One night while I was on a golf trip in Maryland a few weeks ago, I thought it would be fun to have some putting contests in the room. The carpet was probably rolling about a 10 so it wasn’t too quick. We played a version of leap frog and set the cup out about 12 feet away. The thing that quickly became clear was that it was hard to hit the putts short enough in the beginning to set you up for a good potential leap frog run. It took me some time but I finally figured out why that was.
What I’ve realized is that I was decelerating on those short putts and when you do that it becomes very difficult to have any consistency or to actually control the speed of your putts. Our minds don’t react well to deceleration. They can’t judge have quickly something is slowing down as well as they can judge how quickly something is speeding up. At least that’s true in my experience, although I’m sure there are some of you out there who will disagree and that’s fine.
For putting though you always want to be accelerating. One of the best ways to practice this is actually with short putts. It will really train in feel an in an amazing way.
As I worked with this technique last night, in a very short while I gained tremendous feel for distance. The main thing I did was to ensure that on every through-stroke you feel an acceleration compared to your back swing. Try this out, take some short putts and really focus on feeling the acceleration into the ball. You’ll start to get a lot more feel, and your putting will improve.