What’s Your Speed?

When it comes to putting there is more than one way to get it done.  Getting it done simply means getting the ball in the hole in the least amount of strokes.  Speed is King when it comes to putting and, in fact, the line cannot be determined without committing to a certain speed. 

Many players will expound that dying the ball in the hole is the only way to putt and yet others believe that hitting putts firm is better.  Dying the ball at the hole leaves shorter follow up putts but it also increases the capture the size of the hole.  Capture size just means how much of the hole will actually capture the ball based on the speed at which the ball is travelling when it gets there.  But, what if dying the ball at the hole does not fit your mentality of how you approach the game?  Many players with an aggressive style of play tend to hit putts firmer as this is consistent with how they hit all shots.  The late Arnold Palmer is a great example which comes to mind.

So what does this all mean?  When you are reading a putt you have options as to the combination of line and speed that you can use.  You can take a low line with lots of speed, a medium line with medium speed or a high line with low speed.  You don’t have to use the same approach on every putt, but you will be more successful if you commit to one of the options on each putt.  Much of the struggles that people face in putting come down to simply not committing specifically to a line and speed combination. 

This becomes more relevant as you get closer to the hole where some players feel much more comfortable hitting putts with more speed.  Take the time to go through your routine in practice and see which approach suits you on different types of putts.

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