Archive for the ‘Putting’ category

Mark Brodies Stat Report – Hunter Mahan

August 27th, 2014

Mark Brodie is credited for creating the PGA Tour’s Strokes Gained Statistic. It’s a very interesting one and I highly encourage all of you to purchase his book “Every Shot Counts” to learn more about it. I appreciate Mark because of how objective his writings always are and wanted to share his latest one. This article discusses Hunter Mahan’s latest win and how big a role the short game played in his victory.

Hope you enjoy it.

If you enjoy it, please feel free to share it around.


Thanks, JG

Is it Important to Start your Putts Where you Aim your Putter?

February 18th, 2013

I asked this Question on twitter and Facebook as a poll type question limiting responses to Yes or No. Many wanted to be able to explain their answer but I tried to eliminate that and just get a Yes or No response. As of this writing, the poll has been out for about 4 hours and the results are 50 for No and 35 for Yes.

I find this very interesting as I think it goes to a philosophically different way of approaching things. Those differing thoughts revolve around “this is what the best players actually do” and “this seems theoretically logical”. I don’t know if that is what people are actually thinking but that’s just my guess on it. I was surprised at the evenness of those taking opposing views and it makes me wonder why there is such division on this seemingly simple question.

As I mentioned on Twitter and Facebook, I believe it is important to start your putts where you aim the putter. As you can see from the above results, I am in the minority. I think I understand the idea that the only things that really matter are target, starting line at the target and speed for that line but here’s why I fall on the side I fall on.

The main reason I think it is important to start the ball where you aim it is because it leads to more consistency in terms of read as it relates to look and aim. If a players reads identical putts from opposite sides of the hole differently and can make them, we know they have a situation where they aim it different than where they start it. To me, I think that this can cause conflict and doubt and a preference of one type of putt over another. The big question is can a player tell the difference between aiming 4 inches off the edge vs 8 inches assuming a 2 inch pull bias and a read of 6 inches? I think they can and I think this difference should be avoided.

One of the arguments for why it’s not important is that no tour player does it or that no player does it. Let’s talk about the first one first. I’m not sure it is appropriate to use Tour Players as the model for the best putters. Certainly the model for the best golfers but might be a stretch using them as the best putters. Recent papers have been trying to show that ball striking is more important than putting at the highest levels so that would certainly support not using tour players as the model for the best putters. If the papers are accurate, then Tour players are the best ball strikers as that weighs more heavily in their success. Quite fair to say they are the best putters among the best hitters.

The other piece of no one doing it is worthy of discussion as well. The thing I would like to see is do the best putters currently have a higher propensity to have an aim and start that are closer to each other than those that don’t. I think we would all agree that at some point the difference between aim and start would cause issues if it was too large. I’m curious where you all think that line is. What is the outer limit of aim and start difference that still allows for putting success as being defined by makes? I also think it’s fair to say that there is some range of aim and start that is not exactly starts where they aim that would be appropriate and depending on where that line was might change some people’s answers. With that being said, I don’t know who would be the best model for putting skill.

In a world where exact targets can be predicted to be accurate I think the ability to start the ball where you aim it will become more important especially for the reason I mentioned above about read conflict. It’s possible that only those that use a system for target prediction will work toward an aim and start harmony and I for one will be very interested to see what the future holds.

I know there are many out there that think it is completely unnecessary and I understand their viewpoints without accepting them. In my poll I originally limited responses to Yes or No. Please use the comment section below to expand on your answer if you wish to do so or to leave a comment about my thoughts above. Please consider sharing this as well to get as many opinions as possible on this very divisive issue.

Look forward to reading your thoughts.

Putting and Social Media Workshop with Jason Sutton

February 2nd, 2013

Jason Sutton and I will be conducting a 1 day workshop on Monday, March 18th at Carmel CC in Charlotte, NC.  Jason is quickly becoming a very recognized coach throughout the US attracting Tour Players to Charlotte and his fantastic facility at Carmel CC. It is a great honor to be asked to join him for this 1 day workshop to discuss putting, green reading and social media.

This workshop includes classroom discussion and live lessons using the SAM putting station.  We want to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to see what changes and why but also the how so you can bring it back to your facility and students right away. I will be discussing an intro into AimPoint Green Reading and a talk on the use of Twitter to grow your business.

