You’re hitting greens all day long, striking the ball beautifully, and leaving yourself makeable birdie putts on almost every hole. Unfortunately, you don’t have any confidence on the putting green and end up missing all of them. This is the case all too often with many golfers. It doesn’t just plague the high handicapper but also the scratch more experienced one as well. It’s as if putting were a different game all on its own. There are many things that might cause putting issues however there is one that sticks out the most.
I have seen it for almost ten years now and it never fails. Most of us struggle with it and it causes us to miss those crucial putts. It can frustrate you beyond belief and turn a great ball striking round into a miserable non-scoring one real quick.
What does decelerating during the putting stroke mean?
When a player decelerates during their putting stroke they slow the putter head down as it approaches the ball. The most common reason is the fact that they take too long of a backstroke. This forces them to have to decelerate on their forward stroke. The speed at which the ball rolls off the putter face is just as important as the direction in which it starts. You might be a great reader of putts, but if your speed is off you might fall under or over the line you read, hit it way past the hole, or even worse leave it completely short.
About the Student, Hayley Kaplan
I started golf when I was three years old with my dad as my teacher. Started to take it more seriously when I was 7, then tournaments when I was 9 with the MET PGA. Played competitively all through high school playing IJGT and AJGA my junior and senior year of high school, then some through college. Took a year off for my studies but now I’m back playing competitive golf.
Follow Hayley on Instagram @hayley_kaps
Hayley plays to a single digit handicap yet because of a tendency to decelerate her putts, she struggles on the green at times. So we’ve been working on a simple drill that forces her to accelerate during her putting stroke making sure she commits to her line and starts to have more confidence on the greens. The drill is as follows:
2Taking the Putter Back
As you take the putter back, we have to be aware and know how to control the length of our backstroke. For example in the image below, Hayley is taking the putter back only as far as her right foot.,
3Forward Putting Stroke
It might seem scary to speed up the head of the putter thru impact at first; but then again, if you’re always decelerating then that’s exactly what I want you to feel. Remember that as you decelerate, the putter head has a higher chance of being manipulated to being either open or closed at impact due to poor contact. Commit to the line you read and accelerate through to the finish. In time you will never miss a putt short or under the break. Especially those crucial 6 footers you might have for par or even birdie.
There is no reason you can’t be a great putter. So give this drill a try and you’ll be surprised.
Marvin Sangüesa is a PGA Professional Golf Coach based at the Joey D Golf Performance Center in Jupiter, Florida.
More information about Marvin Sangüesa is available on his website www.marvinsanguesa.com and on Youtube where he posts regular instructional videos. You can also follow Marvin online on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram.