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Putting and speed (random observation from a terrible putter)


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So at the beginning of this year, due to COVID, my local course had PVC pipes in the holes, in place of flagsticks.  I was putting much better because speed was not much of a concern, i essentially could just hit it hard into the pipe, and it counted as good.  On some shorter ones I would practically just ram it into the pipe like a hockey slap shot.  Line was almost always perfect when I did this - ball would go dead in the middle of the pipe every time.  And I pull/push short putts all the time.

 

This made me realize that when I putt the ball hard, it almost always goes exactly on the line I want.  I hardly even have to think about it.  You can try it out by using some sort of a practice hole that has a backstop.  Just putt the ball as hard as you want with the only aim being hitting the backstop.  You'll almost never miss right or left from 10 feet or less.  The ball goes right on line every time.  Slow it down to normal speed, and you'll start having some misses.


So now I am wondering why I can putt on line so easily when I putt it hard like this, but I am so terrible when I try to control the speed and get the ball to slowly drop into the cup?  I feel like if I could pinpoint this difference, I could maybe figure out why my putting is so bad most of the time.  It almost feels like when I am putting it hard, my arms stay on path better and there is no time to manipulate the club.  More like a full golf swing.  When I try to slow things down, it all falls apart.   I guess it all comes down to my inability to control speed when I putt, the minute speed becomes a factor it goes haywire.  I hit some straight putts so wildly offline sometimes, it's embarrassing!

 

Anyway I feel like there is a lesson for me in there somewhere, if I could figure it out.

 

 

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Here may be a lesson for you.    

Most people like to play the speed of the putt somewhere between 1 and 2 feet beyond the hole. This ensures you’re never short as the old saying goes “the short ones never go in.” 
 

For the correlation between trying guide a full swing as compared to just hitting it the same thing can happen with a putter. When you’re trying to guide it you’re bringing a whole bunch of doubt and new variables into play. 
 

When I putt I try to always make the same tempo of stroke, regardless of length and just adjust length of backswing and follow through. It helps tremendously with speed control. 
 

If it ends up being the alignment that’s an issue, try to use a different visualization technique. Picture the width of the hole, on your intended line, as a track to the hole instead of the ball tracking into the hole. Mentally it’s a little bit of a bigger, more confidence inspiring target. 

Updated 4/26/21

 

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When you putt hard you make solid contact, which is the ultimate secret to good putting. Add to it speed control and you can make lots of putts. You have to make sure the clubhead is always through with determination and your putting will improve dramatically. Just hit it solid.  Over and over until it’s the way you hit all your putts. 

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I heard a few things about putting:

-us hackers take to little break-The ball misses/dies below the hole.  I now take a little more break than I use to and often it falls in from the high side.

-Speed is more important than break-If I don't get it there, it won't go in-I practice putting to the edge of the practice greens. No pressure to sink it, just get it to the edge or beyond.

-Us hackers spend to much time practicing beyond 8 to 10 feet-(the pros-10-15 feet around 55%. Inside 10 feet-low 90's.) If they are at 55% beyond 10 my practice  beyond 10 isn't going to help much. I spend most practice inside 6 feet. It's really helped making those in one.

 

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You have exaggerated a very sound fundamental of putting.  

 

Acceleration

 

It's not something that is talked about enough.  It's the only thing that all PGA players have in common in putting.  Doesn't matter if they LHL or Claw or Standard or whatever grip or mallet or blade.  They all put in between a 1.8-2.2 tempo ratio.  

 

Meaning their forward swing is nearly twice the speed as their backswing.  

 

How do you achieve this without blasting 20+ft everywhere?  

 

A slower and more controlled backswing.  That allows you to still "accelerate" through the ball - without generating as much speed / power.   

 

 

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On 12/6/2020 at 10:02 AM, uitar9 said:

I heard a few things about putting:

-us hackers take to little break-The ball misses/dies below the hole.  I now take a little more break than I use to and often it falls in from the high side.

-Speed is more important than break-If I don't get it there, it won't go in-I practice putting to the edge of the practice greens. No pressure to sink it, just get it to the edge or beyond.

-Us hackers spend to much time practicing beyond 8 to 10 feet-(the pros-10-15 feet around 55%. Inside 10 feet-low 90's.) If they are at 55% beyond 10 my practice  beyond 10 isn't going to help much. I spend most practice inside 6 feet. It's really helped making those in one.

 

They are 50% at 8 feet. 10 feet 40% and 15 feet 23%

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10 hours ago, Liveonce said:

They are 50% at 8 feet. 10 feet 40% and 15 feet 23%

You are correct. I was just looking at the top ten or so.

 

15-20 feet 19.24

10-15 feet 31.62%

5-10 feet 57.31%

 

All the more reason to not spend so much time on plus 8 feet. I'm spending more time on that approach shot (I believe tour average 50-75 yards is around 25.9 feet) and the first putt. Lag it close.

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19 minutes ago, uitar9 said:

You are correct. I was just looking at the top ten or so.

 

15-20 feet 19.24

10-15 feet 31.62%

5-10 feet 57.31%

 

All the more reason to not spend so much time on plus 8 feet. I'm spending more time on that approach shot (I believe tour average 50-75 yards is around 25.9 feet) and the first putt. Lag it close.

From 50-75 out they hit the green 89% of the time and are approximately 13.5 feet to the hole

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There is a reason for this. When you try to slow the putter down in the downswing you cause the putter head to come in offline. You shouldn’t slow or accelerate the putter head at impact. For a good putter stroke you should try to make the putter speed be the same all the way thru. 
most people on short putts take either too long a backswing then try to decelerate thru impact

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Definitely agree with some of the comments on putting aggressively, I also think the vast majority of people would putt better due to the conditions of greens. If you're at a nice public or private course with fast perfect greens then the idea "use the whole cup, just let the ball fall into the hole" works, but on greens with some imperfections, better off blasting away. 

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