Author Topic: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.  (Read 1637 times)

bargolf

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Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« on: July 10, 2017, 05:36:38 PM »
BurntEdgeObservations-Why worry about linear or non-linear perception of putting? Because more putts are missed by decisions than mechanics.‬ You weren't born as one or the other. You have the power to chose your preferences.

Does your perception improve or limit your success?


What do you need from the other side to be better?


Most important. Doe your putter match your style?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2017, 05:38:30 PM by bargolf »
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cnosil

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2017, 07:56:52 PM »
I have heard the terms linear and non linear discussed before but I have never heard a really good definition.  My interpretation is that a linear perception is someone that evaluates a putts break by imagining a line that goes to a point that is left or right of the hole.  As you posted on your facebook site,  the linear person sees the startline well because it is a straight line,  but misses the subtleties on the far end of the putt.   a non linear perception would be someone that sees the path of the putt and where it enters the hole.  Based on those same facebook comments I would say that they read the putt from the hole back examining the break around the hole.  The difficulty of starting online is that the line is curved so there isn't an easy way to align the putter. 

If this is true,  then a method like aimpoint would be a linear approach.  I would think that a non-linear process would be better at judging speed. 

In my mind this is where the dilemma lies.   Do you want to be more focused on start line or how the putt will break at the end.  As I understand the apex of a curved line does not match up with the line making it difficult to use both methods simultaneously.   

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 01:56:10 AM »
I putt best when I read the putt correctly.
I play at a course that was built 7 years ago with subtle undulations and modern green drainage
Subsequently I putt best when I see a curve line or path
That is what I see naturally  even when playing older courses with tradition flat back to front drainage
I find it difficult to imagine a putt straight uphill , though lately I find that if I wipe the blade of my putter or bounce the putter head on the green as I read the uphill putt the curve line straightens out in my mind and gives me confidence to make straight line/path putts

bargolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 04:08:29 PM »
What if I added that the apex of the break is different depending on the skid to roll ratio?

From a Linear prospective this would change the line.

Non Linear changes where the break starts.
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bargolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 04:35:28 PM »
I also wonder why so many think you have to be one or the other? I doubt anyone was born to prefer one approach. (I meant that sometimes people think they can't change. You do have the power to choose)

Linear tend to see the putt best from behind the ball. Start line is primary and break is secondary.

Non Linear finds it helpful to look from behind the hole as well as in front. Break is primary and start line is secondary.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 04:52:33 PM by bargolf »
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rclarke1

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 06:01:05 PM »
interesting, I always walk around to feel slope but don't look from behind the hole as much as I should.
I see the line and judge speed then putt.
Squaring the face to line and equator strike is on my mind after address.
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cnosil

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 10:03:16 PM »
What if I added that the apex of the break is different depending on the skid to roll ratio?

From a Linear prospective this would change the line.

Non Linear changes where the break starts.

This would be because the the ball isn't affected by the slope until the ball is rolling and reducing speed. 

I also wonder why so many think you have to be one or the other? I doubt anyone was born to prefer one approach.

Linear tend to see the putt best from behind the ball. Start line is primary and break is secondary.

Non Linear finds it helpful to look from behind the hole as well as in front. Break is primary and start line is secondary.

I know green reading is a skill that isn't really taught as part of your instruction,  but what is the best way to start determining what approach works best for an individual.  The obvious answer is to try each and see,  but that becomes potentially difficult on a practice green where you have a limited number of reads. 

bargolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2017, 02:40:08 PM »
I grew up with the theory that green reading is something that can't be taught. It is something you learn based on experience and preference. I have never doubted that. Other than how to find the fall line on a green, it is all about matching feel to visual. 
I can provide the questions. And then ask more questions until the player finds the answers, but I can't tell you how to think. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just looking to collect a fee.
I repeat. The problem is not making the decision of how a putt will break, it is matching the stroke to the visual.
An easy way to judge how you think is to analyze the decisions you make and your perceptions of the putt. For example…
What is most important, line or speed?

Is the putt a straight putt that falls away from the line?

Or does the ball follow a definite path to the hole. If so, can you always “see” that path?

If you have to have some type of line on the putter or ball or both, is it fair to say you do not have a linear perception of the putt?

What do you consider the target, the hole, or your initial start line? This is a good example of how your thinking can get muddled. The hole can only be the target when you think of the putt in its entirety. Otherwise your target must be your start line.  If the target is the hole, then where do you aim? If your target is your initial start line, then how do you judge speed?
Do you tend to over read or under read putts? Does this change based on putt length?
These are just a few of the questions I have used to help clarify a players thinking. I say this because if you think you can use a little of both strategies you are asking for confusion. You have to be as specific as possible.
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Clemsonfan

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2017, 08:00:16 AM »
When I first started playing in college, I was definitely non-linear.  Read a Pelz book, and became linear for years.  Worked with David Orr a few times with Aimpoint, and we decided nonlinear was better, and results showed that for several years.

