Acceleration On Short Golf Putts (Video)
Acceleration On Short Golf Putts (Video)

You so if you're really keen that you'd like to stop decelerating on your putts. You know we've gone over the reasons why decelerating is a bad thing we've covered the the reasons why decelerating might be happening so the opposite to decelerating is clearly accelerating. We'd like to accelerate the putter through the back of a golf ball so had we practiced that what we need to work on well actually if you've been watching a couple of these videos you might notice I've got myself quite a tricky little putt here it's downhill it's left to right it's a little bit awkward and it's a very difficult putt to practice accelerating on because it's downhill with a lot of brake kinda goes against the concept of hitting the ball hard. So what I would consider a better place to be to practice accelerating is actually to put up the hill.

Now I'm going to turn my back to you and I apologize for doing that but it's just so I can get an uphill putt I'm going to try and stand on a relatively flat line here and will try and accelerate to my putting stroke so if you want to get the putter to go shorter on the way back longer on the way through. Which is a great accelerating struck out encourage you to find a patch of your putting green that's uphill and not mega quick you know if you'll start on the greens Augusta sloping down here and you tickle it you haven't really learned to accelerate the putter so a nice even paced or relatively slow green and up hill is probably better they can maybe see from the back there. My stroke is short a long short but long through and as I'm hitting puts here I'm really keen that I try and get the ball to go up to if not slightly past the hole regardless of whether this putt goes in I wouldn't want to leave it short a classic deceleration would be big there short there and the ball doesn't reach the hole so one more here trying to get it to the hole short on the way back longer on the way through accelerating and I'm hitting these puts the your on the hole. That gives them the best chance of going in going in or not is not relevant for this drill at the moment I'm just focused on the accelerating on those uphill putts to try and get the ball to have a chance rather than decelerating leaving it short because that one is never going in.

2017-10-03

Every golfer knows the feeling of fear that often comes along with facing a short putt.

Acceleration on Short Golf Putts

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like short putts should be all that intimidating. There is only a couple of feet left to reach the hole, and you don’t have to worry about hitting a hook or slice like you do when making a full swing. Just tap the ball toward the hold and watch it fall in – how hard could it be?

Well, as it turns out, short putts can be extremely difficult. While there is some degree of physical challenge in place here, most of the challenge that you will deal with is mental in nature. Your mind has a way of playing tricks on you when a short putt is all that stands between you and completing a hole successfully. The pressure that you will likely place on yourself to knock these putts is immense, and the nerves that you experience will make it hard to let your true talent shine through.

For proof of exactly what pressure can do to you on short putts, head out to a local practice green and hit some three-foot putts for a few minutes. If you pick a putt that has little to no break, chances are you’ll make almost all of them. Why? Simple – there’s no pressure. You don’t really care if you make or miss in this setting, so you just rock the putter through the ball and tap the ball in. It really isn’t a hard task, and most golfers with even a little bit of experience can make it happen.

So, at this point, the challenge should be clear – to make short putts, you need to overcome the mental obstacles that will stand in your way on the course. However, this is where things start to get complicated again. Mental hurdles can manifest in physical ways, so you will wind up needing to address physical mistakes which are caused by pressure that impacts your mental game. That might sound confusing, but it should make sense if you think it through for a moment. To repeat, your problems with short putts will almost certainly be related to your mental game, but those problems are going to be seen in the form of struggles with your technique. By knowing how your technique can fall apart when you feel pressure, you may be able to avoid trouble and knock these putts in more often than not.

All of the content below is based on a right-handed golfer. If you happen to play left-handed, please take a moment to reverse the directions as necessary.

The Value of Acceleration

The Value of Acceleration

When you think about acceleration in golf, you probably think first about moving the club quickly through the hitting area on long shots. With your driver, for example, you certainly want to speed the club up through the ball as aggressively as possible, in order to generate plenty of speed and distance. But what about with the putter? Surely, acceleration won’t matter as much in this part of the game, since you don’t need to produce the same kind of power you need for your other shots. Right?

