BALL ROLL – PGA Professional Robin Symes explains the mechanics behind ball roll, and how to achieve true roll as soon as possible.

Hi, Robin here. Something players don’t often think about in trying to improve their putting is how the ball is rolling, and it is a fundamental of good putting. Often I see players, the ball is jumping off the putter face with too much loft, it’s in the air. It’s spinning, it affects both direction and accuracy. We want to get the ball on the ground as soon as possible and rolling as soon as possible. We call it true roll. Probably within 10% or 20% of the total length of the putt.

Now what can you do to encourage that? And it’s basically the impact condition we need to create is this, we need the putter head rising up through the impact zone, probably three or four degrees, with less loft. So if the putter is rising up three or four degrees, we need the putter with less loft than that. Maybe one or two degrees. We can create these impact conditions, the ball will stay on the green, it will get into true roll early.

So, what can you do to at setup to encourage this? First of all, let’s create that correct rise angle. The bottom of your arc is normally underneath your sternum. So the putter will be bottom out the lowest point at your sternum. So if we want to create a setup to create that slight rise angle, we want the ball positioned in front of your sternum. Somewhere between your nose and your ears, so let’s just say your left eye is a good standard position. You don’t really know how to achieve that? Take your setup, put a ball under your left eye, drop it. You’re gonna get a feeling for where your ball needs to be positioned. So all being equal, and you’re making a good stroke that’s gonna create a nice rise angle through impact.

How do we create less loft? Unfortunately, most putters are designed with three or four degrees loft probably too much. So, if you have access, for many people reducing the loft to your putter is a good thing. I would say a higher percentage of players, good players, amateurs would benefit from a lower lofted putter. But if you don’t have that ability to check that, basically we want the shaft position slightly forward of center, so you’re delofting the putter slightly. The balls under your left eye, the shaft is leaning slightly forward so we’re reducing the loft of the putter. As I said, all being equal, we make a nice stroke that will create a rise angle higher than the loft, keeping the ball on the green and getting into true roll early. It’s an important point, it’s a fundamental of good putting, so make sure your setup is giving you the best chance to get the ball rolling.

As always, if you’ve any comments please feel free to leave them below. Any suggestions, I’d love to hear them, and hope it helps. Until next time, thanks for watching.


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