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How to Become A Better Putter Speed: The Most Important Element Of Putting

To be a good putter requires dedication. It’s the most used club in our bag yet easily the least practiced. The reason golfers don’t like practicing their putting is due to boredom. Most would admit that pounding a few drives at the local driving range is much more exciting than working their putting. Knowing these tendencies I have written a very simple tip below that will help your putting, without having to spend hours perfecting your stroke on the practice greens.

Putting can be complicated but let's simplify it into three parts. Reading greens, speed, and putting stroke. In order to hole putts we need to have skill in all 3 areas. However, there is a pecking order that the average golfer never quite understands. Golfers buy new putters constantly looking for the secret that will help their putting stroke. Face balance, toe hang, weight ports, arm lock, fat grips, thin grips, mallet style, face inserts blah blah blah. Once these golfers reach the course with their new acquisition and begin playing most of their time is then spent reading the greens. Crouching down behind their ball, walking to the opposite side of the hole to check which way the ball will turn as its slowing down. Spending far too much time figuring out the gradient of the slope with the aim point information that they learned from YouTube the night before.

How To Control Your Speed

The part of putting that is least thought about is speed. To me, speed is easily the most important element of putting. Very simply if your speed is good you will always be close to the hole. How to become good at controlling speed? The simple answer is years of practice yet here is a tip that will help in the meantime. When you watch Tiger Woods or any of the professionals putting I’d like you to focus on their pre shot routine. As they perform a couple of practise strokes watch closely where their eyes are. Their eyes will be fixated on the hole. 99% of amateurs eyes while performing their practise strokes are looking at the putter or their ball. The reason their eyes are looking at the hole during the practise stroke is the eyes are informing the brain where the hole is which gives the arms a sense of how firm their stroke needs to be to get the ball close.

Amateurs get to the green, look at the slope and then spend the next minute trying to line up the logo on the ball to the desired aiming point. A couple of practise strokes, a quick glimpse at the hole and they wonder why their putt pulled up 10 feet short. The quick glimpse was the only opportunity their brain had a chance of figuring out the speed. Spend less time figuring out the slope and lining up the ball and more time on feeling how hard you need hit the ball to get it close. The 6 inches between your ears is amazing hardware and if you begin trusting it to help your speed you just might be surprised.


Next time you play give this tip a try. Just remember that speed is at the top of the pecking order in regards to putting with green reading and putting stroke a distant second and third.

Best of luck!

About The Author

Joe Gaughwin

Australian PGA member 

Taiheiyo Club Foreign affairs department 

Titleist Japan Ambassador

Flightscope Ambassador

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