Deceleration: Deadly During the Putting Stroke Video
Because I see one thing that causes more missed putts than anything else on the golf course, there has to be a deceleration during the stroke. Now deceleration is the slowing down of the golf club, that doesn’t just mean that the putts are going to finish short of the hole, it could also mean the putts are going to finish left or right of the hole. Because like riding a bicycle, if you are riding a bicycle nice and quickly, that easy to go in a straight line. As soon as you ride that bicycle, really slowly, you get a bit wobbly and it starts to go offline and the same thing happens with a putting stroke. You can watch somebody from 30 feet, quite confidently keep that club nice and on line the hole.
You see the same person from three feet and the club starts to wander off a little bit and they start to miss putts because they have got bad line on that putt, because they are not accelerating like they were from a long range. So deceleration in a putting stroke is an absolute no, no. the one thing we might see in your actual stroke is that your backswing is longer and your follow through is shorter, that’s a sure fire sign that you are decelerating. So as this big, backswing and then you get scared of how hard you are going to hit it, so you decelerate and stop the club quite short in the follow through. That’s a surefire sign that the club has slowed down before it hit the ball. It doesn’t hit the ball hard enough, it doesn’t hit the ball on the good enough line. So I would like to say in a putting stroke is quite a sure backswing and a more positive follow through, like a one-third, two-thirds is quite nice and particularly in your practice swing, to tell yourself, one third, two-thirds, one third, two-thirds.
That maybe goes slightly against the classics of the 50:50 either side of the ball putting stroke. But don’t forget, this is sort of an exaggeration to make sure that you are accelerating, not decelerating. So a great way would be rather than going 50:50, go one-third, two-thirds; one-third, two-thirds and make that club speed up as it hits the ball. The other thing to do would be to make sure that actually as you are taking your putt on the course, you don’t just try to get the ball to the hole, but you are trying to get the ball beyond the hole. Ideally, sort of 12 to 18 inches past the hole is good speed, the hole will nicely get in the way at that speed. We don’t want the ball to just dive in the front edge, because the danger then is, if you miss hit that by a couple of inches, suddenly a shot, you have given yourself no margin of error, no leeway.
So if you are consistently struggling to get the ball to the hole, you can't convince yourself to hit it hard enough, is a great practice aid for you on the putting green, before you go out and play. Take one of your shorter clubs, one of your wedges, lay it face down on the floor here. So the leading edge sits flushed to the ground and the shaft sits quite close to the ground as well. And then set up just three feet back from that and here is my hole, here is my three hit put and I am going to try and hit this put on line hard enough, that it jumps over the shaft. Anything where I hit this ball too gently is probably not going to clear the shaft. So I have to be quite positive, quite aggressive with my stroke, one-third back, two-thirds through, get it popping over the shaft and rolling into the hole. So it just gives me this mindset that from three feet, I need quite an aggressive accelerating stroke, rather than a decelerating stroke, that’s not going to get me to the hole.
So practice laying the shaft down in front of the hole, being a bit more assertive, practice running the ball at least 12 to 18 inches beyond the hole on the golf course to be more assertive. And practice the one third, two-third stroke before you hit the ball, that should get rid of any deceleration you have in your putting stroke, and that should improve your distance control and your judgment of line. And ultimately it will save you shots on the golf course.