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Research Shows Golfers Should Spend More Time Practicing Short Putts

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Putting is an important 40 percent of the game at virtually every level of play. In 2016, the average PGA Tour player needed 29 putts to shoot their average score of 70.85 (41 percent of their strokes). The average 17-handicap golfer needs 34 putts to achieve their average score of 89 (38 percent).

Clearly, not many of us have the physical skill to drive the ball like a Tour player, but almost anyone can putt like a Tour player with the right equipment, technique and practice. There’s been a lot written on the equipment and techniques golfers should use to putt better. What’s not talked about as much is how golfers should practice putting… and from what distances?

For the answer, I studied our ShotByShot.com database recorded at a 17 Slope Adjusted Differential (this was the 12,000-plus rounds when the golfers actually played exactly to their 17 handicap). I had a stronger motive for this research than writing this article. We have added a new product to our ShotByShot.com Strokes Gained analysis: a putting skills test and practice app. Our goal is to provide an additional, simple but intelligent application to accurately test putting skill and focus practice time for meaningful improvement.

Through our research, we learned that a 17-handicap male golfer’s average round includes the following.

Long Game: Only 4.7 GIRs with an average putting distance of 26 feet on these successful GIR’s.

Short Game (shots within 50 yards of the hole):

  • 10 chip/pitch shots, successfully hits eight on the green (two errors or missed greens) to an average putting distance of 14 feet.
  • Two sand shots. When he successfully hits the green (only 68 percent of his sand attempts), his average putting distance is 17 feet.

Putting (34 total putts including):

  • 1-Putts = 3.7
  • 2-Putts = 11.8
  • 3-Putts = 2.25
  • 4-Putts = once in every 20 rounds.

50 Percent Make Distance: The distance from which he will make 50 percent of his putting opportunities is 5 feet. By comparison, the PGA Tour player’s 50 percent make distance is 8 feet.

2-Putt Range: The distance from which he will average 2 putts is 16 feet. This means that outside of 16 feet, our 17 handicap will 3-putt with a greater frequency than 1-putt. The PGA Tour’s 2.0 distance is 34 feet.

I used the data above along with the array of putting opportunities below (first, second and thirds putts) in combination with the putting performance from each distance to project recommended practice. As you can see below, 68 percent of the average golfer’s putting opportunities fall from 15 feet and closer and 41 percent from 5 feet and in.

Chart 1

The chart below displays our average 17 handicaper’s 1-putt and 3-putt percentages by distance range.

Chart 2

Finally, I charted the 1-putt percentages from 3-10 feet for the average 17- and 10-handicap golfers.

Chart 3

Practice Recommendations

  • Time? Putting is worth 40 percent of the time you are willing to devote to your golf practice.
  • 70 percent of your practice putting time should be devoted to increasing your 1-putt percentages on short putts and extending your 50 percent make distance.
  • 30 percent of your putting practice time should be spent improving your distance control on lag putts in the 20-50 foot ranges and extending your two-putt distance.

Short Putts: Star Drill

Chart 4

Distance Control: Lag Putts

Place a tee 20 feet from a target or hole. Use two or three balls and practice lagging them back and forth until you can consistently get the balls to the target, but no farther than 2 feet past the hole. Repeat the drill from 30 and 40 feet trying to leave the putts no farther than 3 feet from the target.

You can test your putting skill and record your practice at www.shotbyshot.com

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In 1989, Peter Sanders founded Golf Research Associates, LP, creating what is now referred to as Strokes Gained Analysis. His goal was to design and market a new standard of statistically based performance analysis programs using proprietary computer models. A departure from “traditional stats,” the program provided analysis with answers, supported by comparative data. In 2006, the company’s website, ShotByShot.com, was launched. It provides interactive, Strokes Gained analysis for individual golfers and more than 150 instructors and coaches that use the program to build and monitor their player groups. Peter has written, or contributed to, more than 60 articles in major golf publications including Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Golf for Women. From 2007 through 2013, Peter was an exclusive contributor and Professional Advisor to Golf Digest and GolfDigest.com. Peter also works with PGA Tour players and their coaches to interpret the often confusing ShotLink data. Zach Johnson has been a client for nearly five years. More recently, Peter has teamed up with Smylie Kaufman’s swing coach, Tony Ruggiero, to help guide Smylie’s fast-rising career.

