So many amateurs miss short putts because they don't accelerate the putterhead as it approaches the ball. They make a backstroke that's too long and then have to slow down to avoid knocking the ball way past the hole. Decelerating often throws the putterhead off line as well, and the ball misses left or right of the cup.
To correct this, on putts no longer than, say, four to eight feet, try to make a short backstroke and then accelerate through the ball. A simple drill on the practice green that will help is to place a tee a few inches behind the spot where you address the ball. This tee will limit the length of the backstroke and ensure that you accelerate the putterhead to get the ball to the hole. Acceleration will help keep the putterhead and ball on the line you choose.
*Based at ChampionsGate near Orlando, David Leadbetter operates 28 golf academies worldwide. *