The Science Of Putting & Is There Any Need For Science In The Putt? ….. Special Report By Kiran Kanwar.

The Science of Putting & Is There Any Need For Science In The Putt …  A special report by Kiran Kanwar.

Is there any need for science in the putt, and if so, why?

There are, it often seems, a thousand brands of putters and an equal number of putting styles out there, and every golfer, whether beginner or pro, usually takes two putts to put the ball into the hole from literally anywhere. So, it must not be a big deal, where “anything goes” right?

In fact, standing beside the putting green on the day of the Pro-Am, at the Arnold Palmer Invitational by Mastercard, showed an amazing plethora of swing styles, with one glaring commonality – many professionals as well as amateurs have a lot of movement in their hands, despite everyone knowing that the putting stroke is the one part of golf where any hand movement is extremely dangerous. How then do most golfers manage to make two putts from anywhere on the green?

Jordan Spieth and among the best putters in the game.

Jordan Spieth and among the best putters in the game.

The putting game, at least for the professionals, is no longer about the two putts but the single putt, and that is where science should definitely be factored in. When on a winning streak, the Tour players seem to sink putts from amazing distances away, almost as if a homing device has been embedded into the bottom of a hole. For instance, Jordan Spieth has had his most phenomenal wins by draining putts against impossible odds. Sometimes it almost seems as if one final blade of grass must have extra “give” in it for the ball to actually drop into the hole.

Fatiha ‘Tour Miss‘ Betscher, long-time student of physics and putting, feels it is all about speed. Jordan succeeds because he “hits’ the ball.

The opinion of fellow media person Jason Bruno, who collects golfer-related trivia and has incisive opinions on the reasons why a golfer may or may not win during any given week is that, “Despite his age, Jordan is able to cut out all the noise and focus, once he steps onto the golf course. He is no longer that sweet kid out there.” In fact, adds Bruno, watching Spieth’s decisions on course and then listening to his explanations after the round shows that he is one of the few who probably channel their focus to a great extent. Perhaps the best way to ensure putting well, feels Bruno, (in an aspect of the game which no one can deny has a metaphysical element to it) is to do one’s very best and know that the outcome is out of one’s control.

Darren Clarke lays out the putting red carpet. (Photo -

Ryder Cup Captain Darren Clarke lays out the putting red carpet. (Photo –

What would Geoff Magnum, world-authority on putting have to say about improving a pro-golfer’s putting results? “It is all about attention and body action.  Based on brain science, the player should have no mind, no language, no sense of self and no sense of situation, just purely animal behavior”. Vision, as when looking at the ball, is related to the occipital lobe of the brain, while body movement is connected to the parietal lobe. The parietal lobe has to actually facilitate the movement for the putt. Magnum has techniques for a golfer to quieten the parietal lobe, with the occipital lobe going dark, so that the glucose processes can transfer to the body which is intentful to hit a shot. With Magnum’s techniques, the parietal lobe can be powered up and the occipital lobe will stop “hogging all the juice”. Then the golfer can make a solid shot, as the body processes have already been programmed, so that with good tempo the shot will come off.

That’s all very well folks, a case of “mind over matter” perhaps, but for one ingrained in the hard-sciences, the question is, if that is all it takes, why does mind over matter not work week after week? A personal response to that question? Placing the ball closer to the hole 18 times, a solid stroke, the intent to make the putt, and the will of the Universe, are what it takes.

Kiran Kanwar, 

  •   Developer of The Minimalist Golf Swing System -100% scientific, simple and specific
  •   BS (physics, math); MS (sports science, nutrition); PhD (biomechanics – student)
  •   Class A Member: the LPGA, The PGA (GB&I), The NGA of India, The PGA of India

Comments are closed.