How Are You Swinging It?

How Are You Swinging It?

If someone asked you how do you swing a golf club, how would you answer that? Could you answer? Can you describe your golf swing? Do you know if well enough to classify it? Explain it? Critique it? And if you can, will it make you a better player? Let’s tee it up!

Listen to the full episode here:

https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/How-Are-You-Swinging-It-e2thbu

TRANSCRIPT

If you were asked, how do you swing a golf club? What would you say? How would you answer that question? Do you know? Are you upright? Are you flat? Do you set your wrist at the top? Do you start with your hips? Your shoulders? How do you swing the golf club? Let’s tee it up.

I had a very interesting conversation yesterday and I have not been able to stop thinking about it. I was talking to this acquaintance and talking to him about life, talking to him about all kinds of things, what we’re up to, what we’re doing, what we’re interested in, and we came eventually to golf. And he likes to golf. I like to golf. So it was a cool topic to go on talking about. And I kind of mentioned that I’d started to do this silly little podcast and how I had kind of gotten into really understanding the golf swing. And using technology to understand the golf swing and my own golf swing. And we talked about Fred Shoemaker, Extraordinary Golf, and all of this stuff. It was a great conversation. And as we kind of kept going, and talking and learning and whatever, I just asked him, how do you swing the golf club? And he looked at me with the blank, just look and he’s like, “What do you mean?”. And I said, “Well, how do you swing it? What do you do? How do you swing the golf club? How does it feel? Describe it to me.” And he said, “I just swing it.”

And so we started talking about that and he asked me, “well, how do you swing the golf club?” So I started to describe to him how it feels to me to swing a golf club. I know what my swing feels like. I know what I know. What my tendencies feel like. I know how all of that has come about and I realized that because I have embraced technology. I have used all this feedback that again, going back to a previous conversation talking about riding a bicycle. The reason we were able to take something that’s completely foreign, that we don’t know how to do, and quickly become experts at riding bicycles in a very short amount of time is because we have instant feedback from the bike falling over. The feeling of balance, the direction we need to go all of that is right there for us. And the feedback is instant that we become very good at riding a bike. Golf is that way and I realized that okay because I have had been essentially immersed all of this feedback that now comes to a point where I can describe my golf swing.

I know what my golf swing feels like to me. And I can describe it, what goes on how I feel at the top, what I feel is set, what I where I feel my weight is all of that stuff. And all of this feedback has done some really great things. For me, it has created awareness. And Fred Shoemaker always talks about it was one of the coolest things. I think that he’s ever said, when we were talking, one day, he said, you know, Aaron, really the only difference between my game and your game is that I’m more aware of what’s going on in my swing than you are in your golf swing. And that’s really what it’s all about. And so when we talk about all these devices that give you instant feedback. We’re essentially creating the opportunity for us to learn about our golf swing and create more awareness about what’s really going on. So that was a cool part of the discussion. We had a great discussion about that and he became very intrigued to the different types of equipment I’m using and we talked all about that swing by and the swing caddy little putting device. All of that we had a good discussion about it.

But we took a step further and I asked him, What are you doing? What do you do to practice here? And he talked about Yeah, he likes to get to the range every once in a while and hit a bucket of balls. He likes to go out with the kids and hit some balls. He likes to go out and play, you know, some rounds here and there and just practice, not really keep score, but just enjoy it for what it is. Just being outside in and out in the beautiful scenery and enjoying just golf, which is great. I think that’s 100% wonderful. And then it continued on and I said, if you use any technology at all, have you have you been to any lessons, whatever. And he’s been to a few lessons and then I asked him if he had ever seen his swing. And he said now and I was like, Whoa, in this day and age where every phone in everybody’s pocket has a camera, a video camera, HD quality, most of them nowadays. It is so easy for us to capture our swing on video. And I was just like, wow, you have never seen your swing on video? He’s like, “No, I never have.” And I’m like, “why not?”. He’s like, “I don’t. I don’t really know how that would help me. I mean, I have swung the golf club and never seen my golf swing. And I’m fine. I don’t really have any desire to see my golf swing.” And I was so shocked by that. So we got in a really cool discussion. I encouraged him to just get your golf swing video, take a look at it. You know, hey, ostrich, pull the head out of the dirt and take a look to see what’s really going on. Because I think you’ll be surprised. It reminded me of a situation where we have a good friend, a family friend that we’ve grown up with, and we played a lot of golf together growing up and I encouraged him and finally got him to agree to go out to visit Fred Shoemaker. So he went out there. And so Fred Shoemaker videotaped a swing all that he came back from the school and he had learned a lot and he really enjoyed it everybody does but he was really angry at me and my cousin because we had never talked to him about how an orthodox his golf swing was. And so he was just like, “Why don’t you guys tell me that that’s what I look like swinging the golf club? I mean it was just embarrassing. It wasn’t a typical smooth even-tempered golf swing. It was kind of a little choppy.” And he said, “Why don’t you guys ever tell me?”. And Damon and I said, at the same time, “we thought you knew.” We made the assumption that he knew what his golf swing looked like. So that kind of drove it home for me that if we have never videotaped our golf swing and we have never seen it on videotape, then we probably have no idea what it looks like.