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. hoa

    Dec 30, 2017 at 11:20 am

    If you’re talking inside the “Circle of Friendship”, that’s good

  2. hoa tuoi dep

    Dec 30, 2017 at 11:20 am

    That was very accurate for me. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. tamloplaysang

    Oct 16, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    thank for sharings

  4. dichvuvietbaiseo

    Oct 12, 2017 at 12:39 am

    Thank you very much

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    Oct 1, 2017 at 12:06 am

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  6. thuemayphoto.info

    Sep 15, 2017 at 5:22 am

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    Jul 26, 2017 at 1:57 am

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  8. tivi

    Jul 12, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Great article. I’ve always shot between 81-86, with the occasional trip into the high 70’s if I get the opportunity to play more. I ended up breaking my 3, 5, and 7 iron and never got them fixed. It may seem obvious, but when I came back from a long layoff, not having those clubs in my bag had almost zero impact on my scores. This just made me realize even more definitively that I need to work on my approach shots and putting if I want my scores to improve

  9. linh vat phong thuy

    Jul 6, 2017 at 6:41 am

    A departure from “traditional stats,” the program provided analysis with answers, supported by comparative data.

  10. boc rang su tham my

    Jun 7, 2017 at 5:03 am

    If you’re talking inside the “Circle of Friendship”, that’s good, pick it up.

  11. vncoupon

    May 21, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    Great article with the stats to show comparisons 🙂

  12. sharemagiamgia

    Apr 27, 2017 at 4:55 am

    Good article with the stats to show comparisons.

  13. nam giam can

    Apr 24, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Golf is a sport for the nobility

  14. vach ngan ve sinh chong am

    Apr 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    So I ageee with the writer that working on lag putting and short putts in combination makes a lot of sense.

  15. tien dola am phu

    Apr 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Differential (this was the 12,000-plus rounds when the golfers actually played exactly to their 17 handicap). I had a stronger motive for this research than writing this article. We have added a new product to our ShotByShot.com Strokes Gained analysis: a putting skills test and practice app. Our goal is to provide an additional, simple but intelligent application to accurately test putting skill and focus practice time for meaningful improvement.

  16. I’d ask myself why I’m so far away from the hole so frequently when I’m not on the green in regulation. Bad short game. The 17 capper probably puts it in the 6-10 foot range while chipping on his “good” chips. A great chip gets within 3 feet, and a bad one is probably 15+ feet. Why would he spend a ton of time on those 8 footers instead of working on getting closer to the hole? If your good chips turn into 3-5 footers, your great chips are now kick-ins, and your bad ones are now 10-15 feet away, you’re going to start making more putts without even having to make more 8 footers based on the fact that you’re now closer to the hole the majority of the time. Then he can work on those 8 footers after he starts improving his short game.

  17. Again, I’m not saying that working on your putting is a bad idea by any means; pretty much everyone should do it more than they do. Obviously making more 8-footers is a great thing for anybody’s game, but that definitely wouldn’t be my go-to for this type of player. Unless he’s going to start hitting more greens in regulation (then he’d need more help lag putting most likely), he’d be much better served working on getting his average short game shot down from that 14 foot distance. He’ll likely drop significantly more strokes doing that than making 20% more of his 8 footers.

  18. HW

    Mar 16, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Great article. I’ve always shot between 81-86, with the occasional trip into the high 70’s if I get the opportunity to play more. I ended up breaking my 3, 5, and 7 iron and never got them fixed. It may seem obvious, but when I came back from a long layoff, not having those clubs in my bag had almost zero impact on my scores. This just made me realize even more definitively that I need to work on my approach shots and putting if I want my scores to improve.

  19. http://hoclaixenang.edu.vn/

    Mar 14, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    This is really necessary for the goft player. This information is useful to me. Thank You!

  20. chinchbugs

    Mar 11, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    In other news….water is wet

  21. Nick

    Mar 11, 2017 at 11:53 am

    I love the star drilled. I was taught that when I was in college and still use it religiously. I usually try to make 15 before I move a foot back. I’ll start with 3 balls at 3 feet and after I make 15 straight, I’ll go back a foot. Another drill I think is really good is the 3,6,9 drill. Place tees at 3, 6, and 9 feet and the goal is to make three in a row before moving to the next tee. In college we used 10 balls and had to make 10/10 at 3 feet, 8/10 from 6 feet and 6/10 from 9 feet. I saw the new method on one of the golf channel academies with Jim furyk. Once you practice these drills, there won’t be as much pressure on your chipping. These are few additional drills but for a scratch golfer I still do them every time I practice my putting.

