Connect with us

Instruction

What happens to loft when shortening or lengthening a putter shaft?

Published

on

During a round of golf, the percentage of all putts made is 43. I have mentioned in my earlier articles that the putting technique should be efficient and adjusted to your mobility limitation. With increased efficiency, the amount of mishits and also the amount of time spent on your short game will decrease. An inefficient technique will give you trouble to find time to maintain your feel on the greens. It will most certainly give you trouble when the pressure is high and you are nervous. Dave Pelz mentioned in his book “Dave Pelz´s Putting Bible” concerning what should master your putt motion:

“Supplying the power, which determines how fast and how far your putts will roll, from the muscles of your wrists, hands and fingers is bad. Wrist motion (hinging) causes putter face angle variations, and hand and wrist muscles tend to tighten up and not work well under even slight pressure.”

Suppose that you already have a pretty good putting technique without too much wrist motion and an impact angle close to 0 degrees.

In this article, I want to explain what can happen when cutting or lengthening your putter and neglecting adjusting your technique to your new putter specifications. The problem concerns the conflict between the forward press and correct dynamic loft at impact.

What is the “forward press?”

The use of the “forward press” is widely used and recommended by putting gurus and professionals. The purposes of the “forward press” are several, but the majority of golfers who use it want to “kick start” the putt motion, deloft the putter or get their hands in front of the ball.

However I want to define the “forward press” like this:

When the shaft is perpendicular to the ground, the putter loft is the same as the static loft of the putter. If the golfer leans the shaft forward, the loft of the putter decreases. The distance that the golfer pushes the shaft against the target from its perpendicular position is the “forward press.” 

A golfer who uses the forward press will move his hands and the grip a certain distance before launching the putting motion. The distance will, in most cases, be the same even when the putter shaft is custom fitted to the golfers specifications. For example, a golfer who requires a 31-inch putter instead of the standard length (35 inches) most often uses the same technique concerning the distance of the forward press with the shorter putter as he/she did with the standard length putter. The degree on the putter loft will be delofted even more than with the standard length putter, however.

How much the distance of the forward press affects the putter loft depends on the length of the putter. The table below shows the degrees the static putter loft will be delofted when cutting your putter from 35 inches to 31 inches (and not adjusting your forward press distance):

Shaft Lean Table

As you can see, even a short forward press causes a negative dynamic loft. A 35-inch putter with 2 degrees loft and a 2-inch forward press will give the putter head a dynamic loft of -1.27 degrees.

Putt_front_view_30inches_35inches_diff_final_600px_1110px

The golfer has to compensate the negative dynamic putter loft during the putt motion with his/her putt technique. Otherwise the ball will be pushed down into the grass and probably lose its intended path and speed (it will be even worse if the grass is longer).

It is really easy to cut a putter shaft, but the “forward press” is harder to adjust so the dynamic loft at impact suits the putt technique.

Some tips on minimizing the possibility for addressing and putting the ball with negative putter loft:

  • Most putter head designs are not so easy to address flat on the ground. My advice is to find a putter with wider sole and adjusted sole angle so the putter does not turn either way when you place the putter head on the ground.
  • If you can use your thorax rotation without any lower body movement, then there is a possibility for more consistent putt motion with less variation of the dynamic loft at impact.
  • Eliminate all wrist, hand and finger action in your putt motion.
  • Buy a laser point gadget that can help you see where you aiming and if you are delofting the putter too much.

Laser Point Gadget

Laser tools for aiming are commonly used by many professional golfers and coaches. The best aspect with the laser point gadgets is the instant feedback on how you are aiming without help of some other person. Another good thing with the laser point gadget is also the possibility to verify what your dynamic loft at address is just before launching the putt motion. The best practice for this is to use the laser gadget indoors when aiming at a target on the floor mat. If you are forward pressing the putter too much at address, the laser point will be below the height of the laser point source.