We think we know right? We think that what we’re swinging, and how we’re feeling, and we have a picture in our head. But I guarantee you that your golf swing if you’ve never videotaped it, doesn’t look like Adam Scott’s. It does not look like Jason days or Tiger Woods. It looks like your golf swing and it may or may not look good. But we got to start somewhere. We have to be realistic about this. And so between now and the start of spring, I am begging everybody within the sound of my voice. Once you get to a point where you can go out and swing a golf club, grab a friend and videotape your swing and just embrace it. See it for what it is to see if it looks fast. You are slow to you. Take a look to see does it look flat? Does it look up right? Do we know it even those terms mean all of that? Take a look at it. Just enjoy it. See it for what it is. Because you need to see it. We need to know where we’re starting from an order to get an understanding of where we need to go. And until we see our own golf swings and make some sort of initial judgment on what they are. If you don’t know what your golf swing is, you know what, let me know. Put it in the notes, whatever. Send it to me. I am happy to look at a golf swing and let you know what your golf swing is and send it back to you. Just so we can at least accurately discuss what your golf swing is now and maybe has some ideas of what it may look like in the future depending on a few things that you practice with. But it is so important to know where your starting point is. So please, over the course of this winter. This is a short podcast today. I just want to commit everybody who has who is listening to this podcast. Please take time. Find a friend and get your golf swing. Video and look at it really look at it become interested in it down the line view. So, somebody standing behind you looking towards the target. Have you swing down the line and have a face on you both of those views, take a look at them to make sure that they’re back far enough where you take in the club where it’s in full view so you can see the clubface throughout the entire swing. And get a swing of yourself down the line and front view so you can see what your golf swing looks like. And then start looking at other players on the tour. See what their golf swings look like. And start comparing and contrast in and getting an idea of what we have to work with. That is going to be such a huge place to start moving into 2019 and moving into spring is just figuring out what your golf swing looks like. And then compare it to what you thought your golf swing looked like. Make a comparison of what’s different about it.

What feels different what is there anything there that you didn’t think was going on that is going on. Just make that judgment and then look at some other folks that are swinging really nice golf but there are some beautiful golf swings out there. Zander Shockley has a beautiful golf swing, look at his golf swing, and then just start comparing and contrasting and looking at it and just let that happen. That will help you learn immensely, just because you know where you are. And you know how your swing is different from those that are swinging it differently than you that will help your mind kind of get around this. So it’s an excellent place to start, especially in the offseason. Videotape yourself. So you have a friend, videotape your golf swing, look at it, digest it, have some judgments about it, match those up to what you think was going on, and then compare it to others.

Thanks for listening. Appreciate it. A short one today, but a very important one video take your golf swing. As always, better data always means better golf. Thanks.

Golf Xandtastic! Xander Wins Big at Kapalua

Golf Xandtastic! Xander Wins Big at Kapalua

Wow!! I hope you had the chance to watch at least the last few holds of the Sentry Tournament of Champions yesterday. What an amazing finish, what an amazing display of golf!! Xander Schauffele and Gary Woodland put on an amazing show. On this Data Monday, we will dive into some of Xander Schauffele’s statistics and see how his 2018 averages hold up to the benchmarks we have established to improve our golf games in 2019 (listed below).
Driving Accuracy: 50-60%
Greens-In-Regulation (GIR): 55-65%
Scrambling: 45-55%
Sand Saves: 30-50%
Putting from 20′: Make 3-7%
Putting from 10′: Make 20-40%
Putting from 5′: Make 65-80%

 

Listen to the full episode here https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/Golf-Xandtastic–Xander-Wins-Big-at-Kapalua-e2t9qv

The Flagstick… In Or Out?

