Which is more important when putting, line or speed? If you ask a 100 golfers, most will choose speed as the most important. They suggest that hitting the ball with the correct speed is the only way to make sure we lower our golf scores most of the time. Personally, I am not convinced and here is why.
During the poll above, I found it extremely interesting to read many of the comments relating to which is more important, line or speed. The back and forth between Holmer and MM Golf Studios on Twitter is especially fun to read. Regardless on your point of view, they concluded that both are important, yet could not agree on whether line or speed was king.
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 we can recognize the ‘pro side’ when putting.
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 for an explanation on the geometry of putting. 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.
Here are a couple of other important views on the topic:
The last tweet hits the core of the issue for me. If we are planning to sink the putt (which should be most of the time) then, line has to take priority over speed. If I am playing a lag putt (which is good course management), then speed is definitely key. Line and speed during putting are intertwined, however my vote falls into the line category because I try to make 95% of my putts.
What do you think? Speed or Line?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
Written by Jim Burton from The Grateful Golfer blog.