Short putts on fast greens are nothing to be feared. It is true that fast greens mean that the ball will move extremely quickly on them.
But fast greens are also very true greens, so the ball holds the line that you have hit it along very well, meaning you have the chance to hole lots of putts.
An average putter will tend to hit their putts too hard on fast greens and the golf ball will easily end up six to eight feet past the hole, making the putt back very difficult. To counter this and not hit the ball too far past the hole, an average putter will then decelerate through impact, in an attempt to not hit the ball too hard and as a result the ball will only be hit half way to the hole.
The key to putting well on fast greens is to be positive in your approach. Indecision leads to poor putts so have a positive mind set when you approach the putt. Read the green and remember that faster greens will have more break on them than standard pace greens. If you see a slope on the green that will affect the putt, remember it will break more than usual so allow for this.
Once you have read the green, pick a spot half way along the target line of the putt. Work on “trickling” the putt over this spot, roll the ball slowly and gently. To do this focus on keeping your tempo constant. Imagine a metronome ticking slowly but rhythmically. With this slower tempo, this slower ticking back and forth, you need to swing the putter to this slower rhythm back and forth. With this slower rhythm, if you keep your swing relatively small and on the back swing and follow through, you will be able to make a positive stroke that strikes the ball gently, allowing you to control the distance that the ball travels. Ensure that you keep relaxed so that your hold remains light when you make the putt. Getting tense and holding too firmly will cause you to alter your tempo and quicken it, producing a putt that travels too far for the required distance.
A great way to practice making a positive but slow tempo stroke would be to practice hitting putts on a hard surface, where the ball will travel really quickly. A wooden floor is absolutely ideal to practice on as the ball will travel really quickly across this surface. Set a cup on its side so that you have a target to work on rolling the ball into. Practice making a putting stroke where you work on stroking the ball with a slow tempo, rather than hitting it towards the target. Focus on the tick, tock, that you would hear a metronome making and work on this tick, tock, being slow and smooth. Once you are comfortable with this slower tempo, begin putting towards the target, getting the ball to roll gently along the target that you have selected.
This will get you feeling much more comfortable and positive with quick putts and the next time you are playing a course with fast greens, you will be more capable of coping with them, by adjusting the tempo of your stroke.