Here are some questions you may want to consider if you struggle with speed control when you putt.
- Could the problem stem from how your reading the putt?
- What things do you take into consideration when you’re judging the speed of a putt?
- Do you judge the slopes well?
- Can you see the uphill, downhill, or the side slopes? Are you using your feet to help sense the slope?
- Do you see the grain or in other words the direction the grass is growing?
- Do you take into consideration the wind?
- Have you ever thought of speed control as it relates to the TIME it takes from when the ball leaves your putter head until it reaches the hole?
For example, if you have a 40 foot putt uphill the time it might take from the impact of the putt for the ball to reach the hole may be 5-7 seconds. But if you turn around and hit the same 40 foot length putt downhill does it take a longer or a shorter period of time for the ball to reach the hole? The truth is the downhill putts take longer to reach the hole because you should hit them softer, or with less speed. This is known as Lag Putting.
When I am reading the green and visualizing my putts I visualize the roll of the ball in real-time. In other words, I have a sense for how long it’s going to take from the time I hit the putt until the ball rolls in the hole.
Have you ever had that thought before? It could be an incredible exercise for you to go to the green with a partner and use the stopwatch feature on your smartphone to time how long the ball rolls for different putts. If it’s uphill versus downhill it will take less time going up because you will need to hit the ball harder to reach the hole. It will take more time coming downhill because you do not need as much energy or speed on the ball to get the putt to roll the right distance.
The next drill is to guess the time that it takes for the ball to roll to the cup and then see if your correct with the stopwatch. Try and improve your estimation for the period of time the ball rolls.
I sometimes demonstrate in my clinic by hitting a putt with my eyes closed and calling out when I think my ball will stop rolling. I am pretty good at this. Maybe you should give it a try. If you are good at estimating the time the ball will roll that tells me you’re seeing the roll of the ball in real-time which should help your lag putting.
Putt Great and Score Low.