Wrong. Accelerating through the ball is extremely important when hitting putts. There are a number of benefits you will enjoy when the putter head speeds up as it moves forward, including the following –

  • Hit your line. You aren’t going to make putts if you struggle to hit your target line accurately. This is true on short putts just as it is true on long putts. When the putter accelerates nicely through the ball, you will have a much better chance of actually hitting the line you’ve picked out for the putt. You should be able to keep the blade of your putter square to the target line, which will cause the ball to leave in the right direction. When you make the mistake of decelerating the putter head as it swings forward, you’ll probably have trouble hanging onto that square position. The face of the putter may open or close – even just slightly – which will cause the ball to leave in the wrong direction, and the putt will miss. To improve on your ability to find the right line with great consistency, learn how to accelerate the putter head on each and every stroke.
  • Find the right pace. Hitting the correct lines with your putts is important, of course, but using the right pace is just as important if you want to be successful on the greens. The ability to roll the ball the right distance is something that sets good putters apart from the rest of the golfers on the course. As it turns out, your ability to roll putts the right speed is tied, at least in part, to your ability to accelerate the putter head smoothly. By accelerating in the same way over and over again, you will get better and better at controlling your speed. It tends to be the players who let the putter head slow down as it swings toward the ball who struggle with dialing in the right speed on the greens.
  • Make solid contact. It’s easy to think that you only need to make good contact when hitting full shots, but you also need to strike the ball nicely with your putter if you are going to have success. The task is easier here than it is with a full swing, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can take it for granted. If you are willing to work on learning how to accelerate the club properly, you should find that the way you strike the ball with your putter becomes cleaner and more reliable. The center of the putter face will find the back of the ball with great frequency, and your overall results should trend in the right direction.

Simply put, your putting performance is going to get better if you learn how to accelerate through the ball. While this article is specifically talking about handling short putts, it should be noted that you will want to accelerate the putter on every stroke – no matter the distance at hand.

The Pressure Roadblock

The Pressure Roadblock

With enough practice, you should be able to learn how to accelerate the putter through the ball consistently. It isn’t that hard to create this habit in your putting stroke – at least, on the practice green, that is. When you get out onto the course during an actual round of golf, you may find that your reliable, accelerating stroke suddenly goes missing.

What happens? There are a number of potential mental roadblocks that you can crash into when you make the transition from putting in practice to putting for real. Even if you aren’t playing a tournament, or even playing with other golfers, you are still likely to feel pressure when putting. Most golfers care about their score during a given round, and you are probably no different. The fact that you care about the results means you’ll feel pressure, and that pressure can lead to trouble in terms of your technique. Let’s talk a little more about how pressure can get in your way on the greens.

