Practice speed control on the green with this simple drill

woman lines up a putt

Managing speed on the green requires an understanding of how to manipulate the collision between putter and ball.

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Most golfers already know that the length of your putting stroke dictates how far your ball will travel on a green. But did you know that the speed with which you swing your putter also influences the speed?

While that may come as no surprise to some of you, it can be difficult to practice. Below is a quick drill to help you start to understand the collision between the putter and the ball, and how it affects your speed on the green.

One thing to always keep in mind is that the softer the collision, the slower the ball will roll, and the firmer the collision, the faster the ball will roll. When you start to practice this, you will find that you will start to have more control on downhill and uphill putts.

Play this fun indoor putting game to improve your speed control
By: Zephyr Melton

How to practice speed control

Grab three balls and drop them one foot from a hole on the practice putting green.

Start with trying to putt the first one in as softly as you possibly can, then putt the second one a little firmer, and on the third, go ahead and smash it.

I recommend doing this until you can visually see a difference in each speed.

My favorite part about this drill is the immediate feedback you can receive by testing yourself. Find an uphill and downhill putt to see if you have more control over the speed the ball is rolling. Next, enjoy those saved strokes on the green! 

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Sarah R. Stone, PGA, is the Director of Instruction at the Chevy Chase Club in Maryland.

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