The Flagstick… In Or Out?

With the new rules of golf much is being discussed, but probably no rule has caused as much discussion than the one allowing golfers to leave the pin in while putting. So what will you do? Will you leave the pin in our out? And is there any research that can help us decide on our own games?  It is a great question and discussion. Let’s tee it up!
CLICK HERE: for Dave Pelz Research Article

Listen to this golf podcast episode at https://anchor.fm/dataaxisgolf/episodes/The-Flagstick—-In-Or-Out-e2sse1

It is good to have golf back on in 2019 and to see all the new rules implemented. It’s been interesting to watch for sure. I saw Rory McIlroy make a drop from his knees. That wasn’t awesome. That definitely looks awkward. Hopefully, they’ll look at that and fix it. I’ve seen a few players come out against the new way to drop. I think Bryson DeChambeaucame out and said he thought it was a little odd. So, the dropping method from knee height has been very weird to see live and hopefully that dies soon.

I don’t know how many of you have played Kapalua or been to Kapalua, but Kapalua is an amazing golf course. It’s different from anything else I have ever played. It just doesn’t compare to anything else. It is such a huge place. It is like a massive park. Some of the fairways are football fields wide. They just go on forever and forever, which leads to a lot of interesting shots and a lot of interesting ways to play each hole. It is just a massive ballpark, which it needs to be because the winds can blow like crazy up there. The course is up on a hill up above the ocean. It’s incredible. It’s really an amazing place, amazing scenery, and landscapes. It was quite an experience to play and I’d love to get back and do it again someday.

It is always fun to watch the PGA Tour players play a course that you have played before. It is kind of changes things when you’re watching the tournament on TV and you know exactly what they’re looking at and what they’re facing and the challenges of any particular hole. It’s just fun to watch. It has been crazy to see where some of the players are missing their shots because those are distances, I can’t even imagine from the up tees where we play, but from the tips? Mercy! But to watch them drop from the knee has been goofy, just awkward.

I heard somebody say, I think it was Bryson DeChambeau, said he thought they should make it allowable to drop from your knee to your shoulder, and anywhere in between. So those who want to drop it from their knee and try to make it so the ball doesn’t bounce and roll away to get the best lie possible, they can take advantage of that, and those that don’t want to look stupid can drop it from their waist. Hopefully, that rule gets corrected pretty quickly because it is making the tour players look completely ridiculous out there.

Should You Leave The Flagstick In Or Out?

The most popular topic we’ve heard discussed with the new rules in the first tournament of 2019 is whether you should leave the flagstick in or out when you are putting. And it’s actually a fascinating discussion because there is some real data on this which is interesting.

I saw that a Brandel Chamblee came out and said he thought everybody should leave the flagstick in when putting. And if you go to golfchannel.com, there’s a video of Brandel talking about the rule. But the strange thing is after they asked him, “hey, why did you change your mind in the last 24 hours?” And he answered that he had “looked at the data” but the weird thing was he didn’t ever refer to the data and where the research data actually came from and that seemed odd. I don’t know why he wouldn’t do that? I don’t know if it’s because the researcher isn’t a part of the Golf Channel staff and he doesn’t want to give him any notoriety. But Dave Pelz is the guy who actually did all the research on this and he did it back in the early nineties. It is weird Brandel he wouldn’t refer to Dave Pelz.

Dave Pelz actually did quite an extensive bit of research on this particular topic. Dave Pelz did the research for golf.com. It was easy to find, I just did a quick Google search and found that Dave Pelz actually wrote another article about this topic in 2007. It’s right there on the first page of the results on whether to leave the flagstick in or out. And I’ll go ahead and post a link to this article in the description of this podcast so you can all go take a look at it.

