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Thread: Truth Behind "Face Balanced" Putters

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    Default Truth Behind "Face Balanced" Putters

    Thought you all would find this interesting:

    Geoff Mangum's Explanation Behind Putters & Their Proper Balance

    Face-balanced putters and toe-hanging putters differ only in degree, not in kind. Both designs tend to make the toe flare open in the backstroke, out of the stroke plane, and not simply out of the target plane. The toe-hanging putter has a greater tendency to do this, inherent in the more severe physics of the mass imbalance, but a "face balanced" putter also does this to a lesser degree. This physics reality is CLEARLY not appreciated by golf instructors or players and even by almost all designers, so perhaps they will learn something of great commercial value by looking into these issues with a desire for clarity.

    What I really "like" is a "reality balanced" putter, which ends up being a "heel-hanging" putter.

    If you take a "toe balanced" putter and position it at the top of your follow-thru and then let it freely swing back to its own top of backstroke position, you will see it swings severely open at the top. That's due to the extra inertial of the extra mass in the toe end of the face: this extra heaviness won't stop as soon as the lighter heel end, so the toe crashes thru the wall of the train station and the toe goes farther than the heel, flaring open out of the target line AND the stroke plane. The "face balanced" putter does the same to a lesser extent. Why is this? Because the center of mass of the putter swinging on a tilt is not the same location as when the putter shaft is balanced on the finger level with the ground to "see what sort of balancing the putter head has". Finger balancing and the balancing during the swing are simply not the same, and what you want to know about is swinging or so-called "reality" balance -- what are the balance physics and inertial effects during a stroke, not when the putter shaft is poised on your finger.

    But if you invert a "toe-balanced" putter (flip it heel-away, toe-near, underside of grip now on top) and suspend it at the top of the follow-thru and then let it swing to it's natural position at the top of the backstroke, you should see a putter that NOW swings squarely back and thru, sans unhelpful "toe-flow" causing the putter to open out of plane and off line. Interesting, huh?


    visit Geoff's Flatstick Forum at puttingzone.com for more info

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    Senior Member tongzilla's Avatar
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    Interesting. The face balanced will never be perfect at the end of the day as your plane angle will vary in different situations. And the structural rigidity in the hands, arms and shoulders should provide enough insurance for a proper stroke (clubface pointing where it's suppose to point during impact, and slightly before and after impact). Bottom line is learning how to putt is much much more important than whether your putter is reality balanced or not.
    Leo

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    I have to say I couldn't get something about that explaination. (and I am in slow thinking mode right now though unfortunately) I think the train station analogy throws me off.

    (I take it you have to be already familliar with the analogy from his website?)

    I have been interested in this topic of late though and have questions...but will need to try again later to understand.
    "birdie_man" guy

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    Senior Member birdie_man's Avatar
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    I do take it he is a fan of face-balanced putting though, yes?

    i.e.:

    But if you invert a "toe-balanced" putter (flip it heel-away, toe-near, underside of grip now on top) and suspend it at the top of the follow-thru and then let it swing to it's natural position at the top of the backstroke, you should see a putter that NOW swings squarely back and thru, sans unhelpful "toe-flow" causing the putter to open out of plane and off line.
    "birdie_man" guy

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    One of my putters is a Positive Putter, it is "target-line balanced"...if you rest it on your finger the face of the putter looks/stares at the target line. A face balanced putter looks straight-up (at the sky) and a toe-hang putter points down (various degrees). I use an arc stroke (ala The Sheriff) and I will admit that the Positive Putter seems more natural to this type of the stroke. I don't feel that the putter is trying to do something that I don't want it to do. After that, I like toe-hang (anser style)putters. Regardless, I think it's 95% stroke and 5% putter as far as importance goes.
    You can see Positive Putter at http://www.postiveputter.com and check out this new putter to the market http://www.axis1golf.com (very wild!).
    Last edited by pm4610; 12-13-2008 at 01:48 PM.

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    Senior Member tongzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birdie_man View Post
    I have to say I couldn't get something about that explaination. (and I am in slow thinking mode right now though unfortunately) I think the train station analogy throws me off.

    (I take it you have to be already familliar with the analogy from his website?)

    I have been interested in this topic of late though and have questions...but will need to try again later to understand.
    birdie poo, geoff is saying that both face balanced and toe balanced putters have a tendency to get the clubface open on the backswing. A "reality balanced" (or heel balanced) putter does not have this tendency. In case you didn't know, a face balanced putter has the clubface pointing directly at the sky when you try to balance the putter on your finger so that the shaft is horizontal.
    Leo

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    Senior Member birdie_man's Avatar
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    OK if that's the bottom line of it all then I get the jist of what he was saying. The train thing I'm not sure on but I guess it doesn't matter if the main point is understood.

    Thanks Leo.

    (dump-zilla)

    Anyone ever try a "heel-hanger"? I've never come across one...

    The skeptical part of me says it's probably for a reason..........no?

    Have the golf club designers missed something fairly obvious? (you'd think it must have been thought about and tested many a time)

    Are the great putters of all time leaving something out there?

    My mind is still open though.
    "birdie_man" guy

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    Don’t most players allow the clubface to open on the backswing? The gate or arc stroke. I believe that Geoff Mangum’s concept is to bring the putter head straight back from the ball with the clubface staying square to the line. Dave Pelz advocated the same thing.

    I want to try one of those Positive putters to see how it feels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCGolf View Post
    Donít most players allow the clubface to open on the backswing? The gate or arc stroke. I believe that Geoff Mangumís concept is to bring the putter head straight back from the ball with the clubface staying square to the line. Dave Pelz advocated the same thing.

    I want to try one of those Positive putters to see how it feels.
    No, not true.

    Pelz wants a SBST stroke by virtue of manipulating your forearm rotation in reverse.

    Geoff will teach you how to make an unmanipulated straighter backstroke if that is what you wish for, but his big thing is how the body needs to work to and through impact to make the putter strike the ball in its intended direction.

    It is far less important than touch and tempo control for most aspects of putting.

    Regardless, this is Brian's site and the rule is to discuss methods, not other instructors.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damon Lucas View Post
    No, not true.

    Pelz wants a SBST stroke by virtue of manipulating your forearm rotation in reverse.
    is that new Pelz methodology? i know of what he usually teaches and have never heard that. he says just the opposite(keep all forearm rotation out of the stroke). its too bad that world putting championship doesn't exist anymore because id like to see how well mr mangum would do. he talks a big game over on his site and backs it up with a lot of science, but that doesn't mean it works in reality.

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