Out of the Bunker: Paying close attention to length of the putting stroke

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How closely do you pay attention to the length of your putting stroke? Some of you may think that you do, but most of you probably do not. I notice a common flaw in most putting strokes I see around the golf course. The putting stroke is too long.

You’ve probably heard the analogy that your putter should “swing like a pendulum.”

Heck, I’ve worked on this concept myself in the past.

The idea being that your putter should swing back and through the same distance.

However, this generally leads to a putter decelerating on the forward swing. Once your putter decelerates, you’ve already missed the putt.

A good way to stop decelerating on your putts is to shorten the length of your putting stroke.

A shorter stroke encourages you to accelerate through the putt. This is a good thing.

Acceleration on your through swing helps to keep the putter face square, as well as getting your ball to start on it’s intended line.

A great way to practice a shorter stroke is to start with some short putts, as short as two-feet. Once you are prepared to strike the putt, place a tee a few inches behind your ball.

The objective is to stop your backstroke before hitting that tee, and proceed to accelerate through the putt.

There is no magic distance that you should focus on shortening your stroke. All that is important is that you shorten it to the point that you MUST accelerate forward in order for the ball to reach the hole.

A good visual for you is to imagine your ball sitting in the middle of a shoe box. You should be able to take the putter back and follow through with out striking any part of the box. Learn to do this and your putter will maintain it’s aim, thus allowing you to begin making many more putts.

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