It’s an interesting test. I remember it from early in the nineties, but I didn’t really remember the whole basis behind the test how the test was actually done, but just that is was better to leave the flagstick in. For this test, there was really no practical way to set it up and test it from many different distances and conditions because of the inconsistencies of the greens so they set it up to two feet away. They set it up and used what he called a TruRoller, which is a device that he created to put a perfect putt on a ball. And they just did a number of different tests, various speeds, in fact, he says they did thousands and thousands of putts and they tried uphill and downhill, side-hill. They hit the flag dead center, they hit glancing blows off it. They tried every possible scenario they could do with the pin in and with the pin out.

They just flat out did the research, just gathered data to thoroughly check this whole thing out. Now at the end of the research, Dave says there no question, that it was statistically significant that we should leave the flagstick in when we putt.

But what was missing here in the research is just how much more effective it is to leave the pin in. He didn’t give us any information on if it’s a two to one advantage, or 30 percent more likely for putt go in, etc. We didn’t data on how much more likely a putt is to go in at varying speeds, uphill vs. downhill, etc. So that was a little disappointing, the lack of the specifics in the data, but Dave assured us that it is advantageous for us to leave the pin.

I personally have left the pin in for most shots I possibly, since the research, except when the pin was leaning towards me. If the pin was leaning towards me from a little breeze or something that I wanted nothing to do with it, because in my mind it seems like the leaning pin would make the hole smaller, so tougher for the ball to get into the hole. But Dave Pell actually says in his research that it shows you have the biggest advantage keeping the pin in, if the pin is tilting away from you or if the pin is actually tilting a little towards you. When it leans towards you it acts as a backstop and redirects the ball down into the hole. So definitely leave the if the pin if it is leaning a little towards you or away from you, well, I mean we should leave the pin in for all shots, with the only caveat being if the pin is leaning so far towards you that it has made the hole so small that it is impossible for the ball to fit into the hole. So, if the wind is blowing that hard, that is when we would need to take the pin out. That is really the only occasion when you would take the pin. the pin in.

I thought it was sort of funny. He kind of said that within the rules of golf, if you walk up to a green and the pin hasn’t been put back into the hole properly and is leaning a little bit towards your ball. You don’t have to go center of the pin, you can leave it as is. Within the rules of golf, you have two options. Leave it as is or go up and center it back into the hole. So, his point was, hey, if it’s leaning towards you leave it leaning and putt with it that way, and that is well within your rights to do so. We don’t have the exact data and how much more effective it is, but it is more effective. I trust Dave Pelz. I think he does good research. He even discussed how he backed this research up by having a golf pro come out and make thousands and thousands of putts himself to see if they could duplicate the results of the initial research and although it is not as precise, but again it showed that even with a human performing the test there still was significantly more putts that went in when the putt was in rather than out.

Why Is It Better To Keep The Flagstick In?

In another totally different article that is more recent, Dave Pelz talks about why it is better to keep the flagstick in. I thought this discussion was also fascinating. He said that because the flagstick is made out of fiberglass, which is a material that actually absorbs the hit from the golf ball, takes energy away, and slows the golf ball down. It literally absorbs it and when you slow the golf ball down, then you have essentially increased the effects of gravity which pulls the ball more readily into the hole. If we used a different type of material to make a pin, like steel or something that was harder, that would actually repel the ball, then I think the results of these tests could be quite a bit different. But as long as we continue to use fiberglass, which we will due to the flexibility needed to deal with the winds, we will enjoy a benefit by keeping the flagstick in. Pretty cool stuff, based on data and that’s what we’re all about here at Data Axis Golf, so the bottom-line is leaving the pin in is an advantage, so putt with it of in there.

Brandel Chamblee comments were interesting. He believes that by the end of the year all Tour players will just leave the pin in, but that it’s going to take some time for folks to adjust to it. And I agree with that completely. I’ve got a very good friend who’s an incredible player. He’s got to be one of the best players I know, and I enjoy playing with them immensely. He always brings out my best game as he’s somewhat competitive, but in a very good-natured way. We really enjoy playing together and we really enjoy watching one another hit cool shots.

