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Summing Up

Chapter Eight: Guide to the Putting Stroke

There is no clear "best way" to stroke a putt. Some strokes work better than others in some ways, but no stroke is clearly better than any other in all ways. In the end, it is up to you to try them all and see what works.

However, to give you some idea about the sequence in which to try different strokes, a ranking system is offered here. It also provides a way to summarize the results of the foregoing.

The five putting styles are ranked in terms of the 12 categories outlined above. Each category is allocated 15 points, with the top stroke style for the category awarded 5 points, the second 4 points, etc. Where ties occur among putting styles, points are shared. All categories are given equal value. One could easily disagree with this assumption, and believe some categories are more important than others. The methodology also assumes each category is independent of all the others. Again, one can see that some categories seem related to other categories. The ranking system is applied on assumption that strokes are performed properly.

The Wrist Stroke The Lead Arm Stroke Shoulder Socket Putting Spinal Twisting Spinal Tilt Stroke
1. The number of muscle groups involved 2.5 5.0 2.5 2.5 2.5
2. The degree of coordination between the muscle groups involved 3.0 5.0 1.0 3.0 3.0
3. The range of movement related to the joints involved 2.0 2.0 2.0 5.0 4.0
4. The size of the muscle groups involved 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.5 4.5
5. Momentum and the mass being moved 1.0 2.5 2.5 4.5 4.5
6. The stillness of the eye sockets 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.0
7. The rotation plan in relation to the vertical and the target 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.0 3.5
8. The rotation circle radius 1.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 2.0
9. The steadiness of the rotation centre 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.0
10. The length and power of the putting stroke 2.0 4.0 2.0 5.0 2.0
11. Eye position 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 1.0
12. Forward leaning, posture and back health 4.0 4.0 4.0 1.0 2.0
Total 30.5 42.5 35.0 41.0 31.0

The Upper Lead Arm stroke gets highest cumulative points, followed by the Spinal Twist. These two putting styles are substantially ahead of the other three styles.

We return to the question posed at the outset. What muscles should we be using when we putt?

Is it helpful to think about muscles when we are putting?

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