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Friday, April 12, 2024

General Description

 

The PA Putter Plane is a device that when used according to the designer’s instructions will aid in the development of the putting stoke used as part of the game of golf. The device can be used by the layperson for self-improvement as well as the golf teaching professional as a teaching tool to help his students achieve a more ideal putting stroke.

 

General Composition

The device is made of 10 pieces of plastic pipe one inch in diameter, four 90-degree plastic elbow connectors, two plastic “T” connectors and one wood block that measures 2 inches by four inches by 8 inches.  The device is assembled as shown in Drawing #1 and figures #1-3. The top crossbar is 32 inches in length.  The vertical support bars are 18 inches in length. The horizontal legs are 20 inches in length. The four stabilizing legs are 3 inches in length. The device can be taken apart easily for transport and reassembled for use in a different location.  It can be used on any suitable natural or artificial putting surface.

 The device also includes 3 calibration decals.  The first calibration decal is placed on the crossbar to be used for the horizontal calibration of the putter as shown in Drawing #2-A.  The second calibration decal is placed adjacent to the grip on the shaft of the putter for vertical putter calibration as shown in Drawing #2-B. The calibration decal is placed on the putting surface to mark the calibrated ball position as shown in. 

 

General Use

The general use of the PA putter plane falls into two broad categories. The first type of use for the device is that it can be used as an instructional aid for the golf professional to teach the correct technique of putting the golf ball.  It can be used to teach proper grip, hand position in relationship to putter type, the golfer’s stance while putting, alignment of the golfer and club and the actual putting stoke itself.  The teaching professional can use this device with players of any skill level. Due to its portability, it can be used in any type of practice facility, either indoor or outdoor.  It is effective on either artificial or natural putting surfaces. Either the right or left-handed player can use it.

 

The second general use is for self-improvement by the amateur or professional golfer.  This progress can be achieved in a variety of ways. First, by following the designer’s instructions, the golfer can compare his technique to that of the PA Putter Plane.  This will aid the golfer in finding any discrepancies between his putting technique and the standardized method employed with the device.  Once the differences are identified, the golfer can make changes to his technique to address any deficiencies that would prevent him from having a more ideal putting technique. The second type of use for the device is as an aid during the repetitive practice of the putting stroke. The golfer can alternate between use of the device and practicing without it to build consistency in the putting stroke. Thirdly, with the portability of the device, practice can take place yearlong for those golfers living in an area where golf is a seasonal game.  Also, the golfer can practice a variety of putts when used on a natural practice green.   

 

SPECIFIC USE OF THE PUTTER PLANE 

 

I. Key Elements of Device Use

Proper use of the Putter Plane is based on four key elements. These need to be addressed prior to the actual use of the device.  They are the following:

A. The Balanced Stand Alone Putter Position 

B. Calibration of Putter Face Loft

C. Calibration of Putter Shaft Position 

D. Calibration of Clubface to Target Line

Note: All references to the description and use of the device will be made for the right-handed golfer.  The left-handed player can use the device but the references to direction will need to be reversed.


II. Advantages of Key Elements

There are several general advantages to the key elements of the device use.  No other device incorporates these essentials. The first is that the device has specific objective calibrations that minimize a subjective approach to its use, which maximizes its effectiveness as a teaching and practice aid.  Secondly, the device is an objective and reliable guide that can be applied to any putter.  Thirdly, the calibration of the putter face loft and shaft position can be performed quickly, easily and accurately. These allow for the putter grip and golfer hand position to have a specific identifiable position on the device. Lastly, the golfer set up position is repeatable specifically in relation to the device and the three positions related specifically the parts of the putter. The calibration will also help the golfer develop a more standardized pre-shot routine that can be transferred to the golf course.

 

III.  The Balanced Stand Alone Putter Position

The first key element of device use to be considered is the balanced stand-alone position. The Balanced Stand Alone Position is defined as the position of the putter when it lays vertically against the device crossbar with the proper lie angle and the head of the putter perpendicular to the cross bar (Diagram #2). This position is achieved by placing the shaft of the putter on the large center arrow marked on the cross bar so that it is balanced and will stand-alone. The following important points will help to reach the optimal stand-alone putter position.

1. The head of the putter should be perpendicular to the cross bar so that the face of the putter in not open or closed in relation to the putting plane and target line.

2. Each putter has a unique lie angle. The lie angle is defined, as the angle of the shaft in relation to the sole or bottom of the putter head. In order to have the proper lie angle, the sole of the putter head must have maximum contact with the putting surface while the shaft of the putter is in contact with the crossbar of the device. 

