Putting – Line or Speed?

Putting is difficult, easy, rewarding and frustrating all at the same time. This fundamental stroke is the focus of relentless discussion by the experts. How to hold the club; blade or mallet head; fat or thin grip; lag or aggressive; I could to on and on, but I think you get my point. The changing variables of putting are vast and fluid at best. Yet, sometimes a simple tip is all that is required to simplify matters and help lower your golf score!

How many times have we heard the expression by a golf announcer on TV, “At least he missed on the pro side!” This is a very peculiar statement that requires some explaining because it is important to this putting tip.

The ‘pro side’ in putting refers to the side of the hole that is higher in elevation. As you can see in the picture below, as the ball approaches the hole, there is a break from right to left; hence the right side is the ‘pro side’. It is very  important for this tip to we can recognize the ‘pro side’ when putting.

In putting, there is always debate about which is more important: speed or line! Through the years, I felt that speed is the most important aspect to making more putts, however I think I will revisit my approach.

Line Vs Speed

Keep the picture above in mind for the following paragraph, it will offer a strong visual perspective. If I were to miss a putt that has a right to left break, it is generally short and to the left. As a matter of fact, most (and I mean 95%) of missed putts are short and to the left and my return putt is always longer than I had hoped. Over the years, I have always blamed my speed for the misses, but now I am not so sure!

Watch the video below as the geometry of putting is explained! I found it fascinating.

According to John Graham, line is more important than speed. To make more putts or even to lag the putts closer, playing more of a break when putting is the smart mathematical thing to do! The more I think about it, I believe this is a great tip and explains so much about my short game.

As demonstrated in the video above, the percentages of sinking the putt or having a tap in prove that taking more line will help lower your golf score. Thus, the take away for me is to take more break when putting so that if I happen to miss, it is on the ‘pro side’!

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

7 thoughts on “Putting – Line or Speed?

  1. Pingback: A Practice Round in Golf – The Grateful Golfer

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