Public Service Announcement: The Toe Flow Myth
I get the question all the time.
“I have ________ (blade/mallet) putter. Which Visio Mi Putting Template Arc should I get?”
That’s a loaded question and deserves a good answer. Let’s kick it off with a Public Service Announcement that I shared via Twitter earlier this year (below):
This one was met with some resistance as it goes against the conventional wisdom that has been passed down for generation after generation:
Face balanced putters should rotate less.
Toe weighted putters should rotate more.
We’re going to assess whether or not this statement is true, but we’ll need to start by talking about the parts of the stroke. They're pretty basic.
Face Rotation is how much the face opens and closes during the stroke.
Arc is how much the path is curved. Now on to the fun stuff - the mechanics.
The mechanics of a putting stroke are wide ranging. That includes, but isn't limited to, the grip, wrist conditions, arm structure, movement pattern, and the putter itself. The putter has several components including length, lie, and head shape. The head shape is the primary driver of this discussion.
Despite so many variables, one constant remains true: The person is responsible for moving the putter which creates the stroke. Below is a great example of that.
Figures 1 and 2 show the data collected from a Tour Professional (Translation: He's pretty good at golf). Figure 1 shows a blade putter (Ping Scottsdale) while Figure 2 shows a mallet putter (Ping Tyne). Conventional wisdom suggests that these two putters should perform differently. But when measured, we saw no noticeable differences in graphs - the overall shape of each is very, very similar.
For those that like pictures more than graphs, we even have a video rendering of that data showing you two strokes. The top putter represents the blade and the bottom represents the mallet (Please note that renderings in our 3D data program only display a blade putter - this is not an error).
Even when we look at the rendering of the data, we still don't see any noticeable differences in the stroke. What does this mean? Here comes the mic drop...
The putter head does not dictate the Face Rotation, Path, and Arc.
The player dictates how the putter moves.
So does the putter matter? Well, sometimes it does, and other times it doesn’t. That is a discussion for another article coming soon.
As for the myth about face balanced putters rotating less and toe weighted putters rotating more?
And my tweet that the putter head shape does not dictate how much the face rotates?
Truth... with more substantial research coming later this year.
Now back to the main question...
What Template Should You Get?
The 15° Template is most neutral and therefore is the best starting point for any player. It will offer measurable feedback and develop awareness of your stroke without the putter resting against anything.
You, the player, are responsible for the movement of the putter.
Now, it's time to get better.
CLICK HERE to order your Template. Use the discount code PuttingPro at checkout.
Thank you for reading!
Thank you to David Orr from Flatstick Academy at fellow Flatstick Certified Instructor, Garrett Chaussard (@gchaussard) for the information and their help.