5 tips to master putting on fast greens

Quick greens are difficult for many recreational golfers, but these five tips can give you confidence even on the fastest greens.

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Fast greens can be a challenge, but it can also be a ton of fun. Typically, the better the player, the more comfortable they are on quick and firm greens.

For those of you who may not fit into this category, here are five tips to help you to master fast greens, much like the players are facing this week at Augusta National.

1. Setup and technique matter

Lightning fast greens will hold you to a higher standard when it comes to your technique. You need to get into a proper setup with good posture to be successful. Make sure your arms hang underneath your shoulders and that you have a proper ball position to produce the correct path during your stroke. I like to see the shoulders and forearms relatively parallel to the line on your putter face. This directly affects the path that the putter will swing along. A neutral path is very important on fast greens as it contributes to square and consistent contact and can affect the start line.

2. Be still

One of the greatest challenges in putting is keeping your head and body still throughout your stroke. Heads that move, often causing weight shift or changing shoulder line, can lead to inconsistent stroke paths and distance control. When you make a putting stroke, you want the only variable to control distance to be the length of your back stroke. If you incorrectly shift your weight during the stroke, it can add power and make it nearly impossible to consistently control distance. Practice in a mirror and get good at not having any head or body motion in your stroke.

3. Distance control is a must

The ability to control distance is a must on fast greens. A true stroke, that is even in tempo, stroke size and grip pressure, will make it much easier to allow the length of the back stroke to control distance. Make sure you practice both uphill and downhill putts to get a feel for your stroke length needed for various distances.

4. Get a putter that fits

Fast greens require precision, and having a putter that fits you is important. Make sure your wand is not only the proper length, but the correct weight, too. A heavier putter can be helpful on faster greens, as it can be easier to feel the swinging weight of the putterhead. It will also tend to swing more slowly due to the increased head weight which is preferable on quick greens.

5. Increase the break you play

Fast greens are quick because of shorter grass, which produces less friction. This causes putts to break more, especially on downhill putts. My students tend to be surprised at how much break they need to play on putts, especially on quick greens. Do your best not to under-read the break, and give every putt a chance to go in on the high side of the hole.

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