  • Loss of focus. One of the biggest issues is simply that you will lose some of your ability to focus on the task at hand when you are feeling nervous. Your mind will be distracted by thoughts of what will happen if you make or miss, so you’ll have trouble executing on your standard technique. Focus is extremely important in golf, and that is just as true on the greens as it is anywhere else. You probably will never manage to completely eliminate nerves from your game, but you do need to find a way to manage them well enough to stay focused when making a putting stroke.
  • Tentative forward motion. This really gets to the heart of the matter of what we are talking about in this article. When nervous, you may find that you struggle to actually accelerate the club toward the hole time after time. Even if everything else in your stroke is in good condition, it’ll be tough to summon the courage to swing the putter through the ball with confidence and aggression. This is a problem, as failing to accelerate means you will likely be decelerating – and you will face the many problems that come along with that mistake. Whether it results in your ball missing the target line or just coming up short of the target, the results are not going to be what you have in mind when you fail to accelerate.
  • Shaky hands. If you are particularly nervous about a given putt, you may find that your hands actually begin to shake a bit before making the stroke. That’s a problem, as you need to be able to hold the putter still and steady as you swing it back and through. When you notice this starting to happen, it might be best to take a step back and use a deep breath or two to calm yourself down and reset. You can’t make the nerves totally go away on the golf course, but hopefully you’ll be able to settle in enough to put to stop to any shaking that might be taking place.
  • Elevated heart rate. This is a point that can go right along with the issue of shaky hands. It is quite common for a golfer’s heart rate to be elevated slightly when getting ready to hit an important putt from short range. The issue here is that when you start to notice your elevated heart rate, it may make you even more nervous, sending you into a spiral of nerves and tension. Taking a moment for a deep breath can help here, just like it hopefully was able to help on the previous point.
  • Second thoughts. When you aren’t particularly nervous, the process of getting ready for a putt, and then hitting that putt, is pretty simple. You don’t need to worry about club selection on this shot, since you know that you will be using your putter. The only job you have before the putt itself is to pick out a line and decide what speed you are going to use. For short putts, the speed issue isn’t much of a factor, so it’s all about getting the line right. You pick out a line and then you step up to the ball and get ready to make your stroke. Unfortunately, when nerves are a part of the equation, you may find that you begin to doubt your chosen line before the stroke begins. As you are standing over the ball, you might think ‘I should aim a little farther to the right’, or ‘to the left’, or whatever. These are not good adjustments to make, as you had a better view of the slope of the green from behind the ball than you do from your position at address. You’ll need to trust your reads and stick with them if you are going to perform well on short putts.

There are numerous ways in which pressure can cause trouble when facing short putts. The list above includes most of the major issues you are likely to encounter, but you may find that your problems stem from points that aren’t actually included here. Pay close attention to your performance on short putts and always keep in mind how pressure may or may not be impacting your ability to knock the ball in from short range.

Making Practice Pay Off

Making Practice Pay Off

When the time comes to work on your short putting, you want to make sure that your efforts are not wasted. Too many golfers think they are making progress by just wandering onto the practice green and passing a half an hour rolling the ball back and forth across the putting surface. That type of practice is probably better than nothing, but not by much. If you are going to make meaningful, significant progress with your ability to make short putts, you need to focus your practice on the things that are going to move you forward.

With that in mind, let’s talk about some practice tips that you should consider for your upcoming visits to the putting green.

  • A short putt session. Since short putts seem fairly easy, it is common to overlook them in practice. You might think that your long putting needs more work, so you may end up mostly hitting putts of more than 30 feet. Those kinds of putts need to be practiced, of course, but you shouldn’t stop there. Make sure to carve out at least some of your time on the practice green to work on short putts. Place several golf balls down just three feet or so from a hole and roll them all in. Work your way around the hole repeating this process, to make sure that you face all different types of putts before you are finished. Even if you only practice short putts for ten minutes at the end of every session, you may be surprised to find how much you can improve.
  • Follow-through longer than backstroke. This is a great little tip to keep in mind while practicing your short putts. Do your best to move the putter farther forward as you follow through than you moved it back in the backstroke. So, in other words, if the putter swung six inches back, try to swing it through seven or eight inches. Of course, you don’t need to take precise measurements to evaluate this point – just keep it in mind as a general guideline. If you are successfully swinging the putter farther through than you swung it on the way back, there is a good chance you are accelerating in the forward stroke. It is the players who stop their forward stroke shortly after making contact with the ball who usually get in trouble with deceleration.
  • Find ways to create pressure. As should be clear by now, the main task that you have in front of you when trying to improve your short putting is learning how to deal with pressure. It’s the pressure that makes short putts hard, so you shouldn’t be surprised if you make more of them in practice than you make on the course. You might not be able to exactly replicate the pressure you find on the course during practice, but you should be able to get close. One of the best methods you can use is to attempt to build a long streak of made short putts. For example, you can find a spot on the practice green to hit three footers, and you can set a goal of making 25 in a row. That might sound like a lot, but it’s a very achievable goal for most players (assuming the green is flat in that section – a sloped three-footer will be much more difficult). At first, you won’t feel any pressure, since you’ll just be rolling some putts during practice. However, as you get closer to that 25-made-putts goal, you may notice that you start to get a little tight. It will be harder to accelerate the putter, and you may start to look up early to see if the ball is going to go in. This is exactly the point of this drill, and you can use these practice nerves to learn how to perform under pressure on the course. Do your best to focus on your fundamentals and keep making the best possible stroke, despite your nerves over a possible miss. When you do find yourself in a nervous situation on the course sometime soon, you can look back on this practice session and draw confidence.