Putt_forward_press_laserpoint2_600px_386px

A way to see your dynamic loft at impact is to use the laser point gadget and also video capture your target line and target. Then you can use the slow-motion function and easily find where the pointer appears at impact.

For more information on the laser point gadget, visit the site http://www.thesmartgolfer.com/

Conclusion

When changing the length of the putter you should also check your dynamic loft at impact to be sure that your technique can also produce the correct loft at impact with the new putter length.

If you would like to receive the chart with the loft and forward press distance, email me.

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT3
  • WOW1
  • LOL2
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP3
  • OB1
  • SHANK1

Simon Selin PGA Club Professional in Sweden, extensive teaching experience coaching both amateur and professional-level golfers. Coached on the Ladies European Tour 2007-2010 TPI Certified Level 2 Golf Coach "Your swing should fit your body instead of your body to adapt to a type of a golf swing."

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. froneputt

    Mar 29, 2014 at 1:02 am

    I don’t see the advantage of the forward press — it’s old school and a way to jump-start the rhythm of the stroke. BUT adjusting loft may also adjust the face slightly — I think you’re introducing error. Is it one reason Rory goes hot and cold? I prefer no forward press and no freezing over the putt. Other professional instructors have advised to feel almost imperceptible movement as you are addressing the ball so you are not ever “frozen” over a putt – you retain your athleticism, always keeping an eye on your line and pulling the trigger without lingering.

  2. Rich

    Mar 28, 2014 at 6:32 am

    Are you guys serious? Why would you want to have all this crap in your head when you’re over the ball. Step up, line up and putt. It’s that simple

  3. ddgg

    Mar 26, 2014 at 7:36 pm

    that’s a nice looking putter

  4. Gary

    Mar 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Some authors have noted the “shaft angle illusion”, which is when you take your putting stance and look down at a putter shaft that appears vertical, but isn’t in reality. This is bad, since you want your rise angle to be greater than dynamic loft to put a good roll on the ball. I think pros are forward pressing to ensure that the putter shaft is vertical and to ward off adding loft at impact through backward shaft lean.

  5. billy

    Mar 26, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    I agree the forward press seems odd and does not work for me either however I see many of the top players in the world use it so it must have merit on some level.

  6. Ed LeBeau

    Mar 26, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Simon, the advantage of the forward press has eluded me. When I see players use it, I see them align the putter, take their stance, and then forward press. If you use the alignment laser you find that it is near impossible to forward press without loosing the setup alignment. What are your thoughts about this?

    • Simon Selin

      Mar 26, 2014 at 3:14 pm

      Ed, Thanks for your comment. My view of the forward press follows your opinion. The more actions with your hands before impact, the more possibilities for errors such as alignment. However the forward press can help people “kick start” the putt motion instead of freezing over the golf ball. Another thing that the forward press can help the golfer with is the hinging and pronation of the right wrist (for RH players).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Instruction

50 Second Fix: Chunking your pitch shots

Published

on

Want to fix your chunked pitch shots? Watch this!

Your Reaction?
  • 3
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK1

Continue Reading

Instruction

Clement: Set up secrets for consistency

Published

on

Setting up properly to have success in a shot requires an ingredient that is overlooked by 95 percent of golfers because they think that impact is more important; which makes the ball the target. In reality, the ball is the intersection on the way to the real target: The flight plan that leads them into the hole!! Without this essential ingredient, there is NO WAY to negotiate the proper swing path, swing plane, clubface angle, distance to ball, ball position and levels required for solid contact and proper direction! Stick with the smart choice in golf skill acquisition, stick really closely to WISDOM IN GOLF!

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT1
  • WOW0
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP1
  • OB0
  • SHANK16

Continue Reading

Instruction

50 Second Fix: Putting alignment

Published

on

Want to fix your putting alignment? Move the ball, and start looking beyond it!

Your Reaction?
  • 7
  • LEGIT2
  • WOW1
  • LOL1
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK2

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Facebook

Trending