The key to a pure putting roll? Finding your ‘Speed-steady’ zone

August 18, 2018

Alright, so you’ve got a speed problem. You leave birdie putts short and smash those par-savers right on by.

Chances are you abide by the misconstrued advice that you must accelerate the putterhead through impact. The number of weekend players I catch whizzing through the hitting zone on their way to a three-putt or worse is astonishing. “Spiking your putts,” as I call it, is deadly. There’s no way to effectively control distance, and you’re likely to be twisting the putterface as you step on the gas. Decelerating is no picnic either. The easy fix: Think of impact as a “speed-steady” zone. Here’s how it works.

Prep for Pace

As you stand over the putt, picture an area that extends two to three inches on each side of the ball. This is your “speed-steady” zone, and your goal is to keep the putter moving at a consistent pace all the way through this area. You shouldn’t have to put much thought into anything else.

Left: Focus on feeling the momentum of the putter head, and not as much on the pushing motion.
Right: Let the putter rise after contact, creating just enough oomph, rolling the ball end over end.

Zone out, Zone in

Assuming you’ve already judged the length of your stroke and the line you want the ball to start on, focus on pace. Take your putter back evenly, then let it drop naturally from the top into the speed-steady zone. Feel the momentum of the head swinging down on its own.

Let it Rise

As the putter moves forward, allow it to rise through impact. This puts just enough loft on the putt to ensure a smooth roll. Even here, continue to refrain from over-accelerating. Consistent speed though the ball will make you silky smooth—and a putting machine.