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Distance control on downhill putts


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Practice hitting it off toe of putter, takes some speed off it....been doing that for 30 years and works on silly fast greens.  Need to practice with your putter to know how much it takes off from a c

There are a couple of places here where above the hole is just death and just tapping the ball to move it at all sends it miles by. For those days I try like hell to stay below the hole and take my me

It was more common on the old school golfers from what I've seen, but I watched tons of wily old veterans just putt the slick down hill putts off the toe to kill pace and speed out of a putt.  

58 minutes ago, NevinW said:

I am really struggling with distance control on downhill putts.  Hitting it 6 feet by or 3 feet short.  Mostly hitting it too long.  This is getting old.  Any suggestions about ways to control speed on downhill putts.  Hitting it on the toe doesn't seem to work.  Thanks 

 

It's all touch if the stroke is sound.  Have you tried dialing in speed required for 1/2 the distance, then go back to ball and almost double that effort.       

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1 hour ago, GSDriver said:

Practice hitting it off toe of putter, takes some speed off it....been doing that for 30 years and works on silly fast greens.  Need to practice with your putter to know how much it takes off from a center strike.


I agree with this 100%. I’ve spent most of my life playing on courses built between the 1890s and 1920s. We’re full of small, fast and undulated greens. Putting downhill on slick greens is a necessary skill around here. 
 

I set up standing a bit taller, choke down slightly. From there I align the ball with the center of the face, like normal, then move it about about 1 ball towards the toe. I grip the putter just a shade tighter with my left hand, top hand. The face does tend to twist a bit at impact making contact out on the toe like that. 

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You gotta take the hole out of it. It has to be the ball ending at the hole if not a little past. Ive learned to putt to a spot two or three feet before the hole and only put the speed on the ball to get to that spot. That was the mistake I was making was trying to putt the same way as if the green is flat. Take that approach and see if it works for you. 

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Right now you are probably a little shaky over a down hiller.

 

#1. Get on the practice green, and work on getting the ball past the hole on the high side. Ideally 18 inches, but 3 feet longer is better than 3 feet short. For this practice, 6 feet long is better than 3 feet short. Actually 10 feet long is better than 3 feet short (for this drill). We just want to work on getting the ball all the way to the hole with out much concern for how bad the miss is as long as it is passed the hole and on the high side. 

 

Why? First of all, besides a near tap in, short is a dreadfull miss on a quick downhiller. Much rather have an uphill putt that you have already seen the ball break on. 5 feet short is a knee knocker where you are putting defensive trying not to roll it 4 feet passed when you could have done that on the first putt. 3 putt city. Just throwing away strokes. Longer putts on the high side are also less likely to drift of the break line and roll further from the hole, giving misses an uphill putt with less break. But most importantly, running through the practice gives you confidence in your stroke. And there's something to be said for having confidence in the next shot even if it doesnt happen.

 

 

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I think it's more of a mechanic issue than anything.  

 

Most common flaw I see in putting.  Too long of backstroke.  So many guys I see that decelerate through the ball on downhill putts because they scared of going long.  Problem is....you take it back so far - you nearly have to stop at impact to not allow it to go too far.  Better to have a stroke where you are accelerating through the putt, even on fast downhill putts.  

  

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, wagolfer7 said:

I think it's more of a mechanic issue than anything.  

 

Most common flaw I see in putting.  Too long of backstroke.  So many guys I see that decelerate through the ball on downhill putts because they scared of going long.  Problem is....you take it back so far - you nearly have to stop at impact to not allow it to go too far.  Better to have a stroke where you are accelerating through the putt, even on fast downhill putts.  

  

 

 

 

 

 

It can be a mechanical issue that is a direct result of a poorly fit putter.

 

To better understand what I previously posted in this thread, test the extremes to help your brain understand what's at play in a putting stroke.  If you have a sledgehammer sitting in your garage, go grab it and try putting some balls with it.  The extreme weight will immediately result in serious difficulty in controlling the length and pace of your stroke.  Many golfers do not realize that the same physics are at play even if you're not quite dealing with such extremes with a typical putter.

 

The idea that the "traditional" weight of putters available off-the-shelf is correct for most golfers is not rooted in any real science.  It's best to test various weights to see which putter weight results in more consistent distance control.

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We're all different.  Not sure my technique will help anyone, but it sure works for me.  I almost never 3-putt.  With putter and wedge chipping and pitches, I use a reverse overlap grip. 

 

I am a real feel player - as a result when using Vardon grip, left hand and left side is the dominate through my mechanics.  When I use the Reverse Overlap grip my right hand and right side "feel" dominate.  Dominance controls pace, power and distance control with putter or wedge, even my irons.  My right hand releases the putter head into the ball, my sense of feel controls the power behind putter impact, which influences distance control.  Good luck.

 

 

 

 

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I'd say part one is to make sure that you're striking your putts well (ideally - or at least consistently if not). Then once you can do that, focus on a point short of the hole on the downhill putts. That's a function of practice until you find out how short you need to focus to have it finish on the hole. Don't "do both" though. If you focus short and then dolly it because it's downhill, that's how you end up leaving it way short (bad idea).

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