've tweaked it several times over the years (actually to make it more challenging), and those are the numbers that I feel work best, but once again it's just a guideline & not a hard & fast rule. Each player is different & everyone is more than welcome to use it, adjust it, or throw it in the trash. All I'm looking for is for players to improve & play better golf & reach their potential. Hopefully, I can help a few reach their goals.
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Old 03-14-2011, 10:45 AM   #71
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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This practice routine is meant for mid to high handicappers.

For scratch golfers, it's probably a waste of time to lag from 20 feet. Most would do it first try.
Yes, I know it's for mid to high handicappers. But, it's for someone that wants to get down to low single digit (and/or have the possibility of shooting par). My point is that I believe it's the wrong mentality to have from that distance IF you want to be a low/scratch golfer. From 25, 30, 40 feet, yes.

For doc, as far as Pelz, I've never read his full explanation, but I can guess what his reasoning is:

1. Since no one can control the exact distance of their putt every time, aiming for a distance past the hole still gives a ball hit too softly a chance to go in. Yes, higher skilled golfers have more speed control, but there are other factors as well...
2. Given a constant slope, putts will break "more" as they slow down. If you're always trying to die the ball in the hole (or even stop it 2 inches past), then a slight miscalculation in speed of a few inches could result in enough of a "loss" of break at the hole to miss high. At 17" past, I'm guessing Pelz feels like a miscalculation of a few inches won't change the break of the putt by the hole as much.
3. I don't know if Pelz ever talked about it, but going along with #2, I could see that as a putt slows, it is influenced more by imperfections in the green (spike marks, depressions, etc). And you have to figure there are a lot of imperfections by the hole after golfers have been standing there. To help overcome these imperfections, a ball with some speed is needed. But, it's a balance between overcoming these imperfections and "shrinking" the size of the hole.

BTW, I don't really agree with 17" exactly. I think a better explanation is that you want the putt to be moving X mph as it reaches the hole. It gives the best balance of speed variance, influence of break and green imperfections, and width of hole. I don't know what that exact speed would be, but on an uphill putt on a slow green, the putt may only end up 8" past the hole (on average). On a downhill putt on a faster green, the putt may end up 24" past the hole (on average).

But really, all you have to do is look at how pros hit 3 foot putts. Do any of them die the ball in the hole (or stop it a couple inches past if they miss)? If they miss 3 footers, they are almost always still 2-3 feet away.
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Old 03-14-2011, 04:52 PM   #72
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Yes, I know it's for mid to high handicappers. But, it's for someone that wants to get down to low single digit (and/or have the possibility of shooting par). My point is that I believe it's the wrong mentality to have from that distance IF you want to be a low/scratch golfer. From 25, 30, 40 feet, yes.
I agree - if I'm working with a tour player or scratch/low hdcp, I want them to make putts from inside 15 feet -- I feel the 8-15 foot range is where a good player can capitalize on a hole if they've left it in the correct position. For a mid-high hdcp, most 3-putts come from distance control - not direction, and I firmly believe a player cannot be a competent green-reader if they don't have a good feel for distance. When I see a high handicap player 3 putt, it's almost always because they left the first one short then said "I'm not going to leave this short" only to run it past the hole (or vise-versa - long then short). Many times a higher hdcp will miss a putt wide, and think it was a bad read, when in reality the speed didn't match the read - hit it too soft -- breaks early & low, too hard - runs through the break.

Quote:
For doc, as far as Pelz, I've never read his full explanation, but I can guess what his reasoning is
I have read all his stuff multiple times & I've had quite a few discussions with Dave, and there's no doubt his theories are proven with all his research. You're pretty much right about why he wants a putt to roll out 17 inches past the hole, however, for my students I don't teach that for several reasons. His biggest reason is he feels that is the optimum speed for a putt to have the best chance to go in the hole.

Quote:
Since no one can control the exact distance of their putt every time, aiming for a distance past the hole still gives a ball hit too softly a chance to go in. Yes, higher skilled golfers have more speed control, but there are other factors as well...
True - a putt that never gets to the hole won't go in, however one that screams by won't either, thus the 3-foot circle for lag putts. On uphill putts I feel like the player can be a little more aggressive than on a downhill or sidehill putt.