This will be an interactive day of mentoring, sharing and improving you’re teaching skills. Here are topics that will be discussed:

  • The 5 Mastermind Skills that every teacher should know – The CGA Framework
  • The art of moving and manipulating the student to create pattern changes
  • How to use technology to speed up the learning process
  • Teaching Putting at the Next Level – Learn the 5 Most Important Aspects of Putting  and how to teach them
  • S.A.M. Putt Lab Data and research will be revealed that will dispel the most common myth in putting
  • Live Putting Lessons using the S.A.M. Putt Lab that will teach you how to move the numbers and help your students improve faster
  • How to use the 4 corners of social media to drive business, create brand awareness and improve your teaching skills
  • An Introduction to AimPoint Green Reading


9:00 – 2:00 (classroom presentation)

2:00 – 4:00 (Interactive Live Lessons and Q and A)

4:00 – 5:00 (Aimpoint Green Reading and Speed Control Drills)


9:00 – 11:00                         Learning the masterminds Skills – The CGA philosophy (JS)

11:00 – 12:00                       Understanding twitter and how it can grow your business (JG)

12:00 – 1:00                         Break for lunch

1:00 – 2:00                           The 5 things that all great putters do and how to use SAM to

                                                  help your students. Research and case studies that dispel

                                                  putting’s biggest myth (JS/JG)

2:00 – 3:00                          Live Putting lessons on the SAM Putt Lab

4:00 – 5:00                          Introduction to AimPoint and Time Drills (JG)

The cost for this full day workshop and lunch is only $100 per person. PGA members will also receive 5 MSR Education points. Location and registration information is below.

Place: Carmel Country Club, 4735 Carmel Road, Charlotte, North Carolina

Email Jason Sutton to reserve your spot

7 Nights of the Twitter Academy

December 11th, 2011

Twitter Academy Logo7 Nights of the Twitter Academy. This idea born from Jason Helman is designed to match the Golf Channels 7 Nights of their Academy. It will feature 7 Top Coaches that have extensive Twitter followings. Each night, one of the coaches will showcase a subject specific video with each coach taking on a different subject.

It should be a great opportunity for golfers to get some additional information from some top coaches. It starts tomorrow night, Dec. 12th at 8:00pm and runs for 7 nights. Topics covered will be Putting, Driving, Chipping, Approach Irons, Mid and Long Irons, Bunkers and Club Fitting with the order of information from the green outwards.

I know all of these coaches well and I’m really looking forward to see what they have come up with. I also hope that this starts some kind of regular thing because I think it is a great idea to showcase great information in a medium that is different than where most go to find good golf information. I can tell you from experience that Twitter is one of the best places to go for good golf information and I hope the 7 Nights of the Twitter Academy brings home that point.

Here are a couple trailers to view.

In order to watch the Twitter videos, you’ll want to follow the presenters. Here’s is the order they will appear and their Twitter Usernames so you can follow them. Click on their name to go to their website and their twitter handle to follow them.

December 12th – Rob McGill @golfprorob – Putting

December 13th – Jason Helman @jasonhelmangolf – Greenside Chipping 3 shots

December 14th – Sara Dickson @sara_pga – Bunkers Green side and Fairway

December 15th – Jason Sutton @golfgurutv - Approach Irons

December 16th – Andrew Marr @andrewmarrgolf – Mid and Long Irons

December 17th – Kirk Oguri @kirkoguri – Shaft Fitting, Launch Monitor Info & Benefits

December 18th – Dennis Sales @dennissalesgolf – Closing the week with Driving and TrackMan Data

I hope you watch and enjoy. If you think others might be interested in this, please consider sharing by using the social media buttons below or by forwarding this email to friends.

Edel Putter Review

September 13th, 2011

John Graham's Edel Putter

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about Edel Golf and their putter line. I decided that it was time to give one a try. This post will talk about my experience and offer a review. So, let’s start from the beginning. A few years ago, I heard about Edel Golf during one of my many winter online research days. I had always heard good things about them but wasn’t in the market for one.  Shortly after that, I got involved with AimPoint Technologies teaching players a more accurate way of reading greens. It was no surprise, that shortly after, Edel and AimPoint got together as they both had products around a similar niche. AimPoint would teach players where to aim and Edel would build a custom putter the player could actually aim.

