How to fine-tune your speed control

April 24, 2017

To sink more putts from inside 10 feet—especially ones that break—you need good speed control. Hit it too hard and the ball will power through the break; hit it too softly and the ball will curve too much. These two putting drills will help you develop a more consistent pace to your breaking putts.


Find a right-to-left breaker on the practice green and stick two tees in front of the hole about an inch apart. Your goal is to hit the putt around the tees with just enough speed to get the ball to drop into the cup from the “high” side of the hole (that is, the side that’s farther up the slope). If you try to smash the ball through the break, you’ll hit the tees. Conversely, if you baby the putt, the ball will run out of gas and finish below the tees, on the low side. Hit a few right-to-left putts this way, then repeat the drill with a left-to-right breaking putt.


As with the drill above, start with a right-to-left breaking putt. Reposition the tee on the right (as you look from the ball to the hole) so that it forms a “gate” with the other tee, about the same width as the hole. This time, try to roll each putt with just enough speed to make the ball take the break and drop through the gate and into the hole. Once you get a feel for the proper speed, move the gate to the other side of the hole and practice left-to-right breaking putts the same way. If you spend just 10 minutes on these drills every time you practice, you’ll soon be breaking the bank on money putts.