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Finishing a Putting Stroke like a Pro

Updated on April 14, 2014

Through and Hold

You have your read and know the line. You have figured out the speed of the putt and now you just need to execute the putting stroke in a way that will deliver the ball on your target path and at the correct speed. So how do you do it?

Well, there are a couple of basic principles that are time tested you can apply today to drop more putts. First you must accelerate through the ball. The ideal rate of acceleration is close to the acceleration of gravity. Without getting too technical, think of how fast an object drops from 2 feet compared to being dropped from 2". This difference in speed is due to the acceleration of gravity. Drop a golf ball a few times to see for yourself. Now to apply this, think of moving the putter head forward through the ball at an increasing speed similar to the way a ball speeds up as it is dropped from 2 feet. Ideally acceleration is a smooth increase in speed over the length of the putt.

Try putting a ball a few times with varying increases in acceleration. You will notice if you go too fast, the putter will be difficult to keep on line and move around, off the intended target line. Now try putting with very low acceleration. You will notice that controlling ball speed with low acceleration or deceleration into the ball is very difficult. As you find the sweet spot of acceleration you will notice the ball travels more consistently on the target line and the speed consistency also goes up significantly.

The next consideration is finishing the putting stroke. Next time you watch a pro golf tournament, watch carefully how the professional golfers stop the putter and hold it at the end of the stroke for a brief moment. Holding the finish helps ensure the putter face is driven through the ball along the intended target line. The hold also ensures the putting stroke is made with commitment.


Wrapping up the putting stroke

reducing putts per round is dependent on several key factors:

  • Accelerate through the ball at impact
  • Hold the finish at the end of the stroke
  • Consider any putt executed on the intended line at the intended putting stroke speed as a putt executed to plan, and a good putt

Get ready for lower scores and higher % putts dropped at shorter distances.

Commit to the line and speed

Commitment to the line and speed are more important than most any other aspect of the putting stroke. When finishing with this simple hold at the end of the stroke, the swing has been properly completed and the best possible stroke executed. In order to sink more putts, a commitment and satisfaction around that commitment must be made. This opens a paradox in that a missed putt executed the right way must actually be viewed as a good putt.

The start of self doubt and yips begins when a golfer second guesses what they did wrong. Essentially any putt executed according to the read of the line and speed, accelerated through the ball, and held at the finish is a good putt regardless of where the ball ends up. Viewing the putting game this way will show improvement on your putts per round and before long, all the short putts will be dropping.

The 3 foot knee knocker

What is your confidence making a 3 foot putt?

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John Daly showing perfect form after striking the ball

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