  22. Tim

    Mar 11, 2017 at 10:33 am

    In other news, studies show apples are good for your health and should eat more of them….

  23. Iutodd

    Mar 11, 2017 at 8:04 am

    I do the “cross” drill where I put balls every 18″ or so out to about 5′ (3-4 balls) and I have to make every one before I rotate 90 degrees and do it from side. I like it because you’re going to make ~100% of your first putt and it’s helpful to see the ball go in the hole.

  24. Radim Pavlicek

    Mar 11, 2017 at 4:57 am

    Excellent, now I would like to see 6hcp and scratch.

  25. http://haiminhco.com.vn

    Mar 10, 2017 at 10:24 pm

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  26. Kelvin Kelley

    Mar 10, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Good article with the stats to show comparisons.

  27. Jim

    Mar 10, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Um, no kidding. As most weekend golfers just show up swing a couple of times and tee off this isn’t exactly ground breaking news. That said I’ve noticed practicing my putting over the past few years has really paid off along with practicing chipping as well. As more than half your shots are around the green it only makes sense over just bashing your driver anyway.

  28. Jack Nash

    Mar 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    If you’re talking inside the “Circle of Friendship”, that’s good, pick it up.

  29. BallBuster

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

    The concept is simple to understand, but most of all it worked well for me. I bought one of those Butch Harmon Inside Down the Line putting tracks (I believe this is the method he taught Tiger Woods years ago as Tiger and Butch have both referred to it later in publications after I bought it to confirm it’s legit value for training to me). I used that nightly down my basement putting from 4-10 feet and often hitting up to 60-70 putts at night… plus at the course on a practice green too. I saw my putting stats drop by about 5 strokes on average, which obviously translated to lowering my hcp. I found the lag putting practice wasn’t as necessary as I once thought since my confidence to hit 4 and 5 footers after a mediocre lag putt helped save an extra stroke on that green. As they say, there’s never a bad first putt when you make the second… unless you miss a gimme I suppose!

  30. Tom

    Mar 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    This is news to me?

  31. N. D. Boondocks

    Mar 10, 2017 at 11:37 am

    Maybe it’s just my home course, but I’d be seriously angering a lot of other golfers also trying to use the practice green if I used that putting drill.

  32. Steve

    Mar 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Maybe I’m missing something, but to me, it looks like research shows that golfers need to work on their short game and lag putting more than their short putts…

    If the player is 3-putting from 30ft, I’d argue that it’s not really because he missed a 5-10 footer for his 2-putt; it’s because he left himself a 10 footer for his second putt instead of a tap-in to begin with.

    • TR1PTIK

      Mar 10, 2017 at 11:42 am

      Agreed. Using Game Golf, I’ve learned that my best scores come when my short game is dialed and my putting average changes very little.
      Using Game Golf’s Strokes Gained feature vs. Scratch for example, my best round (78) showed that I was 1.25 strokes worse off the tee, 2.12 strokes worse on approach, 2.65 worse on short game, and 2.29 worse on putting. My best round so far in 2017 (88) on the other hand has me at 1.1 worse off the tee, 4.61 worse on approach, 9.75 worse on short game, and 2.34 worse on putting.
      I’m generally a good lag putter, and have made several putts outside of 10′ even 15′ from a variety of slopes and lies. I’d be much closer to a single-digit handicap if I put more work in on my short game.

      • Ian

        Mar 10, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        • TR1PTIK

          Mar 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm

          I remember that one. That was very accurate for me. Thanks for the reminder!

        • Iutodd

          Mar 11, 2017 at 9:39 am

          I missed that one somehow. That is interesting. You kind of have to work backwards – and honestly if you’re trying to break 80 or 70 you need all aspects of your game working right?

          But if I need to hit at least 7 gir to break 80 (on average) that probably means I need to hit 6-7 fairways and you figure you’ll hit 1-3 of the par 3 greens. I don’t know what percentage of greens are hit from the fairway but if you’re in the trees all the time I’m guessing your percentage of GIR go way down.

          But to me even if GIR is a key stat – you’re going to be 30-40 feet away so lag putting is very important. And if you scramble 11 times a round making five footers is also really important.

          So I ageee with the writer that working on lag putting and short putts in combination makes a lot of sense.