He’s a big guy and he hits it a mile. My game is a little different. I’m a little shorter off the tee than he is, but I’m a little more precise around the greens and have a better short game. So, we have these really cool matches that go back and forth the whole round. Really good natured, a lot of fun. Anyway, he will not, absolutely will not hit a ball onto the green from anywhere around the green with the pin in. It simply doesn’t matter if he’s on the fringe in a sand trap, or in thick rough. He has to have the pin out, and it’s to the point where it can get annoying, I mean even like 70 feet away, he still wants the pin out, but this is just the way he plays. It is going to be very interesting to see if he changes when he knows the research if he actually allows the pin to be left in.

He’s one of those guys where even if he’s outside of everyone else, he wants the pin out, and then all other guys want the pin back in, so you have to go back and forth. He creates those situations that actually do slow play down considerably. It’ll be interesting to see if he makes the adjustment. It will be interesting to see how quickly the pros make the adjustment. I mean they play for a lot of money, so you would assume that when they see the data that putting is easier with the pin in and are convinced of it, they will make the adjustment to leave the pin in. The data are pretty clear. I trust Dave Pelz, he does good research, so let’s leave the pin in. It’s a benefit, so let’s play better golf in 2019! Thanks for joining us here today. Remember better data means better golf and that means leaving the pin in. Thank you!

Practically Perfect Putting

Practically Perfect Putting

Why do you putt the way you do? Why have you chosen this technique? Is there a better way to do it? Let’s tee it up!!

I have always loved to putt. I think it goes back to when I was young. We had a ranch up in Idaho, there was a golf course available to us, but my grandpa and his brothers, my great uncles, they wouldn’t allow us to play on the golf course. We were all “too young,” but they would let us chip and putt and so they would stick us down at this green, and they would just leave us there all day. So sometimes there were dozens of cousins, and we just hung out, some wood fish, some would hike, and some would chip and putt, and I just loved to putt.

I loved everything about putting, I liked watching the ball roll on the breaks, I liked the sound of the ball going in the hole. I love the speed of the green up and down, it was just totally amazing to me. And so that’s kind of probably where my passion for putting started. So, I’ve always seen myself as a pretty decent putter that as I got older and my whole game got better, my putting begun to suffer a bit, it wasn’t the most substantial part of my game anymore. Which was pretty frustrating. Putting is the most straightforward motion of the entire golf game. It’s just a simple back and through movement. It’s an effortless motion. And yet once you start thinking about how you putt and worrying about your technique, it can go bad quickly. And because the result of putting is such a big part of your final score, the importance starts to grow in your mind. When I was young, it was just a fun thing to do, when I started being concerned with my score, putting became less fun. Golf is funny that way, the less you care about your score, the better you score. Crazy right? So when we play golf there is a buildup, and then and the end of it all, you have a putt to polish off your performance for the hole.

And if you’ve played beautifully from tee to fairway to green and you finish it off by making a lousy putt, it can really leave a bad taste in your mouth. So I think that that’s why putting becomes more and more critical as you get more into golf and you come to a realization how important putting is to your final score and your mood, and that puts additional pressure on your putting stroke. That is the theory anyway.

I was driving into work this morning, and I heard Michael Breed on his show talking about Jordan Spieth and Jordan Speith. Struggles with the putter are at least recently are well known. And they talked about, you know, his different stats through different rounds, which is, of course, fascinating to me as a data geek. But as I was listening, they got to a point where they started discussing why Jordan decided to try the left-hand low putting technique, why is he looks at the hole and other things. The premise behind what they thought was that Jordan had probably run into some putting problems, and so he was trying different things, sort of trial and error and trying to find something that worked for him and then that’s how his putting stroke became what it is today. And that is also why he sometimes looks at the hole, I think they said he looks at the hole for putts 10 feet and less, and outside of that, he does not. And that’s relatively similar to how I like to play, and we’ll get into that in a little bit.

Your Golf Putting Technique

So I just want you to think back and think about your own putting stroke. Why are you doing it this way? What are the reasons behind it? Is it based on you trying things to fix a problem with your putting, as Michael Breed was suggesting? Much like they inferred with Jordan Spieth’s putting stroke? Did you start messing with your stroke to hide or fix something, or to mimic someone else? If so, is that the very best way to go about it? I mean with all the technology we have available to us right now, is trial and error, or mimicking someone else, the best way to go about determining if your putting stroke is right for you?