 

IV. Calibrating Putter to Zero Loft Position

Putters can have different lofts like any other golf club.  Your putter will need to be calibrated to the Putter Plane so that your hands can be placed in a repeatable position to insure that the ball is struck with a flat putter surface and zero loft.  Once the player has mastered striking the ball with a flat putter surface, the hand position can be change purposely to alter the loft of the putter if desired. The following steps are used to calibrate the putter face:

1. Place the loft-calibrating block so that the face of the block is flush with bottom of the face of the putter in the stand-alone balanced position. If your putter has loft you will see a space between the top of the face of the putter and the top of the block (Diagram #3-A).

2. Holding the calibrating block with you right hand, gently slide the shaft of the putter with your left hand to the right along the crossbar until the entire putter face is flush with the loft calibration block (Diagram #3-B).  

3. The final step of the calibration is to make sure that the calibration block is parallel to the cross bar so the putter face has not open or closed during the loft calibration process (Diagram #3-C).

4. Once the putter has been placed in this position is will be defined as the zero loft position.

 

V. Calibrating the Putter Shaft Position

        After the putter face has been aligned properly in the zero loft position, the shaft position on the crossbar can be calibrated:  The following steps are used to calibrate the shaft in a horizontal and vertical position in relation to the crossbar:

1. Once the shaft has been placed in the zero loft position, identify the horizontal shaft position on the calibrations of the crossbar. The shaft position will be different for each putter specification but will always be the same for the individual putter (Diagram 3-B, 1).

2. The vertical height of the shaft should remain constant to insure stability of the lie angle of the putter. Identify the vertical shaft position on the crossbar by the calibration decal on the putter shaft (3-B, 2).

 

VI. Calibrating the Clubface to the Target Line

        A square position of the putter face (perpendicular to the cross bar) is key to starting the ball on the desired path.  Even with proper usage of the putter plane, an open or closed putter face will result in a ball rolling right or left of the target line.  In order to insure the putter face with the device and intended target line make sure that the calibration block in the zero loft position is parallel to the crossbar and intended target line (Diagram 3C). 

 

PUTTER PLANE USE AS A PROFESSIONAL TEACHING AID

I. Philosophy for Teaching Putting

The goal of any teaching philosophy is to create an effective set-up position and build dynamic player balance with the putter to achieve a consistent putting stroke.  The putter plane will help build a repeatable set-up position and repeatable putting stroke in practice, so that it can be used effectively on the golf course.  

Having a repeatable putting stroke that will roll the ball down the players intended target line will increase the players opportunity to make putts.  If the clubface strikes the ball with a square zero loft clubface position, the ball will roll along the intended target line without side spine. Without sidespin the ball will have a greater chance to stay on the intended line. Calibrating the putter with the putter plane will increase the chances that the ball will roll straight down the intended target line.  If the putter face is closed (rotated counterclockwise) the ball will travel left of the target line and putting plane. If the putter face is open (rotated clockwise) the ball will travel right of the target line. 

Calibrating the shaft of the putter will allow the putter to swing on the intended plane line, which is parallel to the target line.  These calibrating combinations will aid in the improvement and consistency of putting skill that will result in an increase of the percentage of the time the ball starts and stays on the intended target line.  If the golf ball is rolling on the intended target line with the correct speed, more putts will have the opportunity to roll in the hole. 

 

II. Use of Putter Plane As A Teaching Aid

This device will help the instructor demonstrate to the student the correct set-up position with their putter and a repeatable effective putting stroke in the following ways:

A. Calibrates the student’s putter for the Stand Alone Balance Position, Zero Loft Position and Putter Shaft Position

B. Calibrates a repeatable hand position based on the putter calibrations

C. Calibrates the clubface square to the target line with the calibration block

D. Aids in the development of an objective body position in relationship to the ball and intended target line

E. Aids in the development of a putting stroke that will help to keep the putter shaft on a consistent plane with the target line.

F. Aids in the development of a putting stroke that helps to maintain the putter head perpendicular to the intended target line.

 

III. Teaching Method with the Use of the Putter Plane

The golf professional must take into account several different aspects of putting in order to develop a sound plan for student improvement.  The student evaluation is the first step to the creation of this plan.  Incorporated into this plan is the use of the Putter Plane to aid the golf professional in objectively addressing all aspects of the putting technique.

A. Student Evaluation

1. An interview is taken to assess the students chief concerns about his putting technique.

2. The putting stroke is observed by the golf professional to determine if there are any gross deficits in the stroke that correlate to the students chief concerns. 

