June 1, 2009

How To Sink The Short Ones

Acceleration is the key

KEEP IT COMPACT Think short putt = short backstroke. You'll hit with a square face.

KEEP IT COMPACT Think short putt = short backstroke.

You'll hit with a square face.

On short putts, amateurs tend to have too long a backstroke and then decelerate through impact. This causes inconsistency in the stroke's rhythm and tempo and a lack of control over distance and direction.

For putts of, say, six feet and closer, your general rule should be to make a short, accelerating stroke. Experiment with trying to halve the length of your current backstroke on these putts and then smoothly accelerate through the ball.

Shortening your stroke will help eliminate any twisting of the clubface through impact -- a common tendency as the stroke gets longer -- and will encourage a simple, repeating motion. This one adjustment should help you hole more short ones.

Based at ChampionsGate near Orlando, Leadbetter runs 27 academies worldwide.