Quote:
Given a constant slope, putts will break "more" as they slow down. If you're always trying to die the ball in the hole (or even stop it 2 inches past), then a slight miscalculation in speed of a few inches could result in enough of a "loss" of break at the hole to miss high. At 17" past, I'm guessing Pelz feels like a miscalculation of a few inches won't change the break of the putt by the hole as much.
You're absolutely correct - the last few feet of a putt is where the dominant break occurs, however, again, if we're talking about miscalculation of speed, if a player is trying to putt it 17 inches past the hole and miscalculates by 12 inches, all of a sudden they are now facing almost a 3 footer - if the putt was uphill, now they have a downhill putt - if it was downhill it could run out even more on a fast green.

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I don't know if Pelz ever talked about it, but going along with #2, I could see that as a putt slows, it is influenced more by imperfections in the green (spike marks, depressions, etc). And you have to figure there are a lot of imperfections by the hole after golfers have been standing there. To help overcome these imperfections, a ball with some speed is needed. But, it's a balance between overcoming these imperfections and "shrinking" the size of the hole.
Yes, this a big part of Pelz' theory - he calls it the "lumpy doughnut." I still prefer players to play to the front edge on longer putts, back of the cup inside 5 feet & uphill putts inside 10-15 feet.

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BTW, I don't really agree with 17" exactly. I think a better explanation is that you want the putt to be moving X mph as it reaches the hole. It gives the best balance of speed variance, influence of break and green imperfections, and width of hole. I don't know what that exact speed would be, but on an uphill putt on a slow green, the putt may only end up 8" past the hole (on average). On a downhill putt on a faster green, the putt may end up 24" past the hole (on average).
Very well put - I have players hit 3 putts from around 4-6 feet - the first one barely falls over the edge, the second dives in the cup & the third hits the back of cup. By doing this they see the effect of speed on a shorter putt & learn to control speed by the pace of the ball entering the hole. They can visualize that on various putts - down hill putts the ball trickles over the edge, uphill, dives in or even hits the back of the cup.

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Do any of them die the ball in the hole (or stop it a couple inches past if they miss)? If they miss 3 footers, they are almost always still 2-3 feet away.
Yes, I think most tour players miss a couple inches away, not 3 feet. And I would say that unless it's straight uphill, they are trying to die it in, especially during a major.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXhfyE2CX5c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25Qf4tV6CWo
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:03 PM   #73
Rexx
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

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Originally Posted by dagolfdoc View Post
You're absolutely correct - the last few feet of a putt is where the dominant break occurs, however, again, if we're talking about miscalculation of speed, if a player is trying to putt it 17 inches past the hole and miscalculates by 12 inches, all of a sudden they are now facing almost a 3 footer - if the putt was uphill, now they have a downhill putt - if it was downhill it could run out even more on a fast green.
It's a 3 footer... that's why we practice making 25 in a row.

I agree that different putts call for different approaches. From 40 feet, trying to have the ball stop 18" past the hole may not be the optimum strategy. Everything comes down to, if given the same putt a 1000 times, what is the best strategy to end with the lowest # of strokes? Most pros will have a similar strategy, but could differ significantly from the higher handicappers.

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Yes, I think most tour players miss a couple inches away, not 3 feet. And I would say that unless it's straight uphill, they are trying to die it in, especially during a major.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXhfyE2CX5c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25Qf4tV6CWo
That's a pretty small sample size and there were a few putts that ended 18"+ inches past the hole. Also, I'm not sure why it being a major matters; is that just because the greens are faster? Or is it some additional pressure of having 3 footers in a major vs non-major? Personally, I think they struggle at majors because all the other courses and practice rounds end up playing at approximately the same speed. While at majors, they tend to be faster. It takes them out of their comfort zone and so they become cautious. Note, they also seem to struggle if the greens are running slower than normal. Although, without true empirical #s, it's just anecdotal.

BTW (since I'm already hijacking the thread), have you ever seen the MoneyGolf article or this article on how pros approach a putt for birdie vs par? I'm not sure if you're a poker player (or game theorist), but it's this kind of stuff (boiling everything down to #s and statistics) that top poker players use for the most miniscule of edges. Although, these articles would only be the tip of the iceberg of metrics that they would uncover and consume.