        • Peter Sanders

          Mar 11, 2017 at 10:57 am

          Ian,
          I agree that GIR’s is the best of all the old, traditional, 1-dimensional stats. It signifies 2 positives: 1. One’s game has been efficient enough to get there and 2. It is always a birdie putt of some length. The problem with GIR’s is also two fold: 1. The avg. golfer hits less than 5 per round and 2. It provides no answers as to the cause of all the NON-GIR’s.

      • Peter Sanders

        Mar 11, 2017 at 10:52 am

        TR1PTIK,
        Please correct me if I am wrong but isn’t Game Golf analyzing your putting based upon # of putts? GPS is only accurate to about 8 meters (25 feet) so the GPS systems cannot get short game or putting distances. Putting analysis based upon # of putts is as accurate as balancing one’s checkbook based solely upon the # of checks written.

    • DW

      Mar 10, 2017 at 12:06 pm

      I think the argument is saying the golfer in this example has very few 30 ft putts anyway, so being able to 1 putt from 8 feet rather than 2 putt is a gamechanger.

      • Steve

        Mar 11, 2017 at 12:39 am

        Well yah, making more putts is obviously a good thing. But how much improvement can you realistically expect? Even the best players in the world are only making around 50% of putts from 8ft… The graph above shows the 17 capper making about 30% of putts from that distance. So even if he becomes as good as a professional from 8ft, which is extremely unlikely no matter how much he practices because he probably plays on muni greens, then he MIGHT pick up a couple strokes per round. Wouldn’t he be better off figuring out why he’s around 8+ft from the hole so frequently, especially when he’s only hitting 4-5 greens in regulation?

        If I’m a 17 capper looking at the statistics and see that a pro is only taking 5 less putts per round than me despite shooting 17 strokes lower on average, I’m not thinking, “Oh, he must be making more 8 footers than me.” First, I’d realize that the pro is hitting SIGNIFICANTLY more greens than me, hence the reason he’s only taking 5 less putts per round (2-putts aren’t a bad thing if you’re on the green in regulation). So the obvious solution would be to hit more greens in regulation. Obviously that’s not the world’s easiest task, especially for a 17 capper. So assuming that won’t change much, what’s an easier way to lower my putt total (and total score)?

        1) The player in this example is averaging 2.25 3-putts per round. Unless he’s playing on some REALLY difficult greens, he’s not a very good lag putter. A realistic goal would be to try to get that down to 1 3-putt per round. There’s a shot off your score, and you don’t have to make an extra 8 footer to do it.

        2) I’d ask myself why I’m so far away from the hole so frequently when I’m not on the green in regulation. Bad short game. The 17 capper probably puts it in the 6-10 foot range while chipping on his “good” chips. A great chip gets within 3 feet, and a bad one is probably 15+ feet. Why would he spend a ton of time on those 8 footers instead of working on getting closer to the hole? If your good chips turn into 3-5 footers, your great chips are now kick-ins, and your bad ones are now 10-15 feet away, you’re going to start making more putts without even having to make more 8 footers based on the fact that you’re now closer to the hole the majority of the time. Then he can work on those 8 footers after he starts improving his short game.

        Again, I’m not saying that working on your putting is a bad idea by any means; pretty much everyone should do it more than they do. Obviously making more 8-footers is a great thing for anybody’s game, but that definitely wouldn’t be my go-to for this type of player. Unless he’s going to start hitting more greens in regulation (then he’d need more help lag putting most likely), he’d be much better served working on getting his average short game shot down from that 14 foot distance. He’ll likely drop significantly more strokes doing that than making 20% more of his 8 footers.

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Instruction

What to look for in a golf instructor: The difference between transformative and transactional coaching

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Golf instruction comes in all different styles, methods, and formats. With that said, you would think this would be a good thing due to there being so many different types of people in the world. However, it is my opinion that the lack of standardization within the industry makes it confusing for the athlete to determine what kind of golf instruction they should seek out.

Before we can discuss what may or may not be the best type of instruction for yourself, first we need to know what our options are. Whether we are taking a “broad-spectrum approach” to learning or a more personalized approach, it is important to understand that there are differences to each, and some approaches are going to take longer than others to reach goals.

Broad-Spectrum Approach

Welcome to the world of digital golf instruction, where tips from the most famous coaches in the world are a click away. The great thing about the internet and social media for a golfer is there has never been more access to the top minds in the field—and tips and drills are plentiful. With that said, with there being so many choices and differing opinions, it can be very easy to become distracted with the latest tip and can lead to a feeling of being lost.