I’ve shared this story previously, but when I went to my first Extraordinary Golf school, I was on the putting green working on my stroke, and Fred Shoemaker came up to me and observed me for a little while. Now admittedly I was in a bad way as far as putting goes at the time, I was all over the place and not putting well.

I did not feel very comfortable or confident on the putting green as I had when I was younger. And I was trying all kinds of things to putt better, but for the school, I went as traditional as possible, so I didn’t look like a complete fool. And so there I was there putting, working on my stroke as Fred was watching me. He eventually asked me “What is your target?” And I replied, “that hole right there.” Fred’s is very direct, which is really awesome, so Fred then said, “Well then you would have made one by now.” That was a stinger. 🙂 He probably watched me hit 12 putts at that point, and I had made nothing. It wasn’t a long putt either, it was only like a 10 footer. So I’d gone zero for 12 or so.

So there I was with Fred Shoemaker, arguably the most exceptional golf coach in the world, providing me with some stinging comments about my putting. He then proceeded to have me look at a Nike swoosh on one of the range balls that was 8 feet away. And he told me that the Nike swoosh was my target and send the next ball to hit that Nike swoosh while looking at it, that’s your target with this next putt, hit it. So as I was looking at the swoosh, I putted, and I hit it dead in the center. And he had me do that five or six more times, and I hit every single swoosh. Then he said, “You just didn’t have a good target.” Okay. Lesson learned so for any of us when we’re on the putting green, we need to make sure that we have a defined target in mind. And that’s pictured, it is identified, and very distinct in our minds.

For me, the target has evolved over the years. I now pick a spot at the hold where I want the ball to roll over as it falls into the cup. So if I have big breaking putt from right to left, my target will be on the right side of the hole. I’m going to see something next to the hole, and I’m going to picture the ball, toppling over that spot and falling into the hole. So that was great from Fred, and it has changed much of how I play golf, we always have to have a target clearly defined in our minds. After finished the Extraordinary Golf School, I went back home and putted really well for a couple of weeks and then as fast as I got it back, it left, and I was putting horribly again. I finally realized I wasn’t really focusing on a target anymore, so that was easy to get back into and fix.

But then I started thinking, back with Fred Shoemaker I was actually looking at the Nike swoosh the I was putting, and I was dead-eye putting. So, I began to look at the hole for every putt, and it went really, really well for a for a few months. I was making a ton of putts because the technique was so new and strange to me, it was all I could focus on. I was not thinking about anything else, I would just look at the hole and fire away, no swing thoughts at all. My body was making the motion required to make the putt, without any thought. Over time, this technique stopped anymore. I started thinking about stuff and, and the method stopped working like it had, and I became an average putter again. I was back to thinking about my stroke, and not really focused as much on a target and started to get into my own way.

It was during this time I was practicing my putting stroke looking in a mirror, and I noticed that with just a traditional grip, right-hand low, my left shoulder is way higher than my right shoulder and it looked really uneven. So I start messing with my putting grip and realize if I set my left-hand low, then my shoulders are level. Well, that makes sense to me. If your shoulders are level, then it seems like you should be able to make a more level controlled putting stroke. So, due to just that I switched to left-hand low. It had nothing to do with performance or anything. I just looked in the mirror, saw something I didn’t like and fixed it. That seems like a weird way to do things to me now, but back then it made sense.

I’ve been left-hand low ever since. So those are the processes that I went through to get my putting stroke to where it was at that time. It was trial and error and seeing something in a mirror I didn’t look right to my eye. But never did I measure anything to see if that was how I should be putting. I never tested anything to know if I was better or worse for doing any of that. I am sure there are many out there who kind of found their putting stroke the same way. Just messing here and there, and coming up with something that worked for a time, and we just keep using that technique until we decide we should be making more putts, so we tinker and come up with something else that may work for a day, week, or month or so, but eventually it doesn’t “work” either.

But now technology has changed all this. It’s an entirely different ball game, and we aren’t left to trial and error to find our best stroke. For example, I have this PT30 Putting Analyzer and Trainer developed by Voice Caddie that is a killer piece of technology to measure the specifics of your putting motion. It is an excellent tool!! So now how do we go about using a piece of technology like the PT30 or the Blast Trainer to better develop our putting strokes?

