Putting SpeedSpeed in putting is often the most critical element to making more putts, and once you have the correct speed you must match it properly with the correct line. We typically rank speed over line because one controls the other, as we’ll see in the pictures below. This article is designed to give you a better understanding the necessary speed to make more putts from a critical range – 3 to 10 feet.

Let’s examine a flat 5 foot putt, and assume the ball is rolling over a 2% grade from right to left. The ball will always roll down the slope, but the longer the ball is on the slope the more effect the slope will have on the ball. In picture 1 the ball is rolling with the proper speed (roughly 12 inches past the hole), and will roll into the center of the hole. In picture 2 we increase the speed, rolling the ball 3 feet past the hole. Since the ball spends less time on the slope it will break less and requires a starting line closer to the right edge than the first one. In picture 3, we decrease the speed so the ball will just barely roll to the front edge of the hole; this ball spends the most time on the slope and requires your starting line to be aimed the furthest outside of the cup.

Lippincott-Putting-Speed

While all of these putts can go in, the putts with the greatest likelihood of going in will be the 1st and 3rd, as the hole is “larger” to the ball when it is rolling the slowest. Once the golfer understands this principle, it’s time to practice getting your speed to a point where you roll the ball consistently from 3-10 feet.

Picture456789A great drill to practice your speed is an easy one to perform in your house, so if you can’t get to the putting green right now you can still work on improving your game for 2015!

Set up 2 pairs of tees, 1 foot apart on all sides from each other – form a box. Then set up tees to make 3 foot to 10 foot putts, setting increments at each foot. As you practice see how many balls in a row you can roll into the box without going too far or short.  For those who are competitive it may be a good idea to write down the number of putts you made from each distance and try to surpass it in your next practice session.

For more drills and golf instruction, be sure to subscribe to the GolfTEC Blog and find additional drills here. Talk to your Certified Personal Coach today to find new ways to fine tune your short game for the 2015 season!

2 COMMENTS

  1. Great point. I learned the hole is an inch larger when the your stroke is firm enough to pass the hole by 6 inches. This means that if the ball rolls along the edge of the cup the ball will drop more often.

    Putting consists of 4 Basic Skills synergistically working together for the best and most consistent results:

    1) Alignment (Face of putter relative to the intended starting line of putt with green slope factored in). Must understand how to read slopes and grains and have a good sense of green speed and pace control to establish proper alignment.

    2) Pace Control (80% of putting success) (length of stroke and speed of stroke) with awareness of green speed factored in once Alignment is established.

    3) Swing path (no inside or outside movement of the stroke maintaining putter face square to start line of putt). If the stroke is too long the club face will come to the inside making pace control and club face path inconsistent.

    4) Touch (the ability to use the same length of backswing stroke over various distances simply by accelerating the forward swing faster) which helps to control swing path and face alignment. A longer backswing by its very nature must introduce the risk of path and club face deviating from the intended start line of the putt while in turn deteriorating optimal pace control.

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