I would describe “internet coaching”—or YouTube and Instagram surfing—as transactional coaching. You agree to pay, either a monthly fee or provide likes or follows and the professional provides very generalized tips about the golf swing. For athletes that are new to golf or golf instruction, this tends to be the first part of their process.

There are people who prefer a more transactional approach, and there are a ton of people having success working together over the internet with their coach. With that said, for someone who is looking for more of a long-term individualized approach, this may not be the best approach. This broad-spectrum approach also tends to be the slowest in terms of development due to there being a lot of trial and error due to the generalized approach and people having different body types.

Individual Transactional Coaching

Most people who are new to golf instruction will normally seek out their local pro for help. Depending on where you live in the country, what your local pro provides will vary greatly. However, due to it being local and convenient, most golfers will accept this to be the standard golf lesson.

What makes this type of instruction transactional is that there tends to be less long-term planning and it is more of a sick patient-doctor relationship. Lessons are taken when needed and there isn’t any benchmarking or periodization being done. There also tends to be less of a relationship between the coach and player in this type of coaching and it is more of a take it or leave it style to the coaching.

For most recreational or club-level players, this type of coaching works well and is widely available. Assuming that the method or philosophies of the coach align with your body type and goals athletes can have great success with this approach. However, due to less of a relationship, this form of coaching can still take quite some time to reach its goals.

Individual Transformative Coaching

Some people are very lucky, and they live close to a transformative coach, and others, less lucky, have had to search and travel to find a coach that could help them reach their goals. Essentially, when you hire a transformative coach, you are being assigned a golf partner.

Transformative coaching begins with a solid rapport that develops into an all-encompassing relationship centered around helping you become your very best. Technology alone doesn’t make a coach transformative, but it can help when it comes to creating periodization of your development. Benchmarks and goals are agreed upon by both parties and both parties share the responsibility for putting in the work.

Due to transformative coaching tending to have larger goals, the development process tends to take some time, however, the process is more about attainment than achievement. While improved performance is the goal, the periods for both performance and development are defined.

Which One is Right for You?

It really depends on how much you are willing to invest in your development. If you are looking for a quick tip and are just out enjoying the weather with your friends, then maybe finding a drill or two on Instagram to add to your practice might be the ticket. If you are looking to really see some improvement and put together a plan for long-term development, then you are going to have to start looking into what is available in your area and beyond.

Some things to consider when selecting a coach

  • Do they use technology?
  • What are their qualifications when it comes to teaching?
  • Do they make you a priority?

As a golf coach who has access to the most state-of-the-art technology in the industry, I am always going to be biased towards a data-driven approach. That doesn’t mean that you should only consider a golf coach with technology, however, I believe that by having data present, you are able to have a better conversation about the facts with less importance placed on personal preference. Technology also tends to be quite expensive in golf, so be prepared if you go looking for a more high-tech coaching experience, as it is going to cost more than the low-tech alternative.

The general assumption is that if the person you are seeking advice from is a better player than you are, then they know more about the golf swing than you do. This is not always the case, while the better player may understand their swing better than you do yours, that does not make them an expert at your golf swing. That is why it is so important that you consider the qualifications of your coach. Where did they train to coach? Do they have success with all of their players? Do their players develop over a period of time? Do their players get injured? All things to consider.

The most important trait to look for in a transformative coach is that they make you a priority. That is the biggest difference between transactional and transformative coaches, they are with you during the good and bad, and always have your best interest top of mind. Bringing in other experts isn’t that uncommon and continuing education is paramount for the transformative coach, as it is their duty to be able to meet and exceed the needs of every athlete.

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The importance of arm structure

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How the arms hang at address plays a vital role in the golf swing. Often overlooked, the structure in which we place the arms can dictate one’s swing pattern. As mentioned in the article How Posture influences your swing, if you start in an efficient position, impact is much easier to find making, the golf swing more repeatable and powerful.

To start, I opt to have a player’s trail arm bent and tucked in front of them with angle in the trail wrist. While doing so, the trail shoulder can drop below the lead with a slight bend from the pelvis. This mirrors an efficient impact position.

I always prefer plays to have soft and slightly bent arms. This promotes arm speed in the golf swing. No other sports are played with straight arms, neither should golf.

From this position, it’s easier to get the clubhead traveling first, sequencing the backswing into a dynamic direction of turn.

@peterthomson

When a player addresses the ball with straight arms, they will often tilt with their upper body in the backswing. This requires more recovery in the downswing to find their impact position with the body.