Expecting to get better at golf without practicing is a foolish thought. You have to practice to make progress in this difficult game, and we hope the tips listed above will help you get the most possible benefit out of those practice sessions.

On-Course Mental Strategies

On-Course Mental Strategies

Practice is the key to your improvement on short putts, but at some point, you are going to leave the practice green behind and head onto the course. Are you able to take your improvements with you, or will you fall back into bad habits? Many golfers are surprised to find just how difficult it can be to carry progress over from practice into actual rounds of golf.

Of course, this issue is mostly a mental one. The pressure you feel on the course is going to tempt you to ditch what you have learned in practice in order to go back to what feels comfortable and familiar. You are going to need to resist this temptation until it fades away. Trust what you have done in practice and believe in the progress you are making with your stroke. If you give up now, you’ll never know how good you could have become if you’d have stuck with what was working.

One way you can get over the short putt mental hurdle on the course is to remind yourself that golf is just a game. Yes, you want to make all of your short putts, but what happens if you don’t? You may be a bit disappointed for a few minutes, but you’ll get over it. This is a great game, but it is still a game at the end of the day. There are more important things that a couple of missed short putts during a round of golf. This is a valuable strategy because it puts the game back in perspective and should help you avoid getting too nervous or anxious about any one putt.

We hope you have gained a better understanding of what it takes to make short putts as a result of reading through this article. With consistent practice and an effort to accelerate the putter time after time, you should see more of these tricky shots fall in than ever before. Good luck!

You so if you're really keen that you'd like to stop decelerating on your putts. You know we've gone over the reasons why decelerating is a bad thing we've covered the the reasons why decelerating might be happening so the opposite to decelerating is clearly accelerating. We'd like to accelerate the putter through the back of a golf ball so had we practiced that what we need to work on well actually if you've been watching a couple of these videos you might notice I've got myself quite a tricky little putt here it's downhill it's left to right it's a little bit awkward and it's a very difficult putt to practice accelerating on because it's downhill with a lot of brake kinda goes against the concept of hitting the ball hard. So what I would consider a better place to be to practice accelerating is actually to put up the hill.

Now I'm going to turn my back to you and I apologize for doing that but it's just so I can get an uphill putt I'm going to try and stand on a relatively flat line here and will try and accelerate to my putting stroke so if you want to get the putter to go shorter on the way back longer on the way through. Which is a great accelerating struck out encourage you to find a patch of your putting green that's uphill and not mega quick you know if you'll start on the greens Augusta sloping down here and you tickle it you haven't really learned to accelerate the putter so a nice even paced or relatively slow green and up hill is probably better they can maybe see from the back there. My stroke is short a long short but long through and as I'm hitting puts here I'm really keen that I try and get the ball to go up to if not slightly past the hole regardless of whether this putt goes in I wouldn't want to leave it short a classic deceleration would be big there short there and the ball doesn't reach the hole so one more here trying to get it to the hole short on the way back longer on the way through accelerating and I'm hitting these puts the your on the hole. That gives them the best chance of going in going in or not is not relevant for this drill at the moment I'm just focused on the accelerating on those uphill putts to try and get the ball to have a chance rather than decelerating leaving it short because that one is never going in.