What is the CGB?
The CGB is putting aid that is shaped like a football.
what it does ?
Provides visual feedback through wobbles on the golfers impact during the putting stroke.
We all know feedback is critical
Why is the CGB so special, why is it better than the putting wheel or pill putting aid?
Any putting stroke error is greatly amplified by the unique CGB design – the CGB football shape removes the complete 360 degrees of symmetry causing it to wobble and curve. This immediate feedback mechanism allows you to try different techniques, putters, grips, etc to find what works best for you until you can roll the CGB smoothly. The pill and putting wheel designs are not as wide , so will not allow the various torque/rotational forces and therefore less feedback.
The CGB provides feedback on the amount you where off from the center of mass thru wobbles. Where as the pill and putter wheel don't provide the amount, they would only provide feedback on if it was correct or incorrect not by how much. (I will elaborate more below on the physics)
How it works ?
-To understand how the CGB works?
-First we need to discuss what center of gravity or center of mass is
-The reason we need to discuss this is for two reason. First the device is called the center gravity ball and second sometimes we have some really crazy objects like the CGB that is football shaped and we want to figure out exactly what it does. If we know it's center of mass first, we can know how that object will behave without having to worry about the shape of that object. If you understand how this device works you will be able to get better feedback through the device because you will know what is a good motion and what is a improper motion.
-First of, lets compare 2 types of object:
--The first object is made out of one type of material. The material that it is made out of has a density that is the same throughout the object. In this case, the center of mass/center of gravity of this object will be the objects geometric center or middle.
--The second object is made out of 2 types of material; half being styrofoam and the other half being lead. Styrofoam is lighter and less dense than lead, so the center of gravity will not be the objects geometric center/middle but somewhere off to the side of the lead instead.
Note: Both these objects need to be symmetrical in size and shape for the above rule to apply.
Khan Academy:Center of mass
-Objects tend to rotate and move on its center of mass therefore understanding these facts will help golfers gain better feedback when practicing with the CGB.
-The CGB is made out of the the same material, therefore the center of mass in the CGB is a point in the middle of the ball.(refer to below picture)
--If a force such as the putter head is applied at the centre of mass (the middle of the CGB) the whole object will move in the direction of the force
(the object would accelerate at a rate equal to force divided by mass). The object essentially will be shifted by the force. I know blah blah kinda boring less science more golf, just stick with me a little longer. I promise it will pay off :-).
--Why is this important?
Well if you hit the CGB in the center of mass the putt will be wobble free. This wobble free putt would indicate that you had a square clubface at impact.
See and you thought Physics class would never come in handy lol.
-But if I were to apply a force some place else away from the center of mass, lets say I apply a force away from the middle of the CGB...what do you think would happen to the CGB?
-Imagine if we are on the space shuttle and if I have a football and I pushed at one end of the ball...what do you think will happen? Will the football move forward or will the football rotate?
-Well it turns out the whole ball will rotate around the center of mass, the middle!
-When you have a force that causes rotational motion as opposed to shifting motion thats torque. This happens when any force is applied to an area away from the center of mass (axis of rotation).
Khan Academy:Introduction to torque
Here are a few scenarios of the force being applied to an area other than the center of gravity (the middle). Refer to the colors drawn on the picture.
1) If the ball wobbles and moves left: The force applied to the left of the ball (blue dot) away from the center of mass which causes torque or rotational forces
-clubface closed at impact
-outside to inside swing
2) If the ball wobbles and moves right: The force applied to the right of the ball (yellow dot) away from the center of mass which causes torque or rotational forces
-club face was open during impact
-your swing has a inside to outside swing
3) If the ball wobble side to side like rotation. The force applied above the center of gravity (pink dot)
-topping the ball
4) Roll end over end or just spin in a circle. The force applied below the centre of gravity (black dot)
-you hit the ball fat or have too steep of a swing into the ball
-solution = “flatten out your swing”
-As you can see, I've only included the solution to the 4th scenario. The reason is because it is difficult to include instruction on how to fix the above issues because putting is the more artistic side of golf where there are so many variations
-A good example would be Phil Michelson (claw grip and orthodox stance) v.s Michelle Wie (more orthodox grip & really bent over table top like stance )
-Therefore this makes it difficult to pinpoint where the problem is due to the many possibilities
-Another reason why this aid is great, it is simple, and only provides you feedback about impact. No matter what style of putting you are, your goal is to train yourself to make the CGB roll wobble free.
this is a side not but I thought it was pretty cool
FUN FACT: Did you know that the center of gravity in golf balls can be off?