Last edited by Rexx; 03-14-2011 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 03-14-2011, 11:02 PM   #74
dagolfdoc
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexx View Post
It's a 3 footer... that's why we practice making 25 in a row.
Ha! U DA MAN!! That is too good!
Quote:
I agree that different putts call for different approaches. From 40 feet, trying to have the ball stop 18" past the hole may not be the optimum strategy. Everything comes down to, if given the same putt a 1000 times, what is the best strategy to end with the lowest # of strokes? Most pros will have a similar strategy, but could differ significantly from the higher handicappers.
100% agree!
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That's a pretty small sample size and there were a few putts that ended 18"+ inches past the hole. Also, I'm not sure why it being a major matters; is that just because the greens are faster? Or is it some additional pressure of having 3 footers in a major vs non-major? Personally, I think they struggle at majors because all the other courses and practice rounds end up playing at approximately the same speed. While at majors, they tend to be faster. It takes them out of their comfort zone and so they become cautious. Note, they also seem to struggle if the greens are running slower than normal. Although, without true empirical #s, it's just anecdotal.
True - small sample - I just pulled the first couple that came up & I was in a bit of a hurry. The greens are faster in a major - it's actually beyond comprehension. I haven't played in a major, but I've had the opportunity to putt on normal tour greens & on major championship greens - literally you hit a 10 foot putt like you're trying to hit it 1 inch - & that's on the practice greens -not to win! I couldn't fathom trying to hit it past the hole! Obviously, the guys who play every week are more comfortable (& way better) than me, but it's still a ton of pressure & ridiculous speed! I don't think it's the speed as much as the intense pressure between regular tour & majors.

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BTW (since I'm already hijacking the thread)
Not at all! Great discussion!
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have you ever seen the MoneyGolf article or this article on how pros approach a putt for birdie vs par? I'm not sure if you're a poker player (or game theorist), but it's this kind of stuff (boiling everything down to #s and statistics) that top poker players use for the most miniscule of edges. Although, these articles would only be the tip of the iceberg of metrics that they would uncover and consume.
I haven't seen it, & I'm not a poker player (I know that's crazy on a poker forum - but my assistant is the real deal on the poker side of this forum! - he turned me on to this forum). I'm very interested in what you're describing - this sounds super cool & I can't wait to check it out! I love that kind of stuff, so I'm really excited to read about it! I know there's a ton of theory/calculations in the poker side & I would really like to hear about how that plays in with golf! Very cool!
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:27 AM   #75
prohornblower
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Re: The Ultimate Practice Routine

dagolfdoc, there are probably more posters on this forum who don't play poker anymore than there are who do. A ton of us signed up years ago back in the good ol' days of online poker. It's not what it used to be but most of us still stick around here because there is some good discussion on a wide variety of things. A lot of smart folks on this site. Don't ever feel out of place here if you don't play poker! Poker is just this site's primary manifestation of people who are analytical.

I'm a high handicapper and will try to give your routine a shot. Though I kinda feel overwhelmed by it.

And some of these things, I'm not really sure how to practice. I practice at a municipal course with a pretty cruddy range. The green is the best aspect of it so that's good.

The pitching exercise from 30/50/70 yards will be tough. The putting green is small and tightly-confined. So I would have to use the range but the "greens" on the range all suck and they are only 50/100 yards out. They are very small (not even greens, just elevated bumps with a flag in the center). What do you suggest here? Usually I just eyeball a spot where I want my ball to land. I try to land my SW about 80 out. LW 50. A-wedge like 100. PW 120ish.

There is one sand bunker but it's on the range. Nearest flag about 50 yards out. So when I'm trying to land 6/10 within a flag length should I just eyeball a spot and aim for it?

Same with the short irons. There's no legit green to land them on so here should I look for a spot to land them on and not worry so much where they roll to?

Also I want to ask you about "chipping". Talk a little if you will about flop shots and bump-and-run shots. Do these all fall under the umbrella of "chipping"? The reason I ask is I'm actually good (compared to my handicap) at standard chipping. But terrible at flop shots and bump/run. How important is practicing these type of shots?

For instance Sunday there was a situation with a really thin green with pin nearest me and a bunker between me and pin. I figured the best shot there was a high flop with a bit of backspin. Luckily there was a giant dune behind the green so I bounced a chip off of that and it rolled back toward me onto the green. But I'd like to be able to work on flop shots.

Also I had a perfect chance to hit a bump and run so I tried it (usually only get 1 or 2 chances to practice this per round) and I totally ****ed it up and hit it too hard and it ran off the green into a bunker. I would have a lot more confidence if I could feel comfortable utilizing each type of shot. Do you recommend a high handicapper work on these or is it sort of a waste of time at this point?
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