3. Specific visual aids such as videotaping, mirrors, etc. can be used to further assess the student’s technique.

4. An evaluation of the students overall physical health, posture and strength is performed to relate any physical findings that correlate to the students’ chief concern. Different spinal curvatures or varying body postures of the back, shoulders and hips along with any physical ailments can affect the final teaching plan.

5. A report of the initial findings either verbal or written will need to be explained to the student.  Based on the initial findings, it will identify putting stroke deficiencies and discuss the need for a change in equipment, if necessary, that may benefit the student.

 

B. Creation of a plan to correct deficiencies with the device

There are 6 factors involved in creating a solid putting plan: 

1.Equipment fitting and calibrating

2.Basic Instruction 

3.Shot Making Skills 

4.Physical Conditioning 

5.Green Reading 

6.Mental Conditioning

The putter plane can aid in the development and improvement in all six areas.

1.Equipment Fitting and Calibrating: The Putter Plane can aid the golf professional in calibrating the student’s current equipment.  Assessing the need for an equipment change is based on the initial student evaluation and equipment calibration.

2.Basic Instruction: The Putter Plane can aid the golf professional in developing an objective repeatable fundamental set up that includes the grip and hand position, stance, body posture, target alignment and ball position. 

Posture position at address has several elements that can be standardize once the student is set up in the Putter Plane.  Various spinal curvatures, shoulder and arm position, width of feet and head position can affect the student position at address. The professional with the use of the device can standardize these for the student.

Ball position in relationship to the eyes, distance from the left foot and distance from the body is an area that can be standardized for the student by the professional in relationship to the device.

The professional accomplishes standardization of the grip and hand position by using the device to calibrate the student’s equipment.

3.Shot Making Skills: According to Dave Pelz’s, The Putting Bible, the three most important factors that influence putting success are putter path, putter face angle and impact point. 

1. PUTTER PATH: At impact, the putter should be traveling straight down the target line (PLANE).

2. FACE ANGLE: The face must be square to the target at impact (square clubface with near zero loft).

3. IMPACT POINT: “Sweetspot” or the distance from the ball the player stands in order to strike the ball in the middle of the center spot of the putter face.

A solid swing motion is built upon the proper body motion, arm swing, player balance, rhythm and tempo.  All of these increase the success of the putting technique based on proper putter path, face angle and impact point when standardized by the golf professional with the aid of the putter plane. 

                                      

4.Physical conditioning: With the use of the Putter Plane the golf professional can assess proper biomechanics, physical performance factors and explain to the student how the body affects performance by understanding basic golf anatomy.  The golf professional can screen for physical limitations and prescribe exercises to correct dysfunction. The Putter Plane can be used to objectively place the student with limitations in these areas in the device and compare them to ideal golfers that do not have these types of physical restrictions.  

5.Green Reading – All putts are aligned as if they are straight.  Impact should be with the shaft on plane with a square clubface and near zero loft of the putter face. The professional can use the putter plane on various putting surfaces to develop the green reading skills of the student.  The student can be taught to start the ball on the intended line in relationship to the path of the putt on a natural surface.

6.Mental Conditioning: Student confidence and the development of good putting habits will increase over time with the help of the Putter Plane.  With a consistent objective approach to the teaching of the putting fundamentals, the student will increase his skills and ultimately increase the confidence that he has the ability to reproduce a sound and fundamentally correct putting stoke that will lead to a higher percentage of putts that go in the hole.

 

C. Implement the use of the putter plane

By using the putter plane as described, you will set the student in a fundamentally correct position by:

1. Calibrating his/her putter 

2. Showing the student where and how to stand 

3. Illustrating the correct technique 

4.   Correcting the deficiencies of the student’s technique

The following are instructions for using the putter plane as a teaching aid.

1. For initial teaching use the Putter Plane should be set up for straight and level putts.  Target distance should be approximately 15 to 20 feet from the center balance point of the device. 

2. Calibrate the student’s putter to the Stand Alone Balance Position, the Zero Loft Position, Putter Shaft Position and Putter Face Position.  These positions should be recorded for future reference.

3. With putter in the fully calibrated position have the student stand in the putter aid between the two horizontal supports. 

4. The legs are slightly bent and approximately shoulder width. The shoulders and hips should be parallel to the crossbar. 

5. Place the golf ball on the putting surface in the centered position of the putter face.

6. The student should be positioned so that the ball position is directly in line with the left eye socket.  The head should be positioned so that the eyes are directly over, or slightly inside the target line. 

