If you haven’t seen Part 1 about Putter fitting with TrackMan click here.
These next tests were done with speed control in mind.
Biomechanically speaking our hands are our scales and relate sensory information to the brain about the weight of objects and pressure necessary to control its movement.
- The cerebellum controls motor function and helps to provide smooth coordinated movement
- Weight alters these pressure patterns in the hands to override the brains perception of how fast the putter is moving
- Therefore, weight alters the perception of timing
The putter components that affect speed:
- Head weight
- Weight in the grip
- Weight in the head and the grip
I started with the affect of headweight on speed. I’m sure you have all heard people saying that for slow greens you should have a heavy putter. This would seem to proove the opposite.
The lighter putter was simply easier to move resulting in more club and ball speed and obviously more distance. When fitting putters for speed you must take in account the way the player naturally accelerates the putter. There are only 2 ways to accelerate a putter : radial and linear.
Radial strokes rely on consistant rate of time and relate length of stroke to generate velocity – touch is time. Radial strokes have peak acceleration at low point and have consistant rates of deceleration post impact. Radial strokes have consistant backstroke/forward stroke length. Less than 10% of players will be purely radial.
A pure radial stroke would have the same backswing time as forward swing time. I have never seen a pure radial stroke. However the closer the player is to that type acceleration the better they tend to perform with heavier heads and lighter handle weight.
Linear acceleration is motion that originates from the hands and lower forearms and thrusts the putter parallel to the ground. Linear acceleration generally maintain shorter backstrokes. Linear strokes generally change the rate of acceleration to generate velocity for different length putts. Linear motion tends to create peak acceleration post impact (not taking the ball impact into account ) resulting in a longer follow through.
Generally linear strokes perform better with lighter heads and heavier handles.
Thanks to David Edel for the explications.
It took me 3 hours to perform a radial stroke i.e backswing the same time as forward swing! The general belief now is that pure radial strokes don’t really exist. There is always some sort of acceleration. The heavy head and light handle performed better for me than the light head heavy handle increasing the roll% and reducing the skid distance.
Optivibe placement is something extremely interesting to play around with. In the Edel fitting processus, i have the possibility to slide weight up and down the inside of the shaft. The lower the optivibe was placed the better the roll % and skid distance became confirming for me that i needed more weight towards and in the head.
To prove this point i then tried with a counterweight ( weight at the top of the grip ) For me this was a disaster, but for someone who tends deloft or skid putts this could be a good option.
The affect of lines on roll % and skid distance: As we have seen earlier, lines affect the part of the putter you are focalizing on. Backlines attract the attention towards the back of the putter increasing loft and frontlines the opposite. The affect was seeable with the TM numbers.
At the end of the day what i’m looking for is consistency in speed control whether that is clubspeed, ball speed, roll %, skid, backswing time or forward swing time.
What must be remembered when fitting is that everybody is different. Different things work differently for different people. However there are many tendencies whether that is head shape for aim or weight distribution for speed. I’m always trying different options just to see what happens. This is one of the joys of clubfitting.