That said, I almost never read a putt from behind the hole.  The primary two spots are behind the ball, and along the low side of the putt if I need more information.  I picture the path the ball will take as it moves towards the cup, and what point on the clock face the putt will enter the hole.  To picture how the ball should roll, I do select an initial starting point in order to deliver the ball to the entry point I see.

That sounds like I might be using both methods...

I have had some issues with an overactive right hand, and I have been more stroke/speed focused lately.
Jeff

PJ

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2017, 09:59:07 PM »
Years ago, I would decide on the break, and then select a spot on either side of the hole as my target.  If it was uphill, I'd make a mental note to hit it harder.  If it was downhill I'd try to hit it softer.  Needless to say, I had no speed or distance control, so making ANY putt was pretty much luck.  My change was to vary both the distance and the direction to the target spot, depending on the break.  For a dead flat, dead straight putt the target spot is 18 inches directly behind the center of the hole.  As the surface tilts in any direction, the target spot moves to accommodate it.  On a lengthy uphill put the target might move to several feet behind the hole.  On a severe downhil putt, it might move to a third of the way to the hole.  The role I initiate starts towards the target spot (as if a straight line) but gravity curves it from that line (hopefully towards the hole!). The hole itself is ignored after the read is established.

This sounds pretty linear, based on what I've read above.

While waiting for someone else to putt, and before initiating my pre-putt routine, I will stand behind the ball and have my eyes track the path the ball will take, simulating the speed (faster off the face and slowing as I "see it go in").  Would that be non-linear?  After I step in I am starting the ball on a line towards my target spot, not trying to produce an arc.
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bargolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2017, 10:17:19 AM »
PJ


Do you ever change the position of your target spot based on what you see from your non linear look at the task?


if so, do you have a sense of success. I mean does the non linear look improve the read or is it a detriment.


Thanks,


Bruce
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CourtGolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2017, 12:16:06 PM »
I must be completely obtuse.  How is the hole anything other than the ultimate target ?  The whole point of a putt is to get the ball in the hole.  Whether or not we actually expect a putt to go down isn't important, but the hole is the goal.

But there is space between the ball and the hole that the ball has to move across - that is a line - no matter if you think of it as a line or a direction, the ball creates or moves along a line...hopefully one that leads to the hole.  It isn't a path like a sidewalk where the ball can be on any part of it for the ball to go into the hole.  A putt only has one speed - the speed at which the ball is struck.

The hope, and reason we practice our putting, is that we learn to see/read the line the ball will roll on to the hole and the speed we need to give the ball to get it to the hole.

Regardless of whether you look for a high point for the ball to break off of, or you think the ball will turn away from the hole, the ball is on a line.  We can't look at the hole and aim the putter face in a different direction.  We all pick a point or direction to aim the putter that fits our perception of how we think the ball will go into the hole.

This "linear vs non-linear" discussion only seems to muddle what is, in essence, a very simple thing...even though we all know that the actual process and action are far from simple.

I understand that people have different techniques to read a putt and feel a speed - so maybe it's just the terminology of this "argument" that is confusing.  No matter the technique, hole or high point, a line is involved.  Why confuse the issue with terminology that is used for both ?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 12:18:15 PM by CourtGolf »
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bargolf

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Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2017, 01:42:42 PM »
Court,


3 reasons you miss a putt.

1. You chose the wrong line.
2. You miss your start line.
3. You roll the ball the wrong distance.

You can do these things singularly or in combination.

If you define target by where you aim the putter. Then the "target" is rarely the hole. Most golfers tend to swing to the target. So if aim and target are two different things then you miss.

For linear players, aim is critical. For non-linear players not so much.

Give non linear thinkers a putter with no lines and they immediately putt better.

Take away the lines for a linear player and panic sets in.

Example
Linear players seem to like Aimpoint.
Non-Linear players seem to struggle with the concept.

All of the people I work with come to me to make more putts. 66 with no 3 putts in a one day qualifier doesn't cut it anymore. There is no room for error, and the idea of lag putting is going away. You only have so many chances, so you have to try to make every putt. The discipline required to chose the correct start line and feel the proper speed in combination at the mid range distances, 10-30 feet, is not simple or easy. It is however, very important.

Jordan Spieth is the example of why. He beats people because he makes more mid range putts.

When working with competitive players we have found that a linear view of the task lends itself to different choices than a non-linear view. The goal is to find which is more accurate.

