Speed Putting is a technique to free up your putting
and turn it more into a reactionary motion.
Most golfers would putt better if they took less time over their putts. The longer you take, the more time there is for your conscious mind to disrupt your putting stroke.
Unfortunately most golfers dwell over their putts too long allowing doubt and tension to creep in.
Golf as a recreational activity is grinding to a halt. With more televised events, the golfing public are watching and copying a sport that is now played in slow motion.
One of the hardest things in golf is being decisive. There is the faulty notion that if you take more care - are more deliberate, you will achieve a more successful outcome. The exact opposite generally applies.
We would all play better if we took less time over our shots, and this applies especially to putting.
The biggest killer in putting is hesitancy. Instead of committing to your stroke, you become bogged down with second thoughts. You look at the hole again and again. Your conscious mind starts to take over. You are no longer on auto-pilot, but caught up in a situation of manual control.
Robert Allenby described how he was dithering over his putts. Once his head returned to the ball, he would spend too much time staring at the ball. This caused him to tighten up and make bad strokes.
There are several golfers, Aaron Baddeley and Brandt Snedeker in particular, whose putting I greatly admire. Both display a freedom in their putting stroke that is an inspiration to how we all could putt.
Aaron Baddeley's routine is a perfect example of what is meant by Speed Putting. His technique is simple. You pick your aimline (target line), walk to your ball, set up, take one look at the hole and your putt is away under five seconds.
Most of us do the opposite. We keep looking back and forth to the hole as if to reassure ourselves. The unnecessary delay allows time for unwanted thoughts and indecision to slip into our mind.
Dr Bob Rotella in his DVD with Brad Faxon Putt to Win demonstrates a drill that helps you once you have set up to the ball. It is called 'Look and Shoot'.
The drill is: Take one look at the path of the putt, follow it from the hole back to the ball, and without a second look at the hole, start your putting stroke.
In short you are only allowed to look at the hole once, no practice strokes, and you hit it. There is no time to be careful.
A new putting routine will feel uncomfortable at first because it is hard to change a habit. The trick is to do all your analysis and thinking behind the ball. Then step in smartly, and with only one look put a smooth stroke on the ball.
The 'Look and Shoot' in Speed Putting is a tough discipline to follow. There is the always temptation to peep one more time just to be sure.
In a word - DON'T.