Putt Speed

I’m a big believer in keeping things simple on the golf course. The game is hard, and trying to do, or think of, too much just compounds an already difficult challenge.

I’ve picked out a couple of basic things to do on my two or three trips to the golf course each week. They’re my focus. I’m not worried about score. (It’s pretty pointless, really.) I just want to make more consistent swings and sharpen up on the greens. The scoring will take care of itself. And if it doesn’t, I’ll enjoy golf anyway.

One of the two basic things is putt speed. I used to be a good to very good putter. Now that I’m older and don’t play (or practice) much, I can be an OK to good putter, or a pretty stinky putter.

So much of the game is on the greens. I realized the other day I needed to simplify to improve my putting. I play a course that has relatively fast greens with a fair amount of slope and undulations. I decided to concentrate on one thing: speed.

The lines can be hard to pick out, but I figure if I can get the speed right, my putts will end closer to the hole — and some might actually drop. It worked well today. I didn’t have a three-putt and burned the edge on three birdie putts at the 2nd, 6th and 8th holes. (I made about a 10-footer for birdie on 7.)

I was happy to shoot 39 after being four over for the first five holes. (Not that score matters.)

The Armchair Golfer

Photo of author
Neil Sagebiel

7 thoughts on “Putt Speed”

  1. Good article…speed, I think, is always better than line. For those of us who suffer from the yips, the long putter is almost like a gift from heaven. For that reason, I suspect it’ll be outlawed in the fairly near future.

  2. Great post. I believe speed is important, too. One thing in addition to that I’ve been working really hard on is ball position. Whether off the tee, using metals, middle-long irons, chipping, pitching, and yes, putting–if you put the ball in the same place in relation to your body every time you can own a repeatable swing–and alignment will fall into place.

  3. Speed kills, but not in golf. Get it right and the score will come. Don’t forget that it’s not practice that makes perfect, it’s perfect practice that makes perfect (Dave Pelz).

  4. Once I gave up obsessing over the line and began obsessing over the speed, my putting has improved as well. I’ve gone from being a very streaky putter to a mediocre putter in just one season. 😀


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