Finally, while I agree that we are talking about a single line. Th linear player sees it as a straight line away from the hole, the Pelz concept of every putt is a straight putt,  while the non linear player sees it as a curved line to the hole.

Example, If you are a non linear thinker, then the concept of a read verbalized like "two cups out on the right" is tough to process. You are better looking at a spot within 20% of the distance of the putt.

In reading your post, like most golfers I talk to, I read linear thoughts and non linear thoughts. The question I am trying to answer is, "Would a player be better if he did not mix the message." We have seen enough at this point to think it might be true.
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Cols_Ears

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2017, 12:06:16 PM »
Years ago, I would decide on the break, and then select a spot on either side of the hole as my target.  If it was uphill, I'd make a mental note to hit it harder.  If it was downhill I'd try to hit it softer.  Needless to say, I had no speed or distance control, so making ANY putt was pretty much luck.  My change was to vary both the distance and the direction to the target spot, depending on the break.  For a dead flat, dead straight putt the target spot is 18 inches directly behind the center of the hole.  As the surface tilts in any direction, the target spot moves to accommodate it.  On a lengthy uphill put the target might move to several feet behind the hole.  On a severe downhil putt, it might move to a third of the way to the hole.  The role I initiate starts towards the target spot (as if a straight line) but gravity curves it from that line (hopefully towards the hole!). The hole itself is ignored after the read is established.

This sounds pretty linear, based on what I've read above.

While waiting for someone else to putt, and before initiating my pre-putt routine, I will stand behind the ball and have my eyes track the path the ball will take, simulating the speed (faster off the face and slowing as I "see it go in").  Would that be non-linear?  After I step in I am starting the ball on a line towards my target spot, not trying to produce an arc.

PJ - have you read the book by Dr Craig Farnsworth - See it and Sink It? He teaches a visual green reading philosophy very similar to how you seem to approach it. Might be worth trying to get a copy...

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Cols_Ears

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2017, 12:14:05 PM »
I think I use both linear and non-linear when I read and then make a putt.

I try and get a read from the green go through my aimpoint routine, pick my spot (or aimpoint) from behind the ball line it up on that spot (with the ball line) and then when I'm putting my best will "see" the path the ball will roll along, breaking into the hole. Step up to the ball, now only focusing on starting my putt on the right line, I tend to leave the speed down to my feel, and let it go after a last look at the "aimpoint".

I know I want the ball to go to the hole, but I'm not going to look there for aiming if that's not when I'm trying to start it off.
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PJ

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2017, 10:08:24 PM »
>>PJ - have you read the book by Dr Craig Farnsworth - See it and Sink It? He teaches a visual green reading philosophy very similar to how you seem to approach it. Might be worth trying to get a copy...

Yes it was after reading that book that I adopted the technique (must have been in the 90's I think).  The brain needs very specific instructions and "it's uphill, hit it a little harder" does not cut it.  But moving the target spot farther behind the hole, and hitting the equivalent of a flat put to that spot makes sense to me.  I still re-read that book every few years.  I am an engineer and some of what Farnsworth says appeals to me.  Other things, not so much.

Bruce:  I would say virtually never does the aim spot shift after the tracking my eyes on the path exercise.  This comes after I've made my read on speed and line.  I think this look helps mainly with 1) speed, and visualizing the starting speed and the speed of entry to the hole.  This helps to a lesser extent with 2) tempo of the stroke.  The final (minor) effect is 3) it gives me confidence to swing the putter to start the putt on the line I have seen (and not cheat and straighten the starting line towards the hole).  I also think it helps mentally to visualize the ball entering the hole a couple times prior to getting over the putt, particularly on more holable length..

I think in my previous description I failed to say that the idea is to hit the putt as if there is no uphill or downhill, in other words a level putt, towards the spot.  The key to the proper speed then becomes moving the aim spot by the appropriate amount past the hole or short of the hole to correspond with the actual slope.  I have not done aim point, but the idea of feeling the amount of slope with your feet is appealing in that if I could quantify the % slope then it would be simpler to dictate how to position the aim spot.
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Clemsonfan

Re: Linear or Non-Linear and why it might be important.
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2017, 05:13:55 AM »
I have not done aim point, but the idea of feeling the amount of slope with your feet is appealing in that if I could quantify the % slope then it would be simpler to dictate how to position the aim spot.

That is precisely what AimPoint attempts to teach you.  I have had about 13 hours of instruction, but have not taken the newer versions like Express.  Earlier versions provided charts and the amount of break based on % slopes. Using the charts in practice they show you how to determine the proper slope.

I had written an extensive review years ago, but I cannot see the primary post now.  If this method appeals to you, it is a solid system.
Jeff