Failure to accelerate through the ball is a primary cause of missed short putts. If you tend to pull putts from inside five feet, you’re probably decelerating.
The best way to ingrain an accelerating motion is to make the backstroke shorter than the follow-through. Try this drill, which involves no backstroke at all, if you’re struggling to hole out from close range:
- Start by placing a few balls very close to the hole (no more than a foot or two away).
- Address the first ball in your usual manner and, without taking the putter back, push it into the hole.
- Follow through with the putter, holding the finish for a full count after the ball drops.
- Repeat for at least five minutes, moving outward from the hole as you gain better feel. Pushing the ball through, and making sure your putter face is still on the right line.
This drill works because it’s impossible to push the ball without accelerating past it.
After a session, practice from the same length by making a short backstroke and striking putts firmly.