A year or so goes by and I recommend Edel to a few of my players but I never took the plunge. I knew they were expensive like any high end putter and I wanted to be sure about a few things. With my extensive online network of connections, I start asking around about other coaches experiences with the fitting process and effectiveness of the product.  Like anything, I heard both good and bad. Over the years, it has become clear to me that there really isn’t any consensus across the golf industry on anything. Even though I knew that, I waited and tried to gather more information before going to get fit. A couple of times, I seriously considered becoming a fitter and I think that is still a possibility I haven’t discounted completely. The main reason I decided not to become a fitter was simply my market.

During that time, I took a trip to Europe and was presented with an MLA Putter. I wrote a post about them here. I was very excited about this putter. I could aim it like nobody’s business. It had some features that I wasn’t happy with but I used it for a year with great success on putts 20 feet and in. I had a little harder time than normal on longer putts controlling the distance. It had a little softer feel than I was used to and the ball seemed to come off softer than my previous model. For me, that was a benefit on 15 and in putts as I tended to be a little firm with those. However, it hurt me on the longer putts.

June of 2011 comes around and I’m in Cape Cod running some AimPoint Green Reading Clinics with future certified instructor Jane Frost. She had recently also become an Edel fitter. I thought here was a great chance to get fit and see for myself how good the Edel Putter was. First, we did an extensive fitting. For those that aren’t familiar with the process it is an aim and distance focused fitting. It starts out with an aim check with your normal putter but I didn’t have my MLA to see so we started from scratch.  I chose the most mallet like head they had. I was initially disappointed that they didn’t have any center shafted or face balanced putters as that’s what I’ve used for a very long time.  From there we try a ‘standard’ hosel and other things to see where I’m starting from. How it works is they have a hole sized hockey puck with a laser in it with a black screen behind. They place a ball between the laser and the fitting putter so the laser is blocked by the ball. All the fitting heads have a reflective face so when the ball is removed the reflection of the laser bounces off the putter face and shows up on the black screen behind the hole with the laser in it.

Edel Laser FittingMy first attempt was inside the left edge of the hole and a little high. Not to surprising. I thought I always had a bit of left aim issue and I tend to forward press a little just before the stroke. We fiddle and fiddle and my aim was pretty good with virtually everything we tried. It was inside the hole with every combination we tried. The thing that surprised me was the time it took me to aim certain designs over others. For me, Anser style was the hardest and most to the left. At the end of the day, I could aim them all but some I really had to grind over and I certainly wasn’t as confident with those designs. The one I ended up with, I could put it down and know it was good.

The whole first part, I was not allowed to line up the ball when doing my aim. I’ve read in many places that most people can’t actually aim the line on the ball so it wasn’t really worth it. I knew for sure that it helped me so I wanted to double check. I did a few tests were I was able to line up the ball first than my putter to the line. Not surprising, I was perfect with the line on the ball. I mean perfect. This made me feel much better because I had always searched for putters that I could square up with the line on the ball. That’s what made me say I could aim the MLA Putter so well because it was so easy to square to the line on the ball.

The second part was the distance fit. In all my research, I didn’t hear about this part. Basically, they set down a line about 15 feet away and ask you to roll 3 balls and try to stop them on the line. This was much harder than I thought it would be. We tried a bunch of combinations and our last one I got all 3 very, very close. It was interesting to see how the location and amount of weight changed my ability to control the distance of the ball. It turns out that this piece is the reason my Edel Putter has stayed in my bag. My touch has improved across all distances. It is amazing to see the difference. I still tend to be a little more firm than I would like on some of my 10 footers but my putts outside of 20 feet are consistently close. Certainly, some of this has to do with proper targeting thanks to AimPoint but not all. When you have the right target and you know it, your focus shifts to speed. With better control of my speed, I am making more 30+ foot putts. To me, that is a big deal.

The fit alone took an hour and a half and typically has a cost associated with it as well. It’s basically just like going to get a high end driver fitting. A little extra cost but a much better product at the end. As you can see on mine, you can also add personalized stamping to the head. Mine includes an AimPoint logo and my twitter hashtag.

I certainly recommend Edel based on my experience. They are pricey like a Cameron. About the cost of a new driver for the least expensive model (which is the one I have) but way more useful in my opinion. You also get a significantly better fit than with most Cameron’s. If you are serious about wanting to aim better, control pace better and shoot lower scores, give Edel a look.

If you know someone in the market for a new putter, please considering sharing this post with them. You can email them the link or share by using one of the social media buttons located at the bottom of the post.