Former tour pro David Hobby offers insight into putting on fast greens
It’s no secret that better performance on the greens leads to lower numbers on the scorecard. And when it comes to putting on speedy surfaces like the ones we’ll see this week at Augusta National, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve that will help you get the ball in the hole quicker.
“Tighter, firmer turf offers less resistance to the golf ball, allowing gravity to pull the ball further down a slope,” said former tour pro and Rolling Hills Country Club PGA Lead Golf Instructor David Hobby. “One of my favorite techniques for reading the green is picturing the sprinklers running and visualizing the direction the water would flow.”
Here are 3 other tips to help sink more putts on the speedy greens:
Going through the motions
One of the main things to remember is that shorter, firmer strokes tend to produce better and more consistent distance control compared to longer, slower strokes. On long putts, solid contact is key to distance control, and the less body movement, the better. For those short, slippery putts, it can help to focus on moving both ends of the putter through the stroke, making sure to avoid stopping the grip end of the club at impact.
Making forward progress
Here’s a good drill for the practice green: Put a ball no more than 2 feet from the hole. Set your putter so that it touches the ball with the club face aimed toward the hole. Remove your trailing hand from the club and put it behind your back. With only the lead hand on the putter grip, roll the ball into the hole with no backstroke. This will help ingrain the feel of both ends of the club moving toward the target through impact.
Here’s another drill: Hit a putt 20-30 feet. Putt again from the same location, trying to leave your ball short of and within one club length of the first putt. The third putt you hit must end up short of and within one club length of the second putt. See how many putts in succession you can hit without hitting too far or too short. When unsuccessful, try again. Change the direction that you are putting with each new start. This drill helps with speed, distance control, touch and feel, especially on longer putts.
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