A great drill to get the feeling of a soft-bent trail arm is to practice pushing a wall with your trail arm. Start in your golf set-up, placing your trail hand against the wall. You will instinctively start with a bent trail arm.

Practice applying slight pressure to the wall to get the feeling of a pushing motion through impact?. When trying the drill with a straight trail alarm, you will notice the difference between the two? arm structures.

www.kelleygolf.com

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What is ground force in the golf swing?

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There is no doubt about it, the guys and gals on tour have found something in the ground—and that something is power and speed. I’m sure by now you have heard of “ground reaction forces”—and I’m not talking about how you “shift your weight” during the golf swing.

Ground force in the golf swing: Pressure and force are not equal

With respect to ground force in the golf swing, it’s important to understand the difference between pressure and force. Pressure is your perception of how your weight is being balanced by the structure, in this case, the human body. Your body has a center of mass which is located roughly one inch behind the belt buckle for men and about one inch lower in women. When we shift (translate and/or torque) the center of mass, we create a pressure shift as the body has to “rebalance” the mass or body. This pressure shift can help us understand some aspects of the golf swing, but when it comes to producing power, force and torque are where it’s at.

Pressure can only be expressed in relation to the mass or weight of the body. Therefore, if you weigh 150 pounds, you can only create 150 pounds of pressure at one time. However, when we direct that mass at a larger object than our mass, all of a sudden that larger mass directs an opposite and equal reactionary force. So now, when a human being “pushes” their legs against the ground and “feels” 150 pounds of pressure, they now get 150 pounds of force directed back towards them from the ground, creating a total of 300 pounds of force that allows them to jump off the ground in this scenario.

If ground reaction forces don’t have anything to do with the “weight shift,” then what do they affect? Everything!

Most people use the same basic ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies. However, almost everyone has chocolate chip cookies that taste slightly different. Why is that? That is because people are variable and use the ingredients in different amounts and orders. When we create a golf swing, whether we are aware of it or not, we are using the same basic ingredients as everyone else: lateral force, vertical torque, and vertical force. We use these same three forces every time we move in space, and how much and when we use each force changes the outcome quite a bit.

Welcome to the world of 3D!

Understanding how to adjust the sequencing and magnitude of these forces is critical when it comes to truly owning and understand your golf swing. The good news is that most of our adjustments come before the swing and have to do with how we set up to the ball. For example, if an athlete is having a hard time controlling low point due to having too much lateral force in the golf swing (fats and thins), then we narrow up the stance width to reduce the amount of lateral force that can be produced in the swing. If an athlete is late with their vertical force, then we can square up the lead foot to promote the lead leg straightening sooner and causing the vertical force to happen sooner.

While we all will need to use the ground differently to play our best golf, two things need to happen to use the ground effectively. The forces have to exist in the correct kinetic sequence (lateral, vertical torque, vertical force), and the peaks of those forces need to be created within the correct windows (sequencing).

  • Lateral force – Peak occurs between top-of-swing and lead arm at 45 degrees
  • Vertical torque – Peak occurs between lead arm being 45 degrees and the lead arm being parallel to the ground.
  • Vertical force – Peak occurs between lead arm being parallel to the ground the club shaft being parallel to the ground.

While it may seem obvious, it’s important to remember ground reaction forces are invisible and can only be measured using force plates. With that said, their tends to be apprehension about discussing how we use the ground as most people do not have access to 3D dual force plates. However, using the screening process designed by Mike Adams, Terry Rowles, and the BioSwing Dynamics team, we can determine what the primary forces used for power production are and can align the body in a way to where the athlete can access his/her full potential and deliver the club to the ball in the most effective and efficient way based off their predispositions and anatomy.

In addition to gaining speed, we can help athletes create a better motion for their anatomy. As golfers continue to swing faster, it is imperative that they do so in a manner that doesn’t break down their body and cause injury. If the body is moving how it is designed, and the forces acting on the joints of the body are in the correct sequence and magnitude, not only do we know they are getting the most out of their swing, but we know that it will hold up and not cause an unforeseen injury down the road.

I truly believe that force plates and ground reaction forces will be as common as launch monitors in the near future. Essentially, a launch monitor measures the effect and the force plates measure the cause, so I believe we need both for the full picture. The force plate technology is still very expensive, and there is an educational barrier for people seeking to start measuring ground reaction forces and understanding how to change forces, magnitudes, and sequences, but I’m expecting a paradigm shift soon.

 

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