You can actually see where the center of mass in your golf balls by putting it into a saline solution.
-You might think this is a waste of time but did you know that an unbalanced golf ball will effect your ball flight? What if the problems you have been having with ball flight is due to an unbalanced golf ball? Check your golf balls!!!
Ralph Maltby:Balanced Golf Balls
Do Balanced Golf Balls Fly Straighter? Robot Test Results (www.reallinesports.com)
Are Your Golf Balls Balanced Properly?
Set-Up/Ease of Use
1. How to set up
How to use center gravity ball (From CGB Home Page)
2. Problems that can occur with set up
a) visually difficult to align due to its shape
-can be time consuming
-if not aligned properly ball can wobble showing a misconception of a fault in your swing
b) the line on the CGB for alignment is very small making it difficult to see
3. Ways to fix the problems/make it more easy to set up
a) lay a piece of paper behind the CGB with a straight line drawn on it, then place the CGB in front of the paper with the line on CGB matching the line on the paper. You can also use alignment sticks for your feet for quicker set up. (refer to below picture)
b) draw a thicker line around the the ball to make it easier to see if it's misaligned
c) I think the best option if you are going to buy the CGB is also buying Train your Aim aid and drawing a line that correlates to the top line of the train your aim on the CGB. This helps your setup be quick and easy. It also makes your practice be less tedious and more efficient.
Train your aim aid being used in tandom with the cgb
I am going to keep things simple in this section because there are many different golf instructions that teaches different methods on effective putting. I am going to point out 3 main factors that I feel is required in order to be a successful putter. I will let you decide which putting method to go with because I believe that there is no wrong method as long as it gets the job done. However, your objective should be to find a method that is simple, fundamentally sound, and easy to repeat under pressure.
The best putters have these 3 things in common:
1) Good green reading
-Figuring out which path the ball will roll across the putting surface is green reading.
-Learning how to read breaks (you can mark a line that you think is straight then putt it and see if it turns with the CGB or any golf ball
-Once you find a line that doesn't turn you can start practicing with it and learn what a straight putt is. After that you can do the same with putts that turn. This trains your eyes as well to see the putt and how it turns. This also makes you realize what is straight and where you got to start the ball to have it turn into the hole.
2) Good putting mechanics:
Consists of two main parts (Double D's)
b) Distance control
Golfers spend a lot of time practicing stroke path because it seems to make sense..."move your putter in the direction you want your putt to roll". However, this is wrong! Research shows that a square face angle is 5x more important to starting putts on line than putter path. It shows that face angle determines 83% of the starting line compared to 17% by putter path direction. In other words, the face angle of your putter during impact determines where the ball travels. A poor face angle gives you almost no chance of a successful putt!
I found that the CGB really came into play when it came to practicing to hit the ball in the intended direction. The CGB showed the importance of having a squared club face during impact for putting.
The CGB helps golfers practice putting directions by requiring the following 3 items:
i) Having to set up correctly at address (Putting Setup)
ii) Aiming the putterface accurately (Aiming Putterface)
iii) Squaring the putterface at impact (Putting Stroke)
b) Distance control
-Distance control is the ability to roll a ball a specific distance. It is the most important attribute of putting. Consistent distance control is what separates good putters from bad ones.
Why is distance control so important??? Consider this... a putt that travels at less than optimum speed (not enough distance) breaks too early and misses below the hole. Too much speed (too much distance) on the same line causes the putt to break too late and miss on the high side. Speed affects the line, and good speed is critical for putting success.
-Before you can have good distance control you need to be able to have a repeatable tempo and consistant impact
-Tempo drives distance control and is the “engine” of the putting stroke. Tempo is also the timing of the overall rhythm of the putting stroke. Being able to execute a proper stroke time after time with consistent tempo is the key to distance control.
Distance control is where I saw the most improvement in my game with CGB. This is because I found when my stroke lengthened my impact got worse. With bad impact positions, my distances and starting lines would be variable which is the worst you can have on long putts. Basically my putting would break down on long putts... Practicing with the CGB, I found overtime my impact improved which lead to greater distance control.
Does the CGB work?
Yes...almost frustratingly so. Poor strokes with the CGB will be glaringly obvious to the user, much more so than using a traditional golf ball. It certainly exposed the lack of quality behind my lag putting stroke. In fact, I struggled to even keep the CGB from wobbling on most putts over 40 feet. I found it easiest to use for short to mid-length putts. That being said, CGB will go in the hole just like a normal ball if the user executes. I was able to sink a number of putts with it, some short and some longer.
