Dr Paul Hurrion
The leading Brit in his field
Tour coach who adopts a scientific approach to the putting stroke…
I first got interested in putting at university, using high-speed cinematography (no fancy cameras back then!) looking at impact with drivers and ball. I also looked at wedges and putters… it amazed me how little time the golf ball is in contact with the putter – 0.000125 seconds (filmed at 20,000 frames per second). Believe it or not, this is much less than a driver, which is more like 0.001s…
For what seems to the outside world like a very simple task, it is vastly underestimated the amount of science that is involved within putting; how the club face and ball interact is amazing to see and analyse.
Putting is a game within a game, and it is scary the amount of times I hear a player’s full swing coach say “that is exactly what you do in your full swing”. By using Quintic Ball Roll, high-speed camera, force plates and 3D analysis on the putting stroke there is no escape in what a player is doing any more… the trick is knowing in what order do you address the issues, what is the root cause of the player’s faults. Don’t just paper over the cracks because it won’t last, you end up fixing a fault with another fault.
It becomes much easier to be mentally tough if you can trust your own technique to start the ball on the line you have read. Tiger has confidence in his own ability. I like to work from structured practice; if you know you can repeat your own putting technique in a controlled laboratory condition, why can’t you repeat it under pressure? It is when players can’t repeat a stroke in a controlled lab condition, how do they then expect to repeat when the pressure is on?
My aim has always been to ensure golfers create a consistent and repeatable action that enables them to start the ball on the line they have read every time and under pressure. Correct alignment of the eyes and the putter face is vital in the process of developing and repeating the mechanics of a sound stroke.
The majority of the top amateurs and PGA pros I’ve worked with displayed fundamental flaws in their alignment that demand some sort of compensation during the stroke itself. It is this conflict in hand-eye co-ordination that I believe can start the “yips”.
With the ball in contact with the putter face for less than half a millisecond(0.0005 seconds), the face has to be square and in line prior to and through impact. It is not feasible for the human brain to react – nor the body to make effective adjustments during that negligible contact time – so any manipulation during the putting action must lead to an imperfect strike. But the yips can be cured.
The majority of Tour pros wouldn’t know their loft or lie numbers, let alone the club golfer. This is why we have developed Quintic Ball Roll (quinticballroll.com). Crucially, it gives key parameters on the putter during the impact zone. While many manufacturers have similar-looking putters, each has different characteristics, such as the type of face insert, weight placement etc. These are designed to have an effect on how the ball rolls after impact and are very important when coaching and/or fitting a putter.
www.TodaysGolfer.co.uk Issue 324