Well, these devices make life super easy. For example, let’s use Jordan Spieth’s putting stroke. If Jordan Spieth is sitting there and kind of going, “I’m not making as many pets as I want, I think I’m going to go right hand below again and let’s see how that goes.” Well, that’s great, you can try anything you want to try, but if you put on a putting analyzer to give you accurate and instant feedback on what is really going on, then you can actually check to see if a change is delivering a better result or not. So, what is a better result, the easy answer is you would make more putts, but these devices don’t measure that, but what they do measure if the angle of your face at impact, which directly determines if you are starting the ball precisely on the line you want it to start on. So Jordan could try some putt’s right-hand low, then make some putts left-hand and see which stoke delivered a more consistent and square putter face at impact. That’s it. You have data now to compare all these different techniques and tricks we have picked up over the years and see which ones help, hurt or do nothing for us.

When I first got this PT30, I was able to check every rotten little thing I had tried over the years and was able to see what was right and what wasn’t. It took such a load off my mind. Instead of 50 different things that I have tried over the years, I have just the ones that actually help me deliver a squire putter face at impact now. I mean from different grips to different lengths of backswings, to different putters, different stances, grip pressure. It has been awesome!

It turns out for me that left-hand low did actually deliver a squarer putter face. I have tested others were right-hand low is better for them, and that’s great. Whatever is better for you, then that is what you do, but it needs to be based on technology. Now. I also realize there is a caveat with technology. For example, I tested looking at the hole and not looking at the hole using the PT30. It appeared that not looking at the hole was a better option for me based on the results of the testing. But here is the problem. One day I was videoing my putting stroke and tried a few looking at the hole, and I realized by watching the video that when I look at the hole, I was actually swaying during my putting stroke, which I didn’t do when I putted with my head down. I was literally shifting my weight back to the right side and coming back to the left during the stroke, and I had not felt it. Now for me to have a fair comparison between looking and the hole and keeping my head down, I had to stop swaying. I had basically made it, so the ball is a moving target, and of course, I would be more inconsistent with it. The more stationary we are when we putt, the better off we are to find the center of the putter face and start the ball where we are intending.

My swaying was not being picked up by the PT30, it isn’t designed to do that, so that is the one problem when comparing techniques, you want to remove as many variables as possible, and only measure one thing at a time.

So I worked on not swaying when putting, and when I finally got that taken care of, I went back to testing looking at the hole and looking down, and low and behold, they were almost identical. So it doesn’t really matter which technique I use, both technically deliver the same square face at impact, so when that happens, it is up to personal preference. And I have that dialed in for me now. For example, if I think I should make it more than 50% of the time, around eight feet and in, then I’ll look at the hole. The only real difference for me when I look at the hole vs. when I don’t is my speed. When I look at the hole, the putts are pretty aggressive, and they go in or miss with pace.

When I’m looking at the ball, I putt with a speed that is more likely to die at the hole, which is a great way to lag putt. So that’s how I’ve developed my putting stroke, it’s based on data. It’s based on feedback. So if any of you out there, who have created a putting stroke out of thin air based on trial and error, I would recommend getting some tool or borrowing one from someone and do some testing. It is a great exercise. I personally like the PT30 over the Blast Motion, just because the blast requires that you use Bluetooth to a mobile phone, but that also means the data is saved to your mobile phone for review. The PT30 had a display right on the face, so you are able to set up and get going in seconds.

Both are great devices for sure, and either is light years better than just banging a few balls around a putting green or in your office to trying to figure out how you should be putting.

The data doesn’t lie, the data will tell you what’s best for you. You just have to give it a chance and remove as many variables as possible for the most accurate results.

With accurate feedback and technology, you will have a better putting stroke and have data to prove it to yourself. When the data and the numbers tell you that your putting stroke is, in fact, better, you will develop increased confidence in the putting game. We always hear about the effects of confidence when it comes to playing good golf, and thereby your golf will get better with increasing confidence, and that increased confidence comes from better data and better feedback because it’s proof that you’re doing the right thing to make your game better. And that was a very circular argument, but hopefully, it made sense.

Please work on your putting over this the long winter months. This is a great time to do it, but get some technology to give you the feedback to make sure that you’re doing it exactly the best way for you. Please remember, better data always means better golf!