7. The student should gently grip the putter without moving the shaft from the position on the crossbar.

8. To make the putting stroke and stay on plane, the back swing and forward swing are made with the shaft gently touching the crossbar.  Take care not to rotate the putter face open or closed from the Calibrated Club Face Position during the putting stroke or impact with the golf ball will not be square.

9. The distance of the target will determine the length of the stroke. The back swing will be slightly shorter than the follow through motion.

10. For more advanced students the Putter Plane can be used to instruct the students for various types of putts that differ in distance and lie on the green.

 

Claims of the Teaching Tool

 

1. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the balance point position from the club head to the shaft position.

2. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the center position from toe to heel.

3. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the zero loft position of putters that have loft in the clubface.

4. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the proper shaft lie angle.

5. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the correct putter plane angle in relation to the putter head and target line.

6. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the correct putter plane stroke in relation the target line.

7. All of the calibrations build and maintain a consistent hand position, ball position and golfer stance in relation to the putter head, shaft and target line.

8. The calibrations build and maintain a stable and repeatable golfer posture while putting.

9. The calibrations allow the player to set-up in a consistent manner.

10. The putter aid maintains a consistent ball position in relationship to your left eye socket. The ball will consistently be located opposite the left eye socket for a right-handed player. 

11. The aid will assist the student in developing a putting technique that allows the ball to roll along the target line without deviation.

12. The teaching aid can be used with golfers of all ages.

13. The teaching aid can be used equally as well with male and female players.

14. The teaching aid can be used with right and left handed players.

15. The teaching aid can be used with golfers of any skill level.

16. The teaching aid can be used in either indoor or outdoor facilities.

17. The teaching aid can be used on either artificial or natural putting surfaces.

18. The teaching tool is easily disassembled and reassembled for use in different locations and therefore can be used year round.

 

PUTTER PLANE USE FOR PUTTING PRACTICE

The following are instructions for using the putter plane as a practice device for golfers of any gender or skill level.

1. For practice use the Putter Plane should be set up for straight and level putt. 

2. Target distance should be approximately 15 to 20 feet from the center balance point of the device. 

3. Calibrate your putter to the Stand Alone Balance Position, the Zero Loft Position, Calibrated Shaft Position and Calibrated Putter Face Position as previously described. Record this position for future reference.

4. Place your putter in the balanced stand-alone position.

5. Place the golf ball on the putting surface in the centered position of the putter face.

6. Stand in the putter plane with your legs slightly bent and approximately shoulder width. Your shoulders and hips should be parallel to the crossbar. 

7. The ball should be positioned directly under your left eye socket.  Your head should be positioned so that your eyes are directly over, or slightly inside the target line.

8. Gently grip the putter and slide the shaft to your fully calibrated position on the crossbar without moving the shaft off of the crossbar.

9. To make the putting stroke and stay on plane, make your back swing and forward swing with the shaft gently touching the crossbar.  Take care not to rotate the putter face open or closed during the putting stroke or impact with the golf ball will not be square.

10. The distance of the target will determine the length of the stroke. The back swing will be slightly shorter than the follow through motion.

 

 

Claims of The Putter Plane Used as a Practice Aid

1. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the balance point position from the club head to the shaft position.

2. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the center position from toe to heel.

3. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the zero loft position of putters that have loft in the clubface.

4. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the proper shaft and lay angle.

5. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the correct putter plane angle in relation to the putter head and target line.

6. This aid calibrates the putter to obtain the correct putter plane stroke in relation to the target line.

7. All of the calibrations build and maintain a consistent hand position, ball position and golfer stance in relation to the putter head and shaft and target line.

8. The calibrations build and maintain a stable and repeatable golfer posture while putting.

9. The calibrations allow the player to set-up in a consistent manner.

10. The putter aid maintains a consistent ball position in relationship to your left eye socket. The ball will consistently be located opposite the left eye socket for a right-handed player. 

11. The aid will assist the student in developing a putting technique that allows the ball to roll along the target line without deviation.

12. The practice aid can be used by golfers of all ages.

13. The practice aid can be used equally as well by male and female players.

14. The practice aid can be used by right and left handed players.

15. Golfers of any skill level can use the practice aid.

16. The practice aid can be used in either indoor or outdoor facilities.

17. The practice aid can be used on either artificial or natural putting surfaces.

18. The practice aid is easily disassembled and reassembled for use in different locations and therefore can be used year round.

19. The practice aid allows for individualized practice time.

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