Q: Richard writes: "I have purchased several of your products and just ordered the speed board, but the more I think about it and tinker around on the rug at home with the concept of the follow through being the same length as the back swing when putting the more a basic question comes to mind....I am a mid single digit golfer in my 60th year of playing and I have always been taught to accelerate thru the stroke primarily to avoid deceleration at impact which, particularly on many shorter putts and gives the sensation of a "pop" at impact, and therefore seems preferable. Could you comment on this?"
A: You are very observant. I have discussed your question with several of the Tour putting coaches, and they all have similar opinions.
The goal is to deliver the putter head to the ball with the maximum impact (If the stroke decelerates, max energy is before the ball. If the stroke is too long past impact, max energy is usually past impact.)
Theoretically, if the stroke is equal back and through then the max energy will be at impact.
There is another important influence ... the ball :) It takes the energy from the stroke. The teachers will say that the putter delivers the energy to the ball, then it is finished so it slows.
Given these conditions, the back-swing is about 60% of the stroke, and the follow through is about 40%.
Does that answer your question ... let me know if I can clarify,
All the best,
Q: Richard replies: "It's very much appreciated. For purposes of discussion know that I am a student of the swing kind of guy so this whole issue is really interesting. But, I guess I find your response a bit confusing.
It's clear that a decel is not on anyone's "to do" list :-). And I understand the "theoretically" sentence intellectually but am finding it hard to execute (mainly from having accelerated through the ball for so long) which leads to the "Given these conditions" sentence. I am interpreting this to mean that the putter rather than neither my elongated follow through due to acceleration nor the even back swing and follow through are as good as your last point about 60/40. I have been playing with this on my carpet for the past half hour (it's dark here now!).
So, here's what I am finding (and I want to be sure I'm clear about this being what your saying) is that when I really concentrate on a shorter follow through than my back swing without consciously accelerating or decelerating at the ball (i.e. 60/40) the result will be what I am getting which is a "pop" at impact which feels pretty good and seems to keep the ball on line (matching up with your comment that the ball is absorbing the energy from the longer back swing thus helping to create the shorter follow through). Am I correct in my thinking or did I miss something?
Sorry if this is confusing but I (like most of the rest of the golfing world) want nothing more than to make 2-3 fewer putts per round.
Thanks again for your reply, sorry for the length of this reply and if I'm on the right track both your products and drills will help with the execution of the above. (Actually they're helping already regardless.)
I think you are on the right path.
I have had a tendency to decel and extend the putter too far past impact. When I make a stroke consistent with what I told you, I felt like I was "popping" it, too. Over time, however, that feeling diminished and I now make a more authoritative stroke.
I created the Ball of Steel to help me learn to deliver max energy at impact ... now you know why!
All the best,
Q: Richard replies: "Sam, the speedy reply is much appreciated and the day it is done is duly noted :-) Most importantly I'm glad that I seem to be "getting it". I practiced with this new shorter follow through stroke today and have been amazed, frankly, how well I can keep the ball on line with it along with really feeling a solid contact (I do like the phrase "authoritative stroke" as it is very appropriate and better mimics the experience). I can see how the Ball of Steel could be helpful if I run into difficulties. So, many thanks for taking the time to engage in the discussion. It is really a treat for a golf "techie" like me to "talk" with someone like you with your contacts and experience. Keep the e-mails, products and videos coming!"