Regarding my misshits...many of the equally bad putts I took using a standard ball at the same time as the CGB still found their target and fell in the hole, while the CGB could end up five feet offline. That certainly showed the sometimes random nature of putting. We can certainly still make putts without perfect execution. However, for true feedback on the putting stroke, we can’t always judge ourselves by whether or not the ball goes in the hole.
Studies have shown that pros are about 3 percent more likely to sink a par putt than a birdie putt at the same distance. This has been attributed to a psychological phenomenon called "loss aversion". Loss aversion is the fear of losing more than the desire to win. In this case, the fear of bogey is stronger than the appeal of birdie. Overcoming this can make you a better putter. Golfers should try hard ALL THE TIME, not just in a par/bogey scenario!!!
I made an effort to replicate the chipping shots shown in the CGB homepage video (refer below to links for videos).
You need to be quick with the eyes to look up and determine the spin, so it’s best to work with a partner (or a video camera) to monitor your path, face alignment and spin outcome.
Also it depends what type of chipping method you're using, the standard vs the putting stroke method. I say this because the putting method was much more difficult to make the ball wobble free but it is the much easier method of chipping for beginner golfers.
I had golfers test the product and some loved the product and others didn't.
Some golfers stated it was more for golfers who are serious about golf and want to really improve their putting.
Others said it was fun to have a goal of making the putt wobble free and a huge group stated the setup was difficult at times (refer above in setup for further explanation).
Over time doing this blog I have found with every swing aid that is out there....there will be positive and negative reviews from people that have used it. No swing aid is perfect for everyone, it will depend on the user, level of the golfer... etc. For me, the set up was the most finicky and time consuming part, but once I found a way to line it up easier it was great. I really enjoy using it part of my pre round putting routine. I noticed I get into the groove with my putting much faster.
Durability of the device:
-The balls are very well made and will last a long time.
Use of the device:
-I have been using the device for 3 months and will keep using it for many years for the simple reason of, it shaved strokes off my putting game.
The CGB provides instant feedback on the quality of your ball striking. Practicing with the CGB allows you to visually see if you are hitting the "right" spot on the golf ball allowing you the best chance of getting it into the hole. Practicing with the CGB can be frustrating as the CGB constantly wobbled side to side when I used it initially. Also, I was not sure if it was my alignment that was off or my impact position. Drawing a thicker line on the CGB used in conjunction with a paper on the ground with a line drawn on it helped with my alignment. The "Train Your Aim" aid can also help with alignment. Over time, I found my putting got better. The greatest improvement for me after using the CGB was on my long putts. I did not know how badly I rolled the ball on long putts prior to using the CGB. After practicing with the CGB, I noticed I was able to consistently putt straighter on my long putts. I have definitely seen improvements in my overall game and have shaved at least 2 or more strokes off my putting. I would recommend this aid to golfers if they are at the stage where they want to shave some putts off their score.
Below are some cheaper alternatives...
1) Use a battery
2) Draw lines on your golf ball
-These alternatives will provide similar feedback, however the CGB feedback is more obvious and dramatic!!!
Other Similar Putting Aids
Plastic Golf Putter Wheel Golf Putting Balance Ball Training Aid Groove Tool
Putting Trainer(2 balls stuck together)
Other Site Review & links regarding the device
Golfstronaut CGB Review
CGB Home Page
CGB Facebook Page
What the Center Gravity ball does when you hit it correctly or incorrectly. (CGB youtube vids)
The Center Gravity ball is not just for putting, but chipping too.(CGB youtube vids)
Proper grip to help ensure a square club face.(CGB youtube vids)
CGB Instagram Page
Center Gravity - Putting Aid video by Marvin Sangüesa Golf
The Pill cause and fix for open and closed face (You can apply the same instruction to the CGB)
The Pill- Open Face: The Fix
The Pill-The Closed Face: Cause and Fix
Science of putting
Sport Science: Jordan Spieth's Putting
School of Golf: The Art and Science of Putting
The physics of putting
Science of putting on the golf course and lip outs
golf digest putting tips
Make More Birdies Now! 7 Tips to Become a Putting Machine
golf.com putting instruction
Four Fundamental "Elements" of Putting Skill
Dave Pelz: All My Secrets
Putting Basics by better golf by putting better