Great putters have a wonderful ability to control the speed of the ball. This skill really is the foundation to good putting. A common feature of these golfers is they have a pendular/ metronomic timing to their stroke. That is to say they have an even swinging motion with the backswing and downswing made on a regular consistent beat. Often golfers who are struggling with this skill have strokes that are too slow and short in the backswing and quicken up in the downswing too quickly in the downswing (flashspeed) or have too long a backswing and start to decelerate (quitting) although this can be more common in the shorter putts.
Here’s one suggestion that can be taken to the practise putting green. First of all you need to download a metronome app to your phone or computer they are easily available and free. (You can also purchase small electronic metronomes from a music store) Set the metronome to beep at somewhere between 62 beats per minute (bpm) and 74bpm. You will need to experiment a little to find the tempo that best suits you but most good putters are somewhere in this tempo range.
First start swinging the putter from side to side in time with the beat, keep it relaxed. Now don’t pick any specific target but hit 3 or 4 balls trying to keep in time with the beat and also keep each of theses strokes the same length. The balls should travel consistently the same distance if you are consistent. Once you have mastered this base line stroke all you have to do it practice the same way to targets. The overall effect is you control the distance you hit your putts by varying the length of your stroke and not by varying the tempo/rhythm of your putting action.
Fellow PGA Professional
Appointments with Paul for golf lessons in Wicklow can be booked via Powerscourt Golf Club Reception: Tel (01) 204 6033 or the Golf Shop Tel (01) 204 6031. Read more about lessons from Paul Thompson by visiting the Powerscourt Golf Club Website.