o you’re faced with a three metre putt. There’s no break and it’s on a perfectly flat surface. To hole it, you need to have two things correct – the speed and the target line. Let’s look at these simple concepts but add in some surprising statistics.
Speed control is the number one key to better putting. Trackman provides a data parameter called entry speed – this is the speed that the ball is travelling once it arrives at the hole. If you’ve never seen yours, you need to. Statistics show that a ball with an entry speed of 1.68 mph is going to give the player the best chance of not only holing the putt, but if it misses, it is close enough to avoid three putting. The great thing is this number is achievable for everyone. Practising your speed control, rather that trying to create the perfect putting stroke will give you greater margin for error. Even if your line is out, correct speed can still allow the ball to drop in.
Launch direction is the line which you start the putt. A launch direction of 0 degrees indicates a putt that starts straight at the hole. However, with good entry speed, a player can have a differential of up to 1 degree either way and still expect the three metre putt to go in. I’m sure we’ve all tried to create the perfect putting stroke however statistics show that face angle has an 87%effect on launch direction while you club path only has a 13% effect. With a correct face angle having such a dominant bearing on your launch direction, a player with an inconsistent club path can still achieve excellent putting results.
To summarise so far, practice that entry speed of 1.68mphand a launch direction between -1 and +1 degrees on that three metre putt. As you get more consistent at achieving these two numbers, you’ll start to see a Tempo number around two or greater. This is the speed of the back swing divided by the speed of the forward swing. Basically, we are looking for a forward stroke that is twice the speed of the back stroke. Once you can consistently get a tempo of two or more, start working on longer putts – still with the same entry speed, the same launch direction and the same tempo. The only thing that changes is you stroke length – the three key parameters all remain the same.
To get your putting numbers, speak to one of our PGA Professionals. Work on these three numbers and you will reduce your putts per round!!!