Arc vs. Straight Back, Straight Thru Putting Stroke

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Arc vs. Straight Back, Straight Thru Putting Stroke

Postby oneputtlarry on Mon Oct 05, 2009 1:45 pm

There's been lots of controversy about the arc stroke vs. the straight back, straight thru stroke...the arc stroke being that when you make your putting stroke, your blade comes back in an arc and follows thru in an arc...similar to a swinging door. In my opinion, I like the straight back, straight thru stroke as I believe there's less room for error.

If you use an arc type of putting stroke, your putter blade is acting like a swinging door, open and closed and better be absolutely perpendicular to your target line at impact with the golf ball. If not, and your blade is open or closed just one degree at impact, you will miss a straight 10 foot putt by 2.5 inches...this is very critical for a straight putt of 10 feet. Accordingly, if your straight putt is 20 feet and your putter blade is open or closed by 1 degree using the arc stroke, you miss the hole by 5 inches!!!

By using the straight back, straight thru stroke, there is less room for error in having your putter face open or closed one degree.

To somewhat substantiate this, I'm told the #1 guy in putting on the Champions Tour, Loren Roberts, uses the straight back, straight thru stroke...he also is #2 on the money list and #1 in top tens this year.

With that said, if you're struggling with your putting, give the SB, ST stroke a try.
Last edited by oneputtlarry on Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Arc vs. Straight Thru, Straight Back Putting Stroke

Postby Makaveli on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:17 pm

I hate the idea of opening the putter face on the backstroke and closing it coming through and see no value in it. It's not to say that you couldn't be successful doing it, but why would you want to add more moving parts to an already infinitely complicated game.

Personally, I not only want to be "SB,ST" as you say....but I want to be as Short as possible on the backstroke. I'll even cheat and line up with the putter well behind the ball in order to shorten the move I have to take it back. Say you start with the putterhead 1.5 inches behind the ball and online. Take it back as short as possible and then accelerate through (straight down the line). You've eliminated a lot of room for error, simplified the stroke making it more repeatable, and forced yourself into a situation where you have to firmly accelerate and follow through down the line. It does wonders for feel (distance control) as well because nothing destroys that like decelerating. And if you have a slow/"smooth" motion you will inevitably go through periods where you are mysteriously decelerating and don't even know it. This is disaster.

I would say straight back, straight through....shorten the backstroke as much as possible and keep shortening and keep shortening. You haven't shortened too much until it starts to "jerk" or jab then you'll know. Either way that's still better than decelerating and much easier to notice and correct anyway.

To say nothing of the fact that making a 6 footer under pressure is a lot less fearful of a proposition. Trying to take it back long and slow when your hands are shaking even slightly and that putterhead is wobbling all over the place. See Tom Watson at the British Open for this example of what not to do.
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Re: Arc vs. Straight Thru, Straight Back Putting Stroke

Postby Makaveli on Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:18 pm

The only reason to bring it back "inside" is if you're not capable of taking it back online and want to make sure you never, ever, ever go outside.
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Re: Arc vs. Straight Thru, Straight Back Putting Stroke

Postby oneputtlarry on Mon Oct 05, 2009 6:11 pm

Makaveli wrote:I hate the idea of opening the putter face on the backstroke and closing it coming through and see no value in it. It's not to say that you couldn't be successful doing it, but why would you want to add more moving parts to an already infinitely complicated game.

Personally, I not only want to be "SB,ST" as you say....but I want to be as Short as possible on the backstroke. I'll even cheat and line up with the putter well behind the ball in order to shorten the move I have to take it back. Say you start with the putterhead 1.5 inches behind the ball and online. Take it back as short as possible and then accelerate through (straight down the line). You've eliminated a lot of room for error, simplified the stroke making it more repeatable, and forced yourself into a situation where you have to firmly accelerate and follow through down the line. It does wonders for feel (distance control) as well because nothing destroys that like decelerating. And if you have a slow/"smooth" motion you will inevitably go through periods where you are mysteriously decelerating and don't even know it. This is disaster.

I would say straight back, straight through....shorten the backstroke as much as possible and keep shortening and keep shortening. You haven't shortened too much until it starts to "jerk" or jab then you'll know. Either way that's still better than decelerating and much easier to notice and correct anyway.

To say nothing of the fact that making a 6 footer under pressure is a lot less fearful of a proposition. Trying to take it back long and slow when your hands are shaking even slightly and that putterhead is wobbling all over the place. See Tom Watson at the British Open for this example of what not to do.



From what you've described, seems that you have a pretty sound putting stroke and good understanding of the SB, ST putting stroke. The important thing is to eliminate those 3-4 putt greens.
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Re: Arc vs. Straight Back, Straight Thru Putting Stroke

Postby Music City Mafia on Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:08 am

I don't claim to be much of a golfer, but I use the SB-ST putt, hanging over shoulder/head wise and swining like a pendulum (using shoulders more so than arms), as opposed to arms out and relying on them to swing SB-ST. It's worked for me on the greens. Regrettably, I'm too busy to play regularly enough to have a complete golf game. One of these years, maybe...
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Re: Arc vs. Straight Back, Straight Thru Putting Stroke

Postby Mr. Peabody on Sat Nov 28, 2009 11:40 pm

I have always used the SB-ST putting stroke. I'm really good with it.

Sad thing is that I haven't played golf in probably 3 years maybe 4.

I use to play 3-4 times a week.

I don't